For the first edition of Paris + by Art Basel, which runs from October 19th to 23rd at the Grand Palais Éphémère, Galerie Poggi has conceived an exhibition around a rare painting by Edvard Munch : Two Boys on the Beach (1911), in dialogue with Anna-Eva Bergman, Sidival Fila, Kapwani Kiwanga, Troy Makaza, Djamel Tatah, Georges Tony Stoll, Kees Visser and the duo Itah Yoda.
Shores are a recurring theme in Munch’s work. They synthesize a cosmogonic vision of the world, where the infinitely large and the infinitely small come together in a symbiotic relationship. It is not so much the landscape that interests him, as this in-betweenness where the solid and the liquid, the mineral and the aquatic meet. A zone of erosion where stone becomes sand, of corrosion where water gnaws metal. Dissolution and evaporation, concretion and crystallization, flow of mater and energy.
This aspect guided our selection of works in dialogue with Edvard Munch for Paris +. First of all, a rare painting of a Fjord by her compatriot Anna-Eva Bergman where the sea and its waves seem more solid than liquid, as if their silvery surface had become mercury by a strange alchemy.
Kapwani Kiwanga’s recent sculptures made for the 59th Venice Biennale play with the different states of sand, from the finest silicate to the most transparent glass. The works of the duo Itah Yoda could be interpreted like an actualization of Munch’s exploration of symbiotic relationships. Creating a universe where the digital, the human, and the natural are harmoniously connected, their work takes the shape of paintings and sculptures.
Finally, the crystallization phenomenon dear to Munch can be found in the grain of Georges Tony Stoll’s photographic diptych as well as in Kees Visser’s famous monochrome paintings on paper. The scenography of this project was realized by Marie-Anne Derville and Lucie Olivier who also imagined and conceived the scenography of the exhibition ‘Edvard Munch, Anna-Eva Bergman, A Cosmology of Art’, on view at the Galerie Poggi in Paris until Saturday, November 5th, 2022.
For Paris +, the gallery presents a rare painting by Edvard Munch, Two Boys on the Beach (1911), which he had never exhibited during his lifetime, keeping it carefully in his studio. It was only after his death that his sister Inger authenticated it and that, ten years later, it joined the prestigious collection of Margaret Onstad, who deposited it at the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter near Oslo until the early 1980s.
Subsequently exhibited in New York (National Museum of Design, 1995) and Shanghai (Shanghai Jiushi Art Museum, 2021), it was recently one of the major works in the exhibition Edvard Munch in Dialogue (2022) at the Albertina in Vienna, where it was presented in dialogue with the greatest contemporary artists (Georg Baselitz, Miriam Cahn, Peter Doig, Marlene Dumas, Tracey Emin, etc.).
The astounding freedom in this painting’s incompleteness is what stood out, especially compared with Baselitz’s work or Tracey Emin’s. Edvard Munch claimed in 1923 that it was beter to paint a good unfinished picture than a bad finished one. ‘Many believe that a painting is finished when they have worked in as much detail as possible,’ further concluding that ‘one stroke can be a completed work of art.’ his freedom, together with its importance in Edvard Munch’s journey, is what confers this work a historical yet contemporary quality.
Born in 1909, and married twice to Hans Hartung, Anna-Eva Bergman has recently benefited from a renewed and vital interest. Her works were recognized during her lifetime but left in the shadows by art historians after she died. Besides the fact that she was a woman when art history was a mater for men, the singularity of her work and her artistic choices overshadowed her importance in the post-war art scene.
Minimalist, the work of the Norwegian-born artist approaches the edge of abstraction without ever leaving a consubstantial relationship with reality. Cultivating “the art of abstraction,” as she defined it herself, Bergman “stripped herself of all unnecessary details” in her pictorial and graphic work to touch the very essence of things.
After her major solo show in New York at Perrotin in September 2022, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris will hold a major retrospective exhibition in 2023.
Kapwani Kiwanga’s work deals with power asymmetries by bringing together historical narratives, contemporary realities, archives and possible futures. Her work is currently the subject of a large solo exhibition at the New Museum in New York. A major figure in the current contemporary art scene, she has won the Frieze Artist Award (USA, 2018), the Sobey Art Award (CA, 2018), the Prix Marcel Duchamp (FR, 2020) and the Zurich Art Prize (CH, 2021).
Kapwani Kiwanga’s Hour Glass is part of her large-scale installation for the 59th International Art Exhibition of the Biennale di Venezia, within the exhibition “The Milk of Dream ». This sculpture is composed of the same element, but transformed into different materials – glass and sand. This transformation process references the different refinement industries; and the particular role that sand plays in fracking for oil extraction.
Placed among the most promising artists of 2022 according to the newspaper Le Monde, the duo Itah Yoda builds its artistic identity through digital technology. Their collaboration gives shape to real and virtual forms whose inspiration are drawn from nature, and symbiotic processes in particular.
For Paris +, the gallery presents two works, based on their research on zooplankton and related to the virtual reality they have been developing for several years. Each work is linked to a global approach, like a natural ecosystem.
Itah Yoda is the 2021 winner of the ‘Étant Donnés’ residency program organized by the French Institute, the FACE Foundation, and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States. The gallery will present their solo exhibition in spring 2023.
Georges Tony Stoll
Born in 1955 in Marseille, Georges Tony Stoll is one of the most striking, singular and prolific artists of his generation. In the early 1990s, he became particularly known for his photographs, although his very eclectic work also takes the form of paintings, videos, collages, drawings, installations, to explore what he calls “the territories of abstraction”.
Georges Tony Stoll photographs as he paints, playing with forms and objects, bodies and subjects on the same level, without hierarchy, in spaces without limits. Stoll’s pictorial project has been “embodied through figurative photography and video, then through a plurality of expressions, alternately or simultaneously abstract and figurative” (Catherine Grenier). As if everything was a single project to “pictorialize” the world.
Several of his photographs will be exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo in February 2023 as part of a group exhibition curated by François Piron, in reference to the book “Ce que le sida m’a fait” by Elisabeth Lebovici.
Having specialized in painting in art school but always interested in form and texture, Makaza decided to develop his own hybrid medium which would enable him to unite his artistic goals. After experimenting with various materials, Troy Makaza arrived at silicone, a material which can be cast, painted with, as well as woven and tied.
Over the past six years Makaza’s works progressively developed as an opportunity to speak both viscerally and philosophically to the issues Makaza finds compelling as a young Zimbabwean concerned with both politics and their impact on daily lives of ordinary people as well as a globally engaged millennial.
Resonating with traditional modes like weaving and tapestry but unequivocally contemporary, Troy Makaza’s works articulate the conversation of what African and uniquely Zimbabwean contemporary can be – a paradigm internationally engaging and locally compelling.
Makaza’s works have received critical and collector acclaim, winning the Tomorrows/Today prize at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair in 2019 and with participation in institutional exhibitions such as Five Bhob at Zeitz MoCAA in Cape Town and Welcome Home at Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden in Marrakech. The gallery will hold his first solo show in France in spring 2023.
About Galerie Poggy
Gallery Jérôme Poggi is one of the leading galleries from the new generation in Paris. Founded by curator and art historian Jérôme Poggi in 2009, the gallery was initially located in the North of Paris, and opened its main space in 2014 in front of the Centre Pompidou, in Le Marais. The gallery represents around 20 international artists from different generations. It participates to the main international art fairs such as FIAC (Paris), Armory Show (New York), ArtBasel, Art Basel (Miami), ARCO (Madrid), ARTBO (Bogota), Artissima (Torino), etc.
Next to the gallery, the not-for profit organisation, SOCIETIES, was founded in 2004 by Jérôme Poggi to experiment new models of political economy for the art. It encourages and supports private initiatives carried out by any community from the civic society who wants to intervene on the art scene.
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Arte & Lusso Team