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TIES II: Pietro Consagra and Marine Hugonnier



TIES II: Pietro Consagra and Marine Hugonnier

Saturday 14 October 2017
XIII Day of Contemporary Art
Opening times: 10am – 6pm

26 September – 20 November 2017
The Italian Cultural Institute London
39 Belgrave Square, SW1X 8NX
Opening times: Monday – Friday 10am – 6pm

ARTUNER and The Italian Cultural Institute (ICI) are pleased to announce the second instalment of their two-part exhibition series on the renowned Italian post-war sculptor Pietro Consagra (1920 – 2005).

Featuring new works by French artist Marine Hugonnier (b. 1969) in dialogue with Consagra’s historical oeuvre, the exhibition will explore how, through the mediums of sculpture and collage, Consagra and Hugonnier challenge deep-rooted cultural frameworks to establish a new relationship between the viewer and their environment.

Hugonnier’s artworks, including new collages from the ‘Art For Modern Architecture’ series, will be shown alongside Consagra’s sculptures from the 1960s to the 1980s in order to foster a discussion on modes of representation and points of view in the modern age.

One of Italy’s most important post-war sculptors, Consagra rejected the tradition of three-dimensional sculpture to embrace a more direct mode of interaction between art and audience. Consagra worked in bronze and iron to create sculptures that were almost two-dimensional, with an environmental outlook. In this way, he disposed of a normative authoritarian centre in favour of a "frontal" outlook that would become his artistic credo.

Central to Consagra’s practice was an ongoing reflection on the language of sculpture in relation to other disciplines, including architecture. Consagra believed that the modern city was defined by the three- dimensionality of its architecture, its monumental rhetoric imposing a specific and authoritarian way of engaging with one’s environment. He proposed that the "central perspective", which has dominated city planning for centuries, is an expression of a dogmatic and hierarchical organisation of Power and that this power can determine and limit one’s perceptual field. In an effort to enhance the experience of the city’s inhabitants, Consagra proposed a world without centres and without peripheries, where symbolically the object exists in the presence of the viewer, and the beholder in the presence of the object. Ties II will feature works from his iconic Ferri Trasparenti series, subtle monochrome works with an intense formal and spiritual individuality – an emblem of a new idea of the artificial landscape. Furthermore, there will be his Inventario, an installation travelling across the walls like in an infinite space, like in a non-space, composed of paper-thin iron sculptures shaped like a new, free geometry – one that refused the 90° angle and embraced the dynamism and mobility of the curve. In the sculptures Sottilissime, on the other hand, the artist experiments with extreme thinness in sculpture, taking his surfaces to as little as 0,02 cm and to a awe-inspiring diaphanousness that lets the viewer glimpse the space beyond.

Similarly, Marine Hugonnier also proposes a different way of looking at history and its perceptual framework. Often described as a critique on the Politics of Vision, Hugonnier’s work questions the nature of images and the history, culture and politics that are associated with them. Between 2005 and 2007, Hugonnier initiated a series of collages using cut-outs from Ellsworth Kelly’s book, Line, Form, Color to mask the images on the front pages of newspapers. Entitled ‘Art for Modern Architecture’ (2004–), Hugonnier’s ongoing series is a nod to Kelly’s belief that art should be made for public spaces and buildings, establishing the utilitarian imperative for art to serve architecture. Hugonnier transposes this concept to another medium, that of the newspaper, the ‘architecture’ which frames our everyday life.

Since 2009, the series has developed further with Hugonnier using the colours of a Standard Kodak Colour Chart – blue, green, yellow, red, magenta and black – which are used in photomechanical reproduction. For this exhibition, Hugonnier has created a new series using vintage editions of the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera during the turbulent Years of Lead (1969 to 1980), corresponding to the most active years of Consagra’s practice as well as the politics of his time.

By blocking out newspaper images of well-known historical events, such as the Bologna massacre and the Piazza Fontana bombing in Milan, the artist disrupts normative narratives of propaganda, spectacle and power. Hugonnier holds back information in order to question it and, in doing so, she overcomes the limitations imposed by Power, to which Consagra was so opposed. Moreover, the "coverage" principal invites cultural and emotional engagement with the work, recalling the viewer’s memory and a collective consciousness.

The boldly coloured, geometric shapes that characterise this series are echoed throughout Hugonnier’s practice. For instance, the ‘Modeles’ are a series of three-dimensional collages in the five colours Black, Green, Yellow, Red and Blue. The revision of a modernist form presented here is a way to take apart the modernist worldview in order to reveal its constituent parts. This reinterpretation is a form which once was the vehicle of very progressive thoughts. These works want to re-evaluate, confront and re-actualise those in the postmodernist times. They are a commemoration, a way to question Modernism’s premises and concepts. By doing so these Revisions wish to raise modernism motives and values — liberty, equality, rights and the pursuit of happiness — in order to challenge their logic of the post-modernist state.

Notes to Editors

Pietro Consagra (b. 1920-2005) is one of Italy’s most renowned post-war sculptors, whose work rejected the tradition of three-dimensional sculpture to embrace a more direct mode of interaction between art and audience. Primarily interested in liberating sculpture from the burdens of any historical legacy, Consagra worked in bronze, steel, iron and marble to create extremely thin sculptures. In this way, he disposed of a normative authoritarian centre in favour of a frontal outlook that would become his artistic credo. An unmediated relationship between the viewer and his art was a fundamental tenet of Pietro Consagra’s practice, seeking above all else to embrace a more direct mode of interaction between art and audience. Consagra enjoyed international acclaim and was exhibited widely during his lifetime, including at eleven editions of the Venice Biennale. He also exhibited at the Peggy Guggenheim collection, Venice; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Tate Gallery, London; and the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg.

Marine Hugonnier (b. 1969) is a French artist whose work is rooted in the politics of representation and the observation of point of view, the study of which deconstructs how and what we visually perceive. Hugonnier trained as an anthropologist, but her films, photography, works on paper, books, and performance pieces have been widely exhibited over the past fifteen years, including solo shows at The Museum of Contemporary Arts, Seoul; The BALTIC Centre, Newcastle; Zabludowicz Collection, London; and Galeria Fortes Vilaca, Sao Paulo. She has also held exhibitions at Fortes D'Aloia & Gabriel in Brazil and NoguerasBlanchard in Spain. Her most famous series, Art for Modern Architecture (2004–), featured in this exhibition, highlights the power of the newspaper and how, by replacing its images with colour blocks, reality can be disturbed by human intervention. The artist also has an online catalogue raisonné

Founded in 2013 by Eugenio Re Rebaudengo, ARTUNER is an innovative art platform, which presents curated selling exhibitions through a unique hybrid approach, exhibiting works both online and through international pop up shows. ARTUNER started to work with the Archivio Pietro Consagra’s Scientific Committee since summer of 2016 and this will be the third occasion on which they will show his work following A Place of Our Time at Palazzo Capris, Turin, 2016, and Ties | Legami. Pietro Consagra & Ugo Mulas at the Italian Cultural Institute (29 June – 16 September 2017).


Date: DA Tuesday, September 26, 2017 a Monday, November 20, 2017

Time: From 10:00 am To 6:00 pm

Organized by : ICI London

In collaboration with : ARTUNER

Entry : Free


ICI London