Cabinet Printemps is pleased to present PABLOPABLOPABLO, a group exhibition featuring lithographs of Picasso and paperworks of five contemporary artists to point out his remarkable impact on painting and to create a dialogue with contemporary positions.
The lithographs from the only sketchbook published by Picasso in a limited edition “Carnet de la Californie” and their given insight of the artist’s mind and process make a perfect starting point to contrast with artistic expression of today’s rising voices. The group show is featuring works from Agnes Scherer (*1985), Rhys Lee (*1975), Lenz Geerk (*1988), Farshad Farzankia (*1980) and Kevin McNamee-Tweed (*1984) to highlight the vast spectrum of contemporary artists‘ perspectives on Picasso.
Ranging between reverence and reinterpretation, the works by these five artists demonstrate the continuing relevance of Picasso’s work and show his impact on today’s contemporary artists. PABLOPABLOPABLO represents a form of painterly dialogue illustrating how Picasso’s work is stimulating responses among artists for generations. The artists in this show tread the line between traditional figuration and figurative abstraction, displaying different approaches of relating to one of the most influential artist of the 20th century.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Pablo Picasso’s drawings of “Carnet de la Californie”, centered on his own studio, provide the observer a unique insight that was otherwise reserved for the closest friends of the artist. The observer can follow Picasso’s work process step by step. One enters, with consent, the artist’s personal sphere. Access is given to the mysterious process of artistic creation. For Picasso the drawings can be a work, a goal in themselves; but it is also the basis of almost all of his artistic work. Through the sketches the artists impressions can be traced from the first conception to his greatest creation.
Rhys Lee paints to excite. With instinct acting as his muse, he manipulates elements of form and colour to create otherworldly scenarios. Immediately striking is his use of electric colours that animate the picture plane and jostle for pre-eminence. Colour renders the forms that populate his canvases, seductively luminescent. The vaguely grotesque figures and mysterious atmospheric landscapes insinuate a different kind of existence exists. On the edge of abstraction, figures and forms shift and transmogrify like psychedelic shadows buffeted by subliminal currents – Lee’s rich painterly surfaces seem to float upon a darker content.
Farshad Farzankia’s visual language ranges between personal and historic references, culminating in figurative compositions. The most significant characteristic is the narrative of migration and power relations, illustrated with symbols of his childhood in Tehran, his love for movies and the icons of the 1980s, which are intensified by his specific color palette. The Neo-Expressionist style and the variety of materials and technique are clearly marking his admiration of Basquiat.
Kevin McNamee-Tweed is currently working mainly with monotyping. He has adopted their manufacturing processes and developed and refined his own techniques. In this way, the peculiarity of monotyping as a means of image production is to be limited in order to reduce the irregularity of the unpredictable process. McNamee-Tweed is using a wide range of tools to transcribe the image onto the surface, lead by instinct and depth of feel. The works move between intimacy and universality, between artefact and folklore. They adopt a familiar visual language, showing realities ranging from personal stories to grand clichés.
Agnes Scherer’s core medium is pencil drawing, which she has been using intuitively for years. The drawings are the result of extensive processes, which are strongly marked by erasure. Scherers drawings refer to the tradition of still life, specifically to those nearly surrealistic positions such as Piranesi or Aloys Zötl. Since 2015, Scherer has also been working on the opera Cupid and the Animals, which premiered in London in January 2017 and will be performed again in New York in May 2018.
Lenz Geerk’s appealing paintings show isolated figures in situations that oscillate between ordinary to highly stylised. The painter draws from loneliness, self-reflection and self-staging. The anonymous figures cannot be located in any specific time or space and seem to be lost in thought and unaware of their exposure. Black brushstrokes concisely shape the imagery and refer to the painter as a creator who delicately composes with little elements and mute colours. Lenz Geerk’s use of creamy oil sticks and soft acrylic colour elevates the surface and painting itself to the sensual and comforting object of desire. In Geerk’s paintings, the feeling of human alienation is intertwined with the everlasting beauty and comfort of painting itself.