József Csató, Paul Heyer, Maximilian Kirmse, Yeni Mao, Grace Woodcock, Yang Xu
LOCATION ANDREA FESTA FINE ART, Rome DATE01/11/2020 — 17/01/2021 CURATOR Domenico de Chirico AUTHOR Domenico de Chirico
"SOFTER SOFTEST" József Csató, Paul Heyer, Maximilian Kirmse, Yeni Mao, Grace Woodcock, Yang Xu Curated by Domenico de Chirico 01.11.20 – 17.01.21 ANDREA FESTA FINE ART, Rome LUNGOTEVERE DEGLI ALTOVITI, 1, 00186 RM https://andreafestafineart.com/ Andrea Festa is glad to announce the inaugural show of his own gallery titled "SOFTER SOFTEST" curated by Domenico de Chirico. The very first exhibition features works of six incredibly talented artists from all around the world: József Csató (b.1980 – Ungary); Maximilian Kirmse (b.1986 – Germany); Paul Heyer (b.1982 – United States); Yeni Mao (b.1971 – Canada); Grace Woodcock (b.1993 – United Kindom); Yang Xu (b.1996 – Cina). According to the French philosopher Henri Bergson, who regarded Consciousness and World as unavoidably linked, the image can be considered a halfway entity between the "thing" and the "representation", since it is «more than what the idealist calls representation, but less than what the realist calls thing». The object is an image «with its own identity», existing independent of the subject’s perception of it, by common sense. In this respect, you can speak of your own body as a source of action, capable of changing the order in which the other images are arranged; "matter" is then the aggregate of images, while "perception of matter" means that «these same images are referred to the eventual action of one particular image, my body». According to these precepts, Softer Softest refers to Bergson’s "picturesque object", to that idea of a suspended and intangible image, the frame of a kinetic energy flux which therefore encourages it to present itself as extremely thin, the thinnest and softest of all scenarios, thus arriving at a vivid and waving conception of matter, evidently close to the results of the physics of time, which is then caught by our memory in a pragmatic way. Furthermore, in Softer Softest the subject-object division is regulated according to temporality, where memory, understood as duration, refers to an autonomy of the spirit, which in turn acts by extension on the body in the form of movement. And thus, each work shows a visual echo, a hint of a world that is not always tangible but rather a complex tangle of intentions and memories of this becoming. The semantic and tactile roughness of József Csató's work goes in harmony with the almost baroque evolution of the different ways in which the relationship between image and object, painting and matter is developed. Csató’s painting art is characterized by a sinuous truthfulness that seems to reproduce what is already represented, firmly reiterating, flaunting both the fairytale and the mythological iconography through figurative and abstract elements; in a world increasingly isolated and headed by algorithms, Paul Heyer's pictorial works, highly allegorical, focus on the concepts of transiency, the complexity of reality and the transience of life, questioning what it means to be alive, exploring the limits of collective consciousness and bodily experience. The paintings are usually realized with a combination of acrylics and oil on canvas, known to be very different means of expression, however, with the result that the images, sometimes playful, turn out to be at the same time incandescent and brilliant, fluid and flat, traditional and absurd; Maximilian Kirmse, predominantly inspired in a creative way by the 1990s and modern Germany, is constantly looking for images and prosaic moments in a world apparently sparkling, that he makes timeless thanks to his painting art. Kirmse portrays a cartoon-like urban universe, sometimes provocative, through a pictorial technique that recalls pointillism, which is characterized by the use of an always bright yet dramatic light; strongly influenced by the theory and practice of modern architecture, Yeni Mao's sculptures focus on issues of fragmentation, exploring the relationship between the subjective body and architecture through moderation, domination and absence. His work, a continuous dialogue with the vernacular of building systems, is the mean to answer the equations that continually emerge from the relationship between the body and the built environment; Mao challenges the perception of material, form and image in a fleeting and changing cultural context by constantly referring to what surrounds him; he works with the meaning of material production history and focuses on the aesthetic narratives arising from the alteration of the materials themselves; Grace Woodcock's work is a response to the "depravity of touch", a condition that arises from a minimal physical contact with other people: this condition is common in societies where physical contact is not part of everyday life, symbols of an imaginative world in which both waves and peristaltic reflections govern the way we experience act, desire, aesthetics, intimacy and creativity in the current reality. Woodcock's layered sculptures, reminiscent of architecture, immediately and hiddenly bear in mind the bodily intimacy; starting from history and mysticism, Yang Xu's work explores childhood fantasies and whims. Driven by the desire of rekindling the Rococo styles and sensibility found in her works, Yang skillfully paints contrived and unrepentant female figures in a sumptuous and extravagant style, in a unique show where light and dark meet continuously.