Friday 3 April 2015

Natural Histories

Natural Histories at the Gagosian Gallery, 3 Merlin Street, Athens.

When the figurative sculptures of ancient Greece and Rome were unearthed during the Renaissance, they were in a dismembered state, eroded, and had lost nearly all of their original colour. Pliny the Elder, in his wide-ranging treatise Natural History describes the original appearance of these antiquities in detail: brightly painted with pulverized malachite, cinnabar, azurite, arsenic compounds or burnt bone and vine.

Today, in Athens, this exhibition invokes the transformative and fractured lineage of painted sculpture by pairing two artists whose approaches are linked in their bold metamorphoses of wood and cardboard into bronze as well as their common engagement of figurative precedents ranging from antiquity to Expressionism. (from the gallery website).

Mark Grotjahn, Mask (image downloaded from gallery's website)

Cast in bronze from a cardboard assemblage this sculpture recalls the simple cardboard-box constructions of early classroom activity.


Georg Baselitz, Roman Salute
This patinated bronze leg is derived from a carved wooden form - the hacks and scars of the original wood are reproduced in the cast surface of bronze.

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