Dominique Labauvie // Material Evidence
2016, 42 x 50 inches, Charcoal & Pastel/ Somerset
MIAMI, FL—Mindy Solomon Gallery presents Material Catch by Dominique Labauvie and Celebrating Opposites by Michael Conrads, on view January 21st through March 4th, 2017, at the gallery: 8397 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami, in Little River. An opening reception with the artists will take place Saturday, January 21st, from 6-9pm.
Material Catch // Dominique Labauvie
“The line informs us about the absent forms, as only the missing remain in our memories, our books, and in our images. The line attests to the desire of thought.” -Dominique Labauvie
Dominique Labauvie’s newest body of work is a series of sculptures and drawings focused upon ruin as subject, a theme often addressed in art history, and weighing heavily in Labauvie’s thinking, as ever-present in our society by way of environmental damage, cultural destruction, government, and concern for the future. In Labauvie’s view, material culture—the remains of what once was—is material evidence which aids in understanding the past.
Dominique Labauvie // Open Sea
2016, 43 x 57 x 15 inches, forged steel
Through his sculptures, the artist translates the concept of ruin as the reduction of form to its minimum, the line of the funambule (French for tightrope walker), and sculpts in metal as a mark in space. The sculptures are fabricated using small segments of forged steel, welded, as marks on paper would be joined in drawing.
“The ground—any ground: earth, wood, or stone—hosts the forged lines, just as the landscape that for centuries has been mapped by rivers, roads, and highways. Drawing engraves the style of my sculpture. Drawing is one of the mental references of the sculpture, and in a sense it is a form of partnership.
Dominique Labauvie // Cloud Nine
2016, 95 x 43 x 20 inches, forged steel
“My sculpture not only addresses the line as a record to ‘transport time into space,’ but it also manipulates the material nature of steel. Steel is actually not natural but a man-made material, with the exception of the iron meteorite that falls from the cosmos onto earth. From the mineral to the industrial product, we can say that steel is a pure product of human inventiveness and work. As Valery wrote in 1937, ‘What would we be without steel?’
“The floor of the studio where I work is a surface on which I move. The segments of the sculpture are laid out, unconnected and moving all the time without a predetermined direction, as in a drawing. As I work, the image appears and disappears—creating a kind of high and low tide of perception. The line and its speed, its texture, tension, or extension is found well within the nature of the steel; it constructs the different rhythms of its presence and names them. When a line bends, it slows down; as it expands, it suddenly appears as a flat surface: it carves out its presence in space like a black hole.”
Dominique Labauvie // The Arrival
2016, 96 x 48 x 24 inches, forged steel
Labauvie’s sculptures are intended as a physical homage to the strength of survival. The Arrival is the last sculpture of this series, “a declaration of victory and love,” which makes a historic nod to the famous Birth of Venus by Botticelli.
Michael Conrads // Verdigris Variation
2016, 52 x 40 cm, Various fabrics, gesso, copper rust, pigment, and oil on canvas
Celebrating Opposites // The work of Michael Conrads
Mindy Solomon is proud to introduce, for his first Miami solo exhibition, the work of Michael Conrads. Currently an artist in residence at the Fountainhead in Miami, he hails from Germany.
Conrads believes good painting is a manifestation of the artist’s emotional and intellectual sensibilities realized on canvas. Ultimately, achieving a visual epiphany and the fulfillment of an aesthetic journey is the final goal.
“Before I start a painting, I usually have a composition in mind, which I develop through a series of small-scale drawings. These are drawn onto a specially modified grid, which enables me to shift between dimensions of space—from plain top view to isometric perspective to multilayered, multidimensional space-and-time tables. I use the grid as a tool to construct the illusion of depth, and to create contradictory perspectives that change while gazing at the picture. The perspectives can be quite complex at times, while others are merely repetitive and pattern-like, which can lead to ultra-dense, self-consuming structures. The magic happens (or doesn´t) in the transformation from a graphic drawing to painting.”
Utilizing a variety of media, from acrylics to oil, spray color, pigment, shellac, bitumen, and pastel, Conrads’s process is the materialization of painting. His process of art-making constructed to analyze how painting works. The parameters of a painting contain many contradictions: light and dark, dense and loose, quickly drawn and elaborately articulated, dynamic and static, colorful and monochromatic. Conrads believes all of these actions are valid. It is the utilization and implementation that create perfect compositional balance.
Conrads states: “Finding balance is usually the hardest part. It all comes down to what happens on the canvas. As much as planning or drawing may help to prepare for a painting, there are no shortcuts. A former exhibition title of mine comes to mind: No paint no gain. Lately, I have rather been looking for simplicity than complexity. It makes the work quieter and more dynamic at the same time, and helps me to focus on certain aspects of painting. Recent works include paintings that only consist of various types of pre-primed white canvases put together in spatial compositions, consisting of a minimum of painterly gestures. This minimal approach makes traces of the work or mistakes a lot more obvious. As the white cube, which only exists in theory—and can, in reality—never be perfected.
“But not all paintings are that minimal, and luckily, I am still fascinated by color. My paintings are about perception. They give me intellectual stimulation. I don´t want to explain anything in my work or to be identified with a particular name or a genre. There is no overlying concept. Showing the process of painting is important, but not my final goal. I guess it is important because painting is what I love to do. In that sense, a painting is no more than the sum of all the single actions that I did to it until it´s done. And sometimes that´s a lot.”
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Dominique Labauvie (French b.1948) lives and works in Tampa, Florida. Educated at the Beaux Art in Paris, France. In 1985 he had his first one-man show at the Gallery Jordan in Paris. In 1986, Dominique Labauvie received the Rome Prize for Germany and spent one year working in Freiburg/Breisgau, Düsseldorf, Cologne and Berlin. Since 1977, Labauvie has received numerous commissions for Public Sculptures in Europe and the United States. In 1997 he was commissioned by the City of Paris to create a monumental cast iron sculpture “Suspended Skyline” which is installed on the Quai de Seine at the entrance to the Park of the Villette. In 1999, he installed “Over the Cities” at the Vandenberg Airport in Tampa, commissioned by the Hillsborough Aviation Authority. In 2001 he was the subject of a retrospective exhibition of sculpture and drawings at the Coral Springs Museum in Florida. In 2009 Dominique Labauvie received the Gottlieb Foundation Award Grant in honor of his artistic achievement. In 2009, he had his first New York solo exhibition, “Turning Point” at Haim Chanin Fine Arts. In August of 2010, “Musical Lines in My Hand” opened at the new Tampa Museum of Art. His work has been exhibited all over Europe, Japan and the United States in galleries, museums and cultural venues. Dominique Labauvie’s work is included in major public and private collections, including: The BNY | Mellon Corporate Collection, Pittsburgh, PA., The National Collection of Contemporary Art, France; Regional Collections of Art of Alsace, Paris, Languedoc Roussillon, France; The Runnymeade Collection in San Francisco; The Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, Florida; the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, Florida; and The Tampa Museum of Art.
Michael Conrads (b. 1977) lives and works in Berlin and Mexico City. He is a graduate of the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg. His work has been shown in the Hamburg Kunsthalle and Produzentengalerie Hamburg, Galerie Michael Haas Berlin and Zurich, and Museum Weserburg Bremen, among many other institutions and galleries across Europe. With a focus on painting, he is constantly investigating the boundaries of the medium, creating semi-complex to ultra-dense, self-consuming structures that investigate architecture, modernism, minimal, constructivism, and failed utopia.
ABOUT MINDY SOLOMON GALLERY
Established in 2009, Mindy Solomon Gallery specializes in contemporary emerging and mid-career artists and art advisory services. The gallery represents artists working in painting, sculpture, photography, and video in both narrative and non-objective styles, and was named one of the Top 500 Galleries Worldwide in Louise Blouin Media Modern Painters 2013 and 2014 annual guides.
The gallery serves as an incubator for dynamic artists establishing their creative voices and exploring a broad range of exhibition possibilities.
Represented artists include: Scottish photographer Muir Vidler, LA photographer and writer Scot Sothern, Korean sculptural artist Kang Hyo Lee, Mexican mixed-media artists the de la Torre brothers, and an array of national and international talent. Mindy Solomon Gallery participates in global art fairs including Art Miami, Zona Maco, VOLTA BASEL, VOLTA NY, PULSE, Moving Image, and Shanghai Contemporary. Always interested in the intersection of art and design, Mindy Solomon and her staff work closely with designers, advisors, consultants, and curators to inform and integrate fine works of art into every aesthetic environment.
Mindy Solomon Gallery is open from 11:00am-5:00pm Tuesday through Saturday; call 786-953-6917 or email email@example.com for more information.