April 29th, 2012
Artist: Valentin Carron
Venue: 303 Gallery, New York
Exhibition Title: The dirty grey cube (you) turns around sadly and screams at us (he) “ca-tarac-ta”
Date: April 6 – May 12, 2012
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of 303 Gallery, New York
303 Gallery is proud to present our second exhibition of new work by Valentin Carron, “The dirty grey cube (you) turns around sadly and screams at us (he), ‘ca-tarac-ta.’”
As an initial act, the gallery’s entrance is modified in the form of a hallway or passage to a more personalized or even claustrophobic viewing experience. With light all but blocked out of streaming through the windows, the space becomes sealed, and behind that veil, the potential for a certain cryptic transformation is intimated. Upon entering the exhibition, the viewer stands in the corner of the space, pulled in by the gravity of an austere 5-foot cube. This cube, a polystyrene replica of a public sculpture by Dutch artist Ewerdt Hilgemann originally made of Carrara marble, assumes a roughshod form as a result of the process of being perfectly cut and polished and subsequently rolled down a debris-strewn hill. Michelangelo is said to have remarked that the quality of a sculpture is inherent in its ability to survive being rolled down a hill with its essence still intact. Hilgemann’s coup of turning process into essence is upended by Carron’s ploy of rejection, displacing process/essence by means of material subjectivity. The cube symbolizes a psychic space, rendered in a hollow synthetic – an abandoned tombstone in the reliquary of process art.
On the walls of the gallery are ‘window paintings’ of a sort, produced in homage to a stained glass process known as ‘en dalle de verre,’ used for churches and public buildings toward the end of the 1930s. The process involves inserting shards of reflective glass into pre-existing windows or building facades, creating colorful reflections and perspective shifts. Carron’s tack is decidedly reductionist, as the paintings have all but abandoned color and light, glowing only with a stark minerality. This intersection between form, utility and history becomes paramount, and Carron’s is the voice of the wrench-thrower, asking what happens if an object-painting can be neither object nor painting. Also on view will be five wrought-iron two-headed snakes, distributed from the floor to the ceiling. Taken together, this assortment of primal forms – the cube, the window, the snake – create a neo-occultist mythology, steeped in the sardonically rhetorical yet with a keen sense of the very real psychic power imbued to objects in space.
Valentin Carron has had recent solo exhibitions at Palais De Tokyo, Paris; La Conservera, Murcia, Spain; L’elac, Renens, Switzerland; Viafarini, Milan; Praz-Delavallade, Paris; Swiss Institute, New York; and Kunsthalle Zürich. In 2013, he will mount a solo exhibition at Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland. He has been included in recent group exhibitions at Le Consortium, Dijon, France; Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris; CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux; Villa Bernasconi, Geneva; and Sculpture Center, New York. He has published two catalogues with JRP | Ringier. The artist lives and works in Martigny, Switzerland.
303 Gallery represents the work of Doug Aitken, Valentin Carron, Anne Chu, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Ceal Floyer, Karel Funk, Maureen Gallace, Tim Gardner, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Rodney Graham, Mary Heilmann, Jeppe Hein, Larry Johnson, Matt Johnson, Karen Kilimnik, Florian Maier-Aichen, Nick Mauss, Mike Nelson, Kristin Oppenheim, Eva Rothschild, Collier Schorr, Stephen Shore, Sue Williams, Jane and Louise Wilson,
303 Gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am – 6 pm. For further information please visit us at www.303gallery.com or contact Cristian Alexa, Barbara Corti or Mari Spirito.