Galerie Valentin

GRANPALAZZO 2016, May 28 – 29

26 May 2016

Independent international art fair GRANPALAZZO 2016 is on in at Zagarolo’s Palazzo Pallavicini-Rospigliosi, running May 28 to 29.

Now in its second year running, the fair is showing 28 artists represented by 28 galleries in the Italian town, situated outside of a major city centre and the global art circuit. Rather than presenting booths, artists from Belgium, Canada, France, Britain, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Mexico, Peru, Switzerland and the United States will show their work in dialogue with the  17th century Borghese palace to, as the press release states, “create a succession of poetic visions, styles, research”.

Some artists worth a mention include Anna BarhamBrian KokoskaPiotr ŁakomyDaniele Milvio, Hamish Fulton and Maryam Jafri, represented by Arcade, ValentinAntoine Levi, Hester, Espaivisor and Laveronica, respectively.

The weekend programme will also feature a range of live initiatives including performances, educational workshops and a bookshop, as well as a special project by Gabriele De Santis and a presentation of GIFs from smART – polo per l’arte‘s Stop and Go exhibition including Lorna Mills and Carla Gannis, among others.

See the GRANPALAZZO website for details.**

Header image: Brian Kokoska, PoisonIV (2015). Installation view. Photo by Sylvie Chan Liat. Installation view. Courtesy Galerie Valentin, Paris.

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Antoine Renard @ Galerie Valentin, May 12 – Jun 25

10 May 2016

Antoine Renard‘s solo presentation titled Stuff that dreams are made of is on at Paris’ Galerie Valentin, opening May 12 and running to June 25.

There is little other information alongside the exhibition announcement —aside from the fact it will be taking in the Project Room —but we might perhaps expect some thinking around death, (re)cycles, dark entertainment, things that perish and, potentially, gore. That’s especially given the Berlin-based artist’s recent collaborative 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick exhibition with Clémence de La Tour du Pin, for example.

Renard works mainly with sculpture, combining explicitly organic and inorganic materials, as well as content in one gesture or work. In fact it is hard to tell whether the deteriorating figure in the image used to accompany the show is real or cast and slightly melted.

See the FB event page for (limited) details.**

YGRG 74 @ Museum of Post Digital Cultures (2015). Image: Dorota Gaweda. Artwork: Antoine Renard, 'String Figures, Multispecies Muddles, Staying With The Trouble' (2015). Courtesy the artist.
YGRG 74 @ Museum of Post Digital Cultures (2015). Image: Dorota Gaweda. Artwork: Antoine Renard, ‘String Figures, Multispecies Muddles, Staying With The Trouble’ (2015). Courtesy the artist.

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Brian Kokoska, Poison IV (2015) exhibition photos

12 February 2016

Poison IV, a solo exhibition by New York-based artist Brian Kokoska, presented an installation of paintings, sculptures and found objects at Paris’s Galerie Valentin which took place from September 5 to October 10, 2015. Disparate elements of the fragmented self are scattered and forced into conversation with one another, housed within a shared chromatic logic of basic black and sickly green. The exhibition becomes a type of body rooted in symbolism and complicated by childhood emblems. The multi-directional reference points of the show set the tone for an experience that is both clinical and magical, inviting yet chilling.

The swampy green and black paintings take on a basic abstract language. Large brush strokes and simple yet symbolic shapes make up a disjointed face in two of the paintings, embracing the ‘my kid could paint that’ style. The third is a medley of suburban adolescent magic; dreamcatchers, half-moons, a circle-circle-dot-dot booby drawing, card numbers and dice. The practice of finding yourself spreads itself out in a spontaneous display of gestures.

Brian Kokoska, 'PoisonIV' (2015). Exhibition view. Photo by Sylvie Chan Liat. Exhibition view. Courtesy Galerie Valentin, Paris.
Brian Kokoska, ‘Poison IV’ (2015). Exhibition view. Photo by Sylvie Chan Liat. Exhibition view. Courtesy Galerie Valentin, Paris.

The objects dotting the room pop out in stark contrast with the neon background which is reminiscent of green screen technology, 3D animation or the strategy of fluorescents in a hospitalized space. ‘Young Family (RIP)’ uses cable ties to conjoin inflatable mannequin body parts with childhood vintage stuffed animals. In ‘Untitled (The Bouncers Call Her Sweetheart)’ the blow up mannequin is contorted out of shape, barely legible as a body. A toy green frog smiles at you.

More green toys crop up around the room, all cabled tied and positioned as if squished and suffocated under the arm of a loving child. The sculpture sat atop what looks like a bedside table, is described by Kokoska as a “fiberglass statue”, a statue or monument of an anthropomorphized hamburger with knives cable tied to its ‘head’. Beside is another ball of mannequins with a toy glo worm reading ‘Pajama Party (It’s Not A Sleepover Till Somebody Dies)’. Above, another green toy hangs from the ceiling.

Childhood references are always deeply rooted within a space that is both fragile and imaginary, a bubble that can easily burst when punctured. While the show is undeniably quite dark and perverse in its overt contamination of nostalgia, it is lightened and balanced by the humorous exploration of Self: the exhibition becomes a myriad of meditations on our relationship with death. The sincere attempt within adolescent exploration of bodily metamorphosis seeps through the room full of grinning toys; blissful ignorance secured to cartoon prototypes of coded bodies, a reminder that to be alive is to be in flux and in a constant transformation between creation and destruction.**

Exhibition photos, top right.

Brian Kokoska’s Poison IV was on at Paris’s Galerie Valentin, running September 5 to October 10, 2015.

Header image: Brian Kokoska, Poison IV (2015). Installation view. Photo by Sylvie Chan Liat. Installation view. Courtesy Galerie Valentin, Paris.


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Brian Kokoska @ Galerie Valentin, Sep 5 – Oct 10

4 September 2015

New York-based artist Brian Kokoska is presenting his solo exhibition, titled Poison IV at Galerie Valentin, opening September 5 and running to October 10.

The show presents is described by the press release as a “total environment, monochromatic, welcoming a set of new paintings and sculptures” and envisages the exhibition space as “a three dimensional image within which the viewer moves less physically and visually.”

See Galerie Valentin website for details. **

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Donna Huanca, Water Scars (2015) exhibition photos

13 July 2015

It is easy to imagine the human body as fully dressed civilian engaged in the daily rituals of a certain ‘self-care’. After all, it’s a common representation in contemporary culture.

Donna Huanca‘s recent exhibition Water Scars (exhibition photos, top right), running at Paris’ Galerie Chez Valentin from April 18 to May 16, deconstructs this figuration, detaching the human body from what Clara Guislain’s exhibition text calls the “overdeveloped, fetishistic tactility of cultural processes”, of clothing and skin.

Donna Huanca, ‘Nudity’ (2015) Install view. Courtesy Chez Valentin.

In ‘Nudity’ (2015), the artist emphasises the strangeness of these objects with the use of pale colours, but in a nature-friendly way, that is, by downgrading these civilian clothes into ancient forms made from animal furs or leather. Most objects in the exhibition, including the physical form of models Giulia Munari and others, are dim and faint in colour, located middle-gray. If these models or objects were to hide in a natural landscape, they might be difficult to discern but when displayed in the gallery space, with its white walls and smooth cement floor, they’re highlighted and foregrounded. The only way that bodies and objects can survive in the white cube then, is to adapt with similar colours in the hope that they too can be camouflaged here.

Huanca paints her model’s bodies in smoothe pools of blended colour mixes, thereby reducing their humanness and masking them in a lack of definition. In ‘Finger Paintings (YSL, faux CILS)’ (2015), with black coloured traces of fingertips on the brownish canvas , these fingers are used as mere mediators that make aimless traces on canvases. It can be seen as a mimicry of animal’s footprints on earth. However, they’re hard to trace because of their aimlessness. **

Exhibition photos, top right.

Water Scars was on at Paris’s Galerie Valentin, running from April 18 to May 16, 2015.

Header image: Water Scars (2015). Exhibition view. Courtesy Chez Valentine, Paris.

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Family State of Mind @ Galerie Valentin, May 23 – Jun 28

21 May 2014

Petra Cortright and Ed Fornieles bring their latest exhibition, Family State of Mind, to Galerie Chez Valentin in Paris, running from May 23 to June 28.

The exhibition takes the notion of family as its theme, exploring this complex concept through painting and sculpture, with Cortright’s paintings depicting the interior architecture of a home and Fornieles’ sculptures rendering home decorations.

This process of taking something sacred and feeding it back in “its mediated representation”, the questioning of the idea of family or its attributes, is the troubling intention of the artists.

See the Galerie Chez Valentin website for details. **



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‘Art of Living’ @ Galerie Valentin (2013) install view

11 July 2013

Sprung from a conversation between Philippe and Frédérique Valentin and artist Luca Francesconi, Art of Living at Galerie Valentin, running from June 20 to July 27, looks at the objects that surrounds as an expression of our experience and hence, ourselves. Featuring work by artists Lupo Borgonovo, Sonia Kacem, Emanuele Marcuccio, Katja Novitskova, Timur Si-Qin and Anicka Yi, alongside a series of interviews on object by Francesconi, the show attempts to turn those objects into art, into a life narrative.

Incidentally, we interviewed Netherlands-based contributor Novitskova as she was preparing for the exhibition with her material experiments and, in opening on the same day as another show in Amsterdam, her ‘Shapeshifter 1’ was made from the material she wasn’t extremely allergic to. See the gallery for images. **

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