Green Art Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibition that reflects on the relationship between art and architecture, exploring the ways they influence and feed off each other. Infusing symbols that have been traditionally used in architecture, the artists in the exhibition question other formal enquiries and the relationship between man, objects and the space they inhabit. They produce fleeting and ambiguous realities which, momentarily, disturb our conditioned relationship with the objects that surround us. Theatre of the Absurd features works by Farah Atassi, Ana Mazzei, Nika Neelova, Hemali Bhuta and Elena Alonso.
In her grid-like paintings, French-Syrian artist Farah Atassi continues to consider space through an exploration of decorative motifs and architectural models. Using “display” objects that overlap and interlock, the artist creates ambiguous spaces with nods to Fernand Léger, Matisse, Malevich, Mondrian, and Charles and Ray Eames. In her new painting Modern Ballet (2017) she extends the question of architecture to the body, by building figures out of the structured shapes and straight lines, orchestrated with shapes that refer to the emblematic construction elements of the European avant-gardes, similar to those of the grid.
Men and narratives, in their inseparable relationships, define Ana Mazzei’s interest. It is from this perspective that her work develops and grows. For the artist, art, architecture and landscapes construct, in themselves, a fiction that connects them, resulting in installations, settings and objects. Some of the works operate on a smaller scale, such as the series of installations arranged on the floor formed by groups of small shapes made of felt, concrete or wood similar to the architectural models of old cities, amphitheaters or monuments. Beyond the formalist exercises, these floor objects invoke unidentified stories that suggest hidden and impenetrable archetypal structures. This dual movement, suggesting and retaining the symbolic value of the objects, is recurrent in her practice.
Working primarily with sculpture and large sculptural installations, Nika Neelova’s work seem to inhabit a post-human world in which human needs and definitions have long since been forgotten, remaining only as a vestigial memory in the forms of the sculptural subjects. Abstracted and seemingly evolved over countless generations from their ancestors, recognizable everyday objects have moved past the functionality once imposed upon them and become something new and different. For the exhibition, the artist presents a new work from her Lemniscate series. Pulled from raw material through the history of its function, the object made from an entire reclaimed bannister records the movements of the body through space when the body is no longer there. It acts as a mediator between the space and the body, a guide for the hand into three-dimensional space. The object meets the hand. The hand meets the object. The resulting work is a poetic interpretation about absence and the memory of touch.
Hemali Bhuta's multi-disciplinary practice is primarily concerned with the notion of an 'in between' or 'transitory' space and the elements that contain or create such spaces. For Bhuta, 'in-between-ness' is a plane where the limitations of dimensionality do not apply and there is a possibility for transcendence. By attempting to translate one medium or form to another, her practice questions the authority that frames an interior for its own purpose. Bhuta adopts materials that seem robust and ageless, but in fact are susceptible to disintegration over time, to reveal how appearances can be deceptive. Her site-specific sculptural works generally lie on the floor like fossils of bygone eras, sometimes embracing their spaces, and other times destabilizing them. Through the tension between the works and the spaces they inhabit, viewers experience a state of 'in-between-ness.'
Since its inception, Elena Alonso’s drawing practice has continuously redefined its own formal limits. The artist cultivates an ambiguous terrain in her iconography, somewhere between geometric abstraction and organic representation with allusions to the body. While using the language of other disciplines such as architecture, design and handicrafts she liberates them from their inherent practical use. This uncertainty of function is in contrast with the power of her meticulous compositions that pay strong attention to problems connected to our relationship with our surrounding. The materials used in the process further accentuate the ambiguity of the composition. Thus the drawings oscillate in a tension between precision and strangeness, the essential and the ornamental, and the abstract meaning of notations and methods used in the representation of architecture.