marine lover: snakes and metal
marlene dumas, abraham kritzman, violeta paez armando, ulay, müge yilmaz
22 October 2022 - 19 November 2022
Elizabeth Xi Bauer & Bradwolff Projects present Marine Lover: Snakes and Metal
curated by Àngels Miralda
Private view 22 October 2022 5 – 9 pm
Exhibition runs until 19 November 2022
This exhibition shows the transformative power of materials in art. The curator Àngels Miralda was inspired by the natural forces of plants, matter, and water, and how these materials oscillate from solid to liquid. Works of art also move through liquid states before taking their final form. In the process of making there is a moment before a finished artwork appears when fundamental matter takes shape, for instance the solidification of wax or the flow of watercolor. Pigment swims through paper fibers before the water evaporates. Even oil paint dries on the studio wall before it is definitively finished.
With five artists, Marine Lover: Snakes and Metal is a dialogic exhibition about subjects related to the liquidity of works of art. ‘In Woman giving birth to a snake’ (1989) Marlene Dumas combines some of her usual subjects using her watercolor technique. Women and sexuality are recurring themes in her work through different series of nudes. Here however, she depicts a series of fast lines crossing the inside and the outside of an outstretched woman.
Abraham Kritzman uses a lost wax method in combination with bronze casting. The original wax is made with a method developed by Kritzman and Paez Armando with which the wax is “painted” on a sculptural body. The features of the wax make it disappear as the molten metal slowly replaces its mass – like an alchemical transformation. Kritzman’s works have followed several liquid changes, be it oil drying on canvas, the melting and stiffening of wax, or the molten bronze that sits on vanishing wax which burns into air.
The works of Violeta Paez Armando continue the exploration of the feminine monster and the symbolism of ancient figures relevant to our time. In Molting (2022) silicone is sculpted into a snakeskin formation and stretched over a metal frame. Here, this skin highlights the feminine monstrosity that’s depicted in the drawing by Marlene Dumas across the space. Pliny said of snakes that they spring sickness can be cured with the juice of wild lettuce. Dragontails are also produced in bronze and a pendant hangs from the ceiling like a mummified luck charm with a glass lens that reflects light but also reveals the interior.
The two photographic works by Ulay in this exhibition are from the Patagonia series (2010) in a larger body of work called Waterfonie (2009). These two photos were taken in 2010 exhibited at Bradwolff Projects space curated by Christine van den Bergh. Together with his son Jurriaan Löwensteyn, Ulay crossed 6.000 kilometers of land that was often called ‘the end of the world’. This is what he searched for with two Nokia N82 phones waterfalls, glaciers and rivers to photograph. This vintage technology captures the vast, rugged vistas of young and glacial mountains, as well as foggy images doubly seen through a Leica binocular telephoto lens.
Müge Yilmaz uses molten aluminum and wood to create dripping pools of matter that splash over canyons like waterfalls. The materials are important in the tension that wood and molten metal contain – if the wood contains moisture, the metal cause an intense explosion on contact. Instead, the prepared materials the intensity of contact in delicate wisps of burnt matter and the reflective surface of aluminium.