Artvera’s gallery is pleased to present Metaphysical Landscapes, an exhibition of works by four international artists, Marc Couturier, Evgeni Dybsky, Raffi Kaiser, and Frank Perrin. Curated by Paris-based art historian Jeanette Zwingenberger and Artvera’s director, Sofia Komarova, the exhibition brings together over thirty paintings, drawings, and photographs, which collectively explore multiple dimensions of time and space.
The exhibition borrows its title from metaphysical painting, the artistic movement established in Italy in 1917 by Giorgio de Chirico with a goal of "painting that which cannot be seen." De Chirico’s interest in “true reality” that is hidden behind the reality of appearances is echoed in the work of the four artists who use the tangible – landscape, architecture, figures, objects – as a conduit for their own mindset. Additionally, the title’s nod to art history is not coincidental: from Raffi Kaiser’s landscapes reminiscent of Japanese scroll painting to Evgeni Dybsky’s contemplations on Giotto frescos, all four artists quote classical art in their work – an important standpoint in our forgetful culture.
There is an unsettling element of disruption in the works of Evgeny Dybsky and Frank Perrin, which simultaneously serves to reaffirm the contemporaneousness of their vision. Evgeny Dybsky is inspired by landscapes and, more recently, Giotto's paintings. He creates bridges The selection of works reveals four distinct approaches: Raffi Kaiser’s drawings invite viewers to discover real landscapes, Marc Couturier’s paintings and found objects play with the emergence of figures and imaginary views, Evgeni Dybsky’s work examines historical painting and our perceptions of it whereas the ghost towns captured in Frank Perrin’s photographs deal with the memory of places.
“These exhibited works […] conceal enigmatic representations to render each spectator an active participant as well as arouse the state of waking-dream, the very essence of art itself.” writes Jeanette Zwingenberger in the exhibition catalog that will be published by Artvera’s.
"We are deeply indebted to curator Jeannette Zwingenberger who, with great sensitivity, selected the works and orchestrated a dialogue between them." writes Sofia Komarova in her foreword. "Drawings, oils on canvas, photographs, pure matter: the combination of visual and material elements in these juxtaposed landscapes makes them resonate all the more powerfully."
Marc Couturier (b. 1946) lives and works in Paris, France. In the early 1990s, Couturier discovered the idea of “redressement”, (recovery), which refers to an object or a group of objects whose shape calls up—by chance—an easily identifiable image. He presents them to viewers without modification: a shapeless stain becomes a figure; an old piece of wood takes the form of a cathedral. Couturier unveils secret movements of evocative marks and symbols and has a special gift for seizing the spirit of places. His work enters into dialogue with their surroundings. Couturier exhibits widely in solo and group shows, in USA, Japan, Switzerland and France, including most recently Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris (France), Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz (France), and Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris (France).
Evgeni Dybsky (b. 1955) lives and works between Berlin and Moscow. A graduate of the Surikov Academy of Art in Moscow, he participates in numerous group exhibitions and has solo shows in Europe and the United States. Dybsky, who studied the classical fresco technique in Italy, applies it to his work inviting the viewer to get back to the contemplation of materiality of painting. Drawing inspiration from Old Masters, Byzantine icons and Russian Constructivism, Dybsky’s paintings allude to images of the past while the abstraction of his fadeout technique reminds us of today’s moving images. Dybsky’s works are in public and private collections, including Moscow Museum of Modern Art (Russia); Museo di Arte Contemporanea, Rovereto (Italy); Kunsthalle Stiftung Henri Nannen, Emden (Germany); Fondazione Marconi, Milan (Italy); Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, New Brunswick (USA); and many others.
Raffi Kaiser (b.1931) was born in Jerusalem. He studied at the Bezalel Art and Design academy in Tel Aviv (1951), at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts of Paris (1952-1955), the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence (1955–1957) finishing his studies in Paris, in 1959. From 1960 to 1962, he lived in Tuscany where he studied the Renaissance masters. In 1962, Kaiser settled in Paris where he lives and works now. Kaiser’s exquisite landscape drawings document the memories of his thirty years of travels-- Chinese lands, volcanic Japanese regions, the Grand Canyon, Israel’s deserts. With no horizon or any reference to human scale, Kaiser drives the viewer to a primordial place, an imaginary journey. The winner of the 'Best Foreign Artist' prize at Musée d'art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, he exhibits worldwide.
Frank Perrin (b. 1963) lives and works in Paris. Formerly a philosophy teacher and art critic, Perrin started taking photographs in 1998 and has since received international acclaim for his series, including “Joggers,” “Post-Capitalism” as well as his images of Cinecittà film studios in Rome. The latter document legendary shooting locations of Federico Fellini and Martin Scorcese, among others, which have since become ghost towns. Significant exhibitions have included those at the Daelim Musem, Seoul (Korea); Contemporary Art Museum Les Abattoirs Toulouse, (France); and recently, new works at Centre Pompidou Metz (France); and Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt (Germany).
Jeanette Zwingenberger, PhD., is an art historian and curator and a member of the AICA (International Association of Art Critics). She published her dissertation on Hans Holbein the Younger, The shadow of death, in 1999, Parkstone, London. Zwingenberger lectures at the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris and teaches art history at various universities, including Paris and Tours (France), Freiburg (Switzerland) and the University of Chicago (USA). Her recently curated exhibitions include shows at Kunsthalle Dominikanerkirche, Osnabrück (Germany); Moscow Museum of Modern Art; and the Venice Biennale.
Artvera’s is a Geneva-based art gallery specializing in European and Russian masters of modern art. Since opening its doors in 2007, Artvera’s has offered museum-quality exhibitions and promoted the discovery and rediscovery of prominent artists, sometimes overlooked by art historians and scholars. To complement the stable of twentieth century Modern masters, Artvera’s also showcases noteworthy nationally and internationally established and emerging contemporary artists. The 5,400 square-foot gallery occupies a lovingly restored medieval building in the heart of Geneva’s old town.
The gallery has presented individual and group exhibitions, including “Der Blaue Reiter, Die Brücke, The Knave of Diamond” (2008-2009), “Serge Charchoune: Retrospective” (2009-2010), “Pointillism” (2011), “Friedrich Karl Gotsch” (2011-2012), “Gérard Schneider” (2012-2013), “René Rimbert” (2013-2014), “S.P.R.A.Y” (2014), “Swiss Photo” (2014) and “Lavrenty Bruni” (2014).
Artvera’s collaborates closely with museums, and regularly lends artworks to prestigious exhibitions worldwide. The gallery is led by director Sofia Komarova. Schooled in St. Petersburg and Geneva, Komarova possesses a vast wealth of knowledge and a wide range of expertise in acquisition and appraisal.
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