Galerie Eva Presenhuber is pleased to host fellow Swiss gallery Weiss Falk and their exhibition Found Refined Refound, a group show extending from the material investigation of six artists from Weiss Falk’s orbit.
By taking on found objects and developing formulas to deal with those objects, each artist develops a unique approach to the object trouvé. These interventions are updates on ongoing considerations within each practice, and become strategies by repetition of process. On the occasion of this exhibition, Eva Presenhuber’s New York space will also be occupied by Weiss Falk’s gallerists and their pop-up art cinema Kino Süd.
Kino Süd, which was originally initiated in 2016 as an experimental cinema and part of Timothée Calame’s (*1991 in Geneva, CH) exhibition in Weiss Falk’s Basel space, will take over the downstairs gallery for a series of screenings throughout March. As such, this space will oscillate between an extension of the exhibition as well as a screening room, with 2-4 evening programs each week organized by Weiss Falk and a host of artists, curators, and friends of the gallery. New sculptures by Lorenza Longhi (*1991 in Lecco, IT) will act as signage for the theater. The artist assembled these objects by removing their original content and introducing augmented playing cards with the letters K, I, and N cut out. She toys with language here, providing the space for one to assume that these cards might read KINK instead of KINO.
Longhi offers two additional bodies of work for this exhibition. She responds directly to the materials at hand, her techniques and compositional modes following suit. Longhi’s paintings result from a process of silk-screening deadstock designer fabrics, which she sources from Mood Fabrics (of Project Runway fame). The text on these surfaces were found in a business magazine from the 80s in which case studies were published. “Problem” and “Action taken” are repeated across the three paintings, but she neglects to include the “Results.” Elsewhere, Longhi has constructed handmade Camellia with scrap fabrics. This particular flower, notable for its recurring presence in Chanel ad campaigns, was selected by Longhi for its cultural associations. She interferes with the elegance of these objects by placing inactive cameras at their cores, nodding to the surveillance state’s imposition.
Timothée Calame’s panels arrive in the studio bearing the vestiges of advertisements and event posters as well as the occasional electoral campaign. These panels are readymades full of spectrums that Calame only partially obscures via sandpaper. After the surfaces are further flattened, he applies letters from his collection of Letraset sheets — the ancestor of InDesign. This typographical dimension contributes to Calame’s own poetico-political program, which stages the plurality of language at the fore. One such painting will hang downstairs and function as the screen for the gallery-turned-theater. While these works bear slight dimensionality, they float between the categories of wall-bound sculpture, readymades, and painting. Benches and tabletops fashioned from scavenged materials are present in the gallery’s mainspace as well as in the basement. Klara Lidén (*1979 in Stockholm, SE) assembled these constructions with the twofold function as sculpture and furniture. Originally staged at Reena Spaulings in 2014, the press release asserts that this original installation “channels the rustic abstraction of downtown eateries” as communal zones through spatial manipulation. Further, the actual materials employed by Lidén imply disrupted and reestablished contexts, as they appear hyper industrial and supersized. On screening nights, when the downstairs space transforms into Kino Süd, Lidén’s seating arrangement will become functional for the audience members.
Daniele Milvio (*1988 in Genoa, IT) works between sculpture and painting, incorporating literature, architecture, pop culture, and the like into his exploratory, atemporal practice. His multifaceted output found a new path in the late summer of 2021, when the artist discovered a defunct snakeskin processing factory. Noticing the bizarre production methods of the reptile industry, Milvio collected skins from the facility and rehabilitated them in the context of painting. At first he sought to create pure abstractions on top of these objects, but began following their natural patterning and evoking forms in harmony with the scales. In doing so, Milvio developed a process of finding his compositions rather than creating them.
Sveta Mordovskaya (*1989 in Ulan-Ude, RU) conceives of her own arrangementsas-sculptures, creating micro-situations through an intuitive assembly process. She considers the past lives of these objects, contorting and perverting them in order to fully displace them from their original contexts. In doing so, she pursues a specific unification. Mordovskaya recognizes this sort of assemblage as existing somewhere between a nest and a grave. The former denotes a developmental stage, one full of potentiality, while the latter confronts inertia or else the possibility of an afterlife. Each piece is titled “Snow” followed by one of three subnames: „Home,“ „Sex,“ and „Blood.” This poses both linguistic ambiguity and a tension between words and form. Two of Mordovskaya’s wall works will also be on view in the exhibition, countering the loose floor compilations with confined, wooden structures and forms.
In seeking an alternative to the extensively historicized oil on canvas, Urban Zellweger (*1991 in Zurich, CH) repurposes pizza boxes as the surfaces for his paint. He manipulates the designs of these boxes by either partially obscuring or entirely deleting their original content, then adds his own. On occasion he will go so far as to appropriate imagery from one pizza box and implement it onto another one. While previous contributions to this series have seen the use of modestly sized boxes, Zellweger will leverage the American context: bigger is better! The larger scale in combination with new pizza shop imagery provides a new basis for pictorial exploration, as Zellweger activates the found background within his compositions. He’s created these new images with direct consideration of the New York situation, as the city’s characteristic skyscrapers recur throughout. The verticality of these buildings mirror Zellweger’s previous trees, with their upwardly oriented dispositions.
Upon entering the space, one encounters an early pizza box by Zellweger. This piece, taken from the artist’s Zürich context, emerged from his time in quarantine when the only contact with an outside world came in the form of pizza deliveries. His desire to expand the medium yielded this distinct framework and, ultimately, the first ongoing series of the artist’s career. A single panel by Calame hangs across from the box, its kaleidescopic linguistics foregrounding “Social Cascade” and “POPULAR PASSION” in a cross-like intersection. The artist’s residuous surfaces are compatible with those of Milvio, whose double abstractions mark the endnote to the gallery’s first room.
In the capacious mainspace, Klara Lidén’s manipulated furniture dominate the floor, while Mordovskaya’s object-oriented situations are assembled intermittently on the ground. The fabrics of Longhi, a single Zellweger pizza box, dual Calame’s, and another Milvio work line the walls, each producing a confrontation with alternative surfaces and experimental material applications. The viewer is motivated by Longhi’s makeshift Kino signs to follow the stairs to the gallery’s lower level, where Mordovskaya’s cross suggests an encounter with an underground cathedral. Another set of Lidén’s benches and tabletops are centered in the space alongside her water jug light fixture. A row of Zellweger’s newest pizza boxes again confront a Calame panel, which (as aforementioned) will become the cinema screen during Kino hours. As the viewer turns to leave, however, a final Milvio snakeskin bids adieu.
Text by Reilly Davidson