The project “Somewhere Between” comprises two exhibitions by Mateusz Szczypiński and Benjamin Bronni in Stuttgart and in Warsaw. Below you can find a photo report from the first part of this project that took place at Galerie Parrotta Contemporary Art in Stuttgart.
Both artists were born in the mid-1980s and even though they grew up in two different countries, they share references to a common visual tradition which each of them is working through in his own way. Despite different media – Benjamin’s works are mostly spatial installations, while Mateusz deals mainly with painting – their creative methodologies betray a robust common denominator.
Each of the two shows will also feature interventions by the other artist, thus opening the possibility of confronting their dissimilar approaches to the legacy of abstract art on the one hand, while on the other – of discerning certain formal similarities in their practice. Fascination with Modernism, shared by Bronni and Szczypiński, marks a point of departure for each artist’s individual investigations. They become Benjaminian “materialist historians”, who construct an image of the contemporary on the ruins and partly forgotten snippets of the past. They are trying to analyse and determine anew the mutual relations and dependencies between forms, hues, surfaces, compositions and space. They launch attempts to decipher them and locate again in a new place in the contemporary reflection on painting, sculpture, or installation. One of their adopted methods consists in the use of modules, marked for their repetitiveness and seeming predictability.
Bronni develops his works on the basis of a rigid geometrical form which enters a space and operates as the basis and the building material of the subsequently generated objects. The artist experiments with materials, texture, layers, permeation of forms and infinite potential of their simplification or development. His works adopt the form of multi-layered, abstract mosaics composed of precisely cut and glued MDF board or wood. Aesthetically, Bronni’s practice refers to the avant-garde sculpture and object, however, it never boils down to a mere reference to historic forms. Formal liaisons occur alongside distortions and disobedience to modernist paradigms. Bronni plays with both empty and developed spaces, geometric and organic forms alike. Many of his objects are also marked for their frontal character. The specific location and orientation of the composition towards the viewer determines not only the inner structure of the works, but also deliberately relates them to the viewer.
Szczypiński’s practice is not far-removed from the Dadaist gesture which extracts an object from its usual configuration and shifts it onto new layers of interpretation. His art does not match any specific narration, maintaining a position between painting and collage, the past and the future. Szczypiński’s method consists in beginning anew, rebounding from chaos and the inability to control it. This strategy leads him, among others, to attempts at a sort of “arrangement” achieved, among others, through the introduction of geometrical forms and application of the module – a repetitive element, like a single building within the urban tissue, or a fragment of a trivial newspaper crossword, whose structure quite unexpectedly reveals unlimited potential of generating visual sets.
Curator: Dobromiła Błaszczyk
Organisers: Fundacja Lokal Sztuki, lokal_30, Galerie Parrotta Contemporary Art in Stuttgart
Media patronage: Contemporary Lynx, Magazyn Szum
Project co-financed by the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation
Both exhibitions will be accompanied by catalogues.
Benjamin Bronni, born in Nürtingen in 1985, lives in Stuttgart. Student at the National Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart at the studio of Prof. Birgit Brenner, and at École Nationale Supérieure Des Beaux-Arts de Lyon. Twice awarded the Prize of the National Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart. Following numerous shows in Germany, as well as France and Switzerland, this year sees the artist’s first individual display in Poland.
Mateusz Szczypiński, born in Piekary Śląskie in 1984, lives and works in Cracow. Studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow, and art history at the Jagiellonian University. Works on display at a plethora of individual and group exhibitions. Received two nominations to the Strabag Art Award International. His works belong to an array of collections, e.g. The Collection Annette and Peter Nobel.
MATEUSZ SZCZYPIŃSKI »OUR MATTERS«
ANNEX: BENJAMIN BRONNI »KANTUM«
GALERIE PARROTTA CONTEMPORARY ART
STUTTGART, 24 JANUARY – 8 MARCH 2014