Wood, Stone and Friends
28 Nov - 22 Dec, 2013
23 Heddon Street London W1B 4BQ
Sprovieri is delighted to present the third solo exhibition by Jimmie Durham 'Wood, Stone and Friends'.
The six sculptures were produced in 2012 for Durham's exhibition at The Sala Dorica in the Palazzo Reale, Naples and will be exhibited in the UK for the first time. Striking assemblages of wood sourced from four different types of trees and industrial metal fragments create a surreal setting midway between a forest and a factory.
'The basis of Durham’s artistic practice lies in the attempt to deconstruct the concepts of European culture by giving the essence of the object the power to tell its own story. The principles of celebratory monumentality, permanence and universality of architecture and sculpture, for centuries regarded as means for affirming the identity of a people and its culture, are rejected to free the object from the human urge to control its nature: the lava rock that composes the Doric hemicycle of Piazza del Plebiscito has the capacity to describe itself and recount itself regardless of the character imposed by the artistic styles and currents that have configured its form by their succession.
The sculptures are fashioned out of the dismembered and reassembled timber from two ancient olive trees from Puglia, a walnut tree from Molise, a chestnut tree and various tropical trees. The richness of wood with its scents, nodes and stratifications of time, the tactile variety of its texture, capable of communicating the essence of their being and transfer into the space where it is placed part of the history of the places from which it comes and the events it has witnessed in the flowing of the years. In this way the viewers can experience the reality of the ambiance created thanks to the primordial and empathic relationship that develops from contact with the material.
Durham is inspired here by the work of Brancusi and his attempt to capture and reproduce the essences of things through a sculptural process that seeks to bring out its actual reality, the idea underlying the object rather than its visible form.'
Born in Arkansas in 1940, Jimmie Durham is a sculptor, essayist and poet. He began working as a sculptor in 1963 and in 1969 he moved to Europe and studied at the École des beaux-arts in Geneva. His solo exhibitions in Europe included venues such as MuHKA, Antwerp (2012), the Glasgow International Festival (2010), the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2009), the Musée d'Art Contemporain, Marseilles (2003), the Museum Voor Actuele Kunst in den Hague (2003), the Kunstverein, Munich (1998) and the Wittgenstein Haus, Vienna (1996). Durham participated in the Venice Biennale (2013, 2005, 2003, 2001, 1999), Documenta (2012, 2002) and the Whitney Biennale (2006 and 1993).