The fifth and last chapter of ARTUNER’s first exhibition entirely dedicated to works on paper - The Realm of Objects and Ideas - presents works by Michael Armitage, Patrizio Di Massimo, and Toby Ziegler.
In the past weeks we explored artists whose practice experiments with paper as a site of resistance, as an object, as a means for reproducibility or uniqueness, and as a way for breaking barriers between artistic media.
The present installment looks at artworks characterised by a unique approach to the oneiric and the mythical - often as a gateway to discussing the present.
Toby Ziegler's ‘Equivalents for Megaliths 10’ pays homage to a similarly titled work by Paul Nash. Nash’s tribute to contemporary abstract forms, as ‘equivalent’ to totemic prehistoric standing stones, famously brings together the artist’s chief concerns with “the abstract qualities of structure and design; a dreamlike super-reality having links with Surrealism; and the English landscape and its history”. In Ziegler’s drawing, cups and saucers float in the void: with Lewis Carollian humour, these ‘megaliths’ of British culture are rendered in an op art style.
Michael Armitage's hand-finished lithograph, like much of his oeuvre, approaches contemporary social and political situations in East Africa through a dreamlike lens. Here, he depicts what might appear as an out-of-time mystical scene of women worshiping a tree by the Ewaso N’giro river, surrounded by a whirlwind of wild animals, while he is, in fact, commenting on a very contemporary issue.
Patrizio Di Massimo's Indian ink and watercolour on paper's take on the myth of creation - of life as well as art. Reminiscent of Classical antiquity, his characters tumble out amphorae, emerging from iridescent liquid, or blow ebullient nebulae containing universes from their potent chests. Here, water reveals itself as a powerful metaphor for the creative process, where paper becomes a receptive vessel and fertile enabler of the artist’s own creative force.