MASSIMODECARLO is pleased to present Balancing Act, a group exhibition that brings together the work of contemporary artists Nobuyoshi Araki, Monster Chetwynd, Thomas Houseago, Lee Kit, Elad Lassry, Matthew Monahan and Paloma Varga Weisz.
Analyzing the points of connection between different contemporary voices, MASSIMODECARLO writes a new chapter of the investigation begun in 2019 with MCMXXXIV, the inaugural exhibition of the gallery’s new headquarters in Milan, Casa Corbellini-Wassermann. The exhibition also continues the dialogue started with the show Bodywork: Discomfort and Existence housed in 2021.
Balancing Act is a repertoire of attention to corporality, where the human body is used as a form of investigation in painting, sculpture, and photography. The artists in the exhibition, using different approaches and techniques, are all driven by the representation of the body, whether enlarged, torn, fragmented, symbolic, recomposed, covered or uncovered. The body is always under pressure to address and reflect on structures of power and social relationships.
Paloma Varga Weisz’s ceramic sculptures, here shown for the first time, are purposefully unfinished. This expectional body of work alludes to the process of metamorphosis beneath the glassy surfaces of the artist’s imaginary characters. Varga Weisz’s hybrid archetypal creatures evoke fairy tales and folklore and possess subconcious symbolism. Lee Kit’s signature pastel palette and discrete works are enigmatic reflections on the habits and actions that shape our everyday life. In his paintings,
Lee Kit reveals the aura that surrounds ordinary objects, and by including the titles of the works in the surface of his multilayered paintings, he draws a personal notebook of quotidien gestures.
Thomas Houseago’s inspection of organic materials, such as wood and hemp with plaster and iron, create anthropomorphic and totemic sculptures resulting in a cross-pollination of high and low references. His sculptures are presented in dialogue with Monster Chetwynd’s miniature series dedicated to bats. Bats are nocturnal animals which the artist identifies as ecowarriors: essential players in the planet’s biodiversity, and subsequently the survival of humanity.
Elad Lassry appropriates the visual vocabulary of fashion photography and campaigns to question the boundaries of different aspects of visual culture. By using a commercial aesthetic in his photography, Lassry creates a new obscure lexicon that responds to the profusion of images in our contemporary world.
The sculptural bronze collages by Matthew Monahan are anti-monumental representations of human bodies under tension. By combining references to archeology with a sharp contemporary vision, Monahan represents the world as a ruin in which the memories of the past interwine with the visions of the future.
In the exhibition Monahan is in dialogue with a series of black and white erotic photographs by Nobuyoshi Araki. For this body of work, Araki intervenes with black ink directly on the surface of the photograph, realizing truly unique images that combine different artistic mediums and materials.