“When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.”
—Ernest Hemingway, 'A Moveable Feast'
Entering into a new season signifies a moment to look into arts that reflect on our immediate environment. Danysz gallery is pleased to present an online exhibition that aims to examine the work of six artists and their artistic engagement with lifeforms – either through text, painting, or photography.
André Saraiva draws on the improvisational potential and free play of possibilities. In the 2000s, he began a performative project called ‘Love Graffiti’ in which he would spray paint the name of someone's lover at an address of his or her choosing. To further enhance the idea of play in his evolving practice, the artist introduced his alter ego, Mr. A, a character with signature ‘X’ and ‘O’ eyes, grinning from the city walls at the passers-by. The artist is curious to find out what happens when our behaviour is influenced by the idea of game. Looking at the phenomenology of movement, game brings about a form of kinesthetic freedom; games begin, are played out, even end, only to be repeated by players who want to continue playing, over and over again as the pleasure of the experience drives the desire. André’s artistic language is revolving around bold colours. The artist's signature use of candy pink and azure blue, ranging from its faint hues to neon, expresses positive emotions; happiness, playfulness and even poetics.
The work of Robert Montgomery offers a different kind of visual exploration. Often deeply emotional, inspired by the graffiti artists of East London and the poetry of Philip Larkin, Robert Montgomery’s text-based works can be found at the most unexpected places, luring us to tap into our inner poet. Under his touch the city becomes a place of participation. He writes large-scale texts on billboards or light works; “whereas graffiti sprayers usually covertly place their tags in the grey zones of awareness—on underpasses, overpasses, or the walls of buildings; Montgomery operates openly, using, among others, bus stops, parks, and billboards as projection screens.” (Ingo Arend)
More recently, Robert Montgomery started producing poetic paintings depicting elements of human and natural form, often derived from his immediate surroundings. Using subtle color palette, his styles range from the naturalistic, to the abbreviated and abstract, indicating a way of differentiating among modes of representation, that is akin to postmodern practices. Artists in the exhibition don’t shy away from examining the potential of colors to project mood. Composed in a symphony of rhythmic markmaking, Castelbajac’s Sans Titre 3, 2019 rendered in patterns of blue, orange, green and yellow, de-emphase the significance of the image, and instead project ideas of happiness and joy.
In the work of these artists, the whimsical dreamscape, however, has a direct link to the contemporary societies. The changing shape of our environment and the multiplicity of botanical richness all expand our engagement with world, whether it is a result of prescribed rituals connected to physical activity or a simple visual and sensorial engagement with the outdoors.