The Galerie Dukan is pleased to present Choice, a collective exhibition featuring works by Thomas Agrinier, Omar Ba, Aron Demetz, Axel Pahlavi, Vitaly Pushnitsky, Leopold Rabus and Duncan Wylie. Artists and works gathered in the same synergy, pulsated by the eyes of the director, Sam Dukan. A delighted opportunity to follow - or discover in some cases - the career of these artists. Their tours differ, of course, but they have one thing in common: their paths have crossed those of the Galerie Dukan or its director over the last few years.
Choice. A choice results from the decision of an individual or a group confronted with a situation or a system offering one or more options. The term "choice" can point out the process by which this operation is carried out and / or the result of the latter. Choice is ultimately the breadcrumb that guides the entire dynamic of this exhibition.
Thomas Agrinier (Born in 1976 / lives and works in Paris)
A figurative painter with an atypical style, he creates a universe that contrasts with some of current depressive productions: his paintings are both optimistic and playful, exploiting a poetic and sincere humour. The characters are amputated or deformed by the action - so many ways to signify the movement - and emerge on very elaborate backgrounds that quote his admiration for the Renaissance. Inspired by film, comics, music, grimacing masks and Walt Disney-style hands recall the world as seen by a child's eyes.
Young emerging artist revealed at the Salon de Montrouge (France) in 2009, having joined the gallery few months ago, Thomas Agrinier is a breath of fresh air.
Omar Ba (Born in 1977 / lives and works in Dakar and Geneva)
His paintings, produced using a variety of techniques and materials, represent political and social motifs open to multiple interpretations. His artistic vocabulary raises historical and timeless questions while formulating a wholly contemporary artistic message. Omar Ba’s iconography features personal metaphors, ancestral references and hybrid figures. This combination of heterogeneous elements illustrates his desire to abolish boundaries and categories. His work, with its enigmatic nature and poetic intensity, rejects all forms of didactic narrative, seeking instead to express his subconscious and his symbolic interpretation of the real
Currently represented by Galerie Daniel Templon, Omar Ba makes an incursion at Galerie Dukan with a selected work.
Aron Demetz (Born in 1972 / lives and works in Ortisei)
Aron Demetz comes from an old family of Ladin sculptors from Val Gardena in Italy; the name Demetz means "from afar". The sculptor creates images that combine coherence and decomposition. They are, at the same time, metaphors of the lack and figuration of the full, even the overfull. His silhouettes recall that often the Being is the willing dupe of a programmed game. The textile is no longer covered; it becomes the mise en abîme of a body, the illness of Being in the hope, surely in a vital burst.
Admiring his work and in relation for many years, this exhibition is finally an opportunity to work with Aron Demetz.
Axel Pahlavi (Born in 1975 / lives and works in Berlin)
Axel Pahlavi paints in the register of emotion. A strong emotion, primary, without filter. His sceneries represent dramatic moments; his compositions show a great technical skill. He is part of this generation of painters who define themselves in relation to Gerhard Richter, undisputed master of the antinomy, between figuration and abstraction. The most famous is certainly the painter Neo Rauch but we must also mention the influence of other artists from Leipzig school: Bernhard Heisig or Tim Eitel.
Axel Pahlavi and Galerie Dukan had already met in 2004 in Marseille and in 2011 in Paris; Choice is the occasion for enthusiastic reunions.
Vitaly Pushnitsky (Born in 1967 / lives and works in St. Petersburg)
Among Russia’s leading contemporary artists, Vitaly Pushnitsky has built up a rich and varied body of work, through which he probes space, time, and the history of art and civilizations. He works in a range of media, including painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and installation, and has also utilized found images and objects. Among the themes to which he returns is that of the artist’s place—in time and society. Pushnitsky’s work often features motifs borrowed from pre-modern art-historical periods, to which he gives a decidedly contemporary spin through clever, often conceptual alterations.
Vitaly Pushnitsky's participation in the exhibition owes a great deal to Alexander Tinei, an artist represented by the Galerie Dukan and an art messenger between East and West.
Léopold Rabus (Born in 1977 / lives and works in Neuchâtel)
“Most people who look at my paintings find them grim. They are certainly not wrong, but I am quite annoyed. Personally, I find my paintings rather romantic or absurd. By the fact that I am inspired by my direct environment, I feel very clearly these two components, the absurd and the romanticism. The back of the house of my neighbours, when comes the evening, reminds me by its state of abandonment, a melancholy landscape, the Roman ruins of the eighteenth century. And the front of the same house makes me think of that which is in the movie Mon oncle by Jacques Tati. Without expressing any criticism, this aesthetic duality inspires me. I am amazed every day by the image we give to the things that surround us, the ones we want to show arranged and those that are considered unsightly - which pictorially brings me to this difficulty of mixing figuration and abstraction.”
Ten years of preliminaries lead to this first collaboration between Leopold Rabus and the Galerie Dukan.
Duncan Wylie (Born in 1975 / lives and works between London and Paris)
Witnessing the rapid transformation and collapse of all infrastructure in his country of origin, Zimbabwe, Duncan Wylie's reaction was to employ a similar form of entropy in the painting protocol. The entropy of the pictorial process serves not to describe a negative state of affairs, but to affirm his faith in paint and its capacity to speak of the flux and rapid change of our era. The simultaneity of images that is the core of his images making process provokes an “up-ending” which speaks in paint: between balance and loss of balance, the image becomes active and speaks about our times. By multiplying the documentary sources of his images, the painting escapes description: it engenders its own details and debris, and the finished work does not refer back to a specific place, instead a more generic and universal idea.
After collaborating between 2004 and 2010, the paths of the artist and the gallery had separated. It was only to better meet today: the Galerie Dukan represents Duncan Wylie again in Germany.