Gallery A: Hany Armanious
Opening Thursday October 29th 2009 – from 7 pm to 9,30 pm – From October 29th to December 23rd 2009
The work of Hany Armanious (Egypt, 1962 – lives and works in Sydney), in its apparent clarity, conceals an elaborate process of creation, both material and psychological, which is designed to modulate new realities through visionary paths.
For his first exhibition in Italy, Armanious presents a number of sculptures made entirely of polyurethane resin, a material used to faithfully reproduce real objects, such as: furniture, tables, buckets, polystyrene panels, neon, sand and stones. These no longer functional object are retrieved by the artist who first makes a mould, obtaining a copy which is an exact fac-simile. All production stages are carried out directly by Armanious, from the conception to the configuration between the sculptures, in which the colour is mixed directly with the resin while still in liquid form. What emerges is the artist-alchemist who not only gives new life, crystallized to objects but provides a new meaning through visual and semantic matching. Morphology and cultural similarities make the work recognizable, but in a sense stranger. Hidden in this transformation process, irony is in the act of shaping objects which are removed from their context and deprived of their original function, creating a new and suggestive vocabulary. A poetry based on the opposition or combination of images, the use of analogy and the study of materials.
The idea to present the object again, identical in form but different in substance is an almost liberating practice, a sort of catharsis filled with iconic references to ancient philosophies, influences from archaic cultures or conversely deriving from the ordinary. Armanious recreates hyper-realistic enigmatic worlds in resin, often imbued with an alienating non-sense, in which the object is not functional but above all is saved from destruction. In this the artist is defined as an archaeologist of the contemporary, careful discoverer, cataloguer and preserver of what is overlooked. A kind of allegory of creation, or rather of re-creation, in which even the least considered object can regain its aura.
Hany Armanious has exhibited at:
Contemporary Art Museum St Louis, St Louis, 2008, USA. (solo exhibition) / Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2006, New Zealand. (solo exhibition) / Australia Centre of Contemporary Art, Melbourne, 2006, AUS. / Ocular Lab Inc., Melbourne, 2005, AUS (solo exhibition) / UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, 2001, USA. (solo exhibition) / Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne, 2001, AUS. / National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 1998, AUS. / Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 1998, AUS. / Johannesburg Biennale, Museumafrica, Johannesburg, 1995, South Africa / Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney,1994, AUS. / Biennale di Venezia, Venezia, 1993, Italy. / 9th Sydney Biennale, Sydney, 1992, AUS.
Grant Australia Council for the Arts 2009