Le Cinquième Printemps
14 MARCH - 26 JUNE 2021
On the occasion of its fifth year anniversary, Custot Gallery Dubai is delighted to present a group exhibition of paintings and sculptures by the international artists Etel Adnan, Ali Banisadr, Fernando Botero, Nick Brandt, Chu Teh-Chun, Ian Davenport, Peter Halley, Richard Höglund, Yayoi Kusama, Umberto Mariani, Jedd Novatt, Marc Quinn, Pablo Reinoso, Arnaud Rivieren, Sophia Vari, Bernar Venet and Fabienne Verdier.
Highlights of the show include a major painting by Chinese master Chu Teh-Chun, one of the most prominent artists in the Chinese Modernist movement. His work Sons Éclatants, 1995 features an abstract landscape referencing his native environment, home of the angular Yellow Mountains. The expressive brushstrokes possess a profound sense of depth, poetry and musicality.
Present in the exhibition are two recent large-scale Vortex paintings from French abstract contemporary artist Fabienne Verdier. In these works, the artist continues the exploration into the painting of sounds and music, in particular the visual representation of breathing techniques employed by sopranos performing Mozart’s arias. The paintings are characterised by a single large, whirling helix, which dominates the composition and echoes the ascendant scaling sound of an aria.
Also, on view, a work by Marc Quinn, one of the most prominent figures of the Young British Artists group. The Eye of History (Atlantic Perspective) Points of Continent, 2012, depicts an iris at close range, in a photorealist way. A commentary on the paranoid world we live in and on the notion of 24-hour news, syncopating with the concept of our eroding and changing geographical world.
A monumental six-meter-high tree sculpture by Belgian sculptor Arnaud Rivieren is presented. The Dubai-based artist focuses on repurposing scavenged material found in steelyards of the UAE, breathing new life into them through a lengthy transformation process, reforming it into an imposing stainless steel tree. This unique sculpture is modeled after the Ghaf and Acacia plants prevalent in the arid region.
Continuing, visitors will be transported by a diptych, 2014, from the renowned Lebanese poet, writer and artist Etel Adnan. These palette-knife paintings, completed in one session, interprets through earth-hued tones the landscape of Mount Tamalpais near her Californian home.
The exhibition also presents La Cra, Harvest (After Van Gogh), 2018 from the British artist Ian Davenport. Davenport meticulously applies paint from a height, allowing it to ebb and flow in a single linear stroke, a process which is then repeated to form a landscape of colour. Davenport has taken this technique one step further, by co-opting the intricate puddled section at the bottom of the painting, as a sculptural element. The colour combinations of this painting directly reference the masterpiece painting The Harvest, 1888 by the Dutch post-impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh.
‘Le Cinquième Printemps’, French for ’The Fifth Spring’, celebrates the gallery anniversary through the French expression of being ’five springs old’, while at the same time emphasizing our relation to nature as humans. A theme apparent through many of the artworks on display and through the musical composition ’Printemps’ (1887) by Claude Debussy, a renowned French classical composer known for the musical inspiration he found in paintings and celebrated for his avant-gardism.