ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Galerie Ron Mandos proudly presents the two solo exhibitions MAY BE IT IS HERE from Krištof Kintera and The Usual Suspects from Esiri Erheriene-Essi, with new work of both artists. It is the first time Kintera’s work will be presented at the gallery.
Krištof Kintera | MAY BE IT IS HERE:
There are few artists who are able to make ambiguity so attractive as the latest addition to the gallery Krištof Kintera (1973). For many years now, he has been known as an artist who produces work that even the most art illiterate are able to obtain something from. However, what makes his work special is that despite this obvious catchiness, he is able to make sharp, often intuitive decisions that produce a far more multi-layered experience. This results in poetic images and an ambiguity, notably in his sculptures, in their engagement with the large topics of our times.
Krištof Kintera’s oeuvre is rooted in the “after the wall” period of the 90’s, a decade of wild capitalisation in Central and Eastern Europe accompanied by aggressive advertising campaigns in the public space. In this period Kintera produced his now famous Appliances series. These beautiful products, sculptures slickly enclosed in commercial packaging and now on show in the Kunsthal in Rotterdam, have no other goal than to seduce you, doing nothing other than consuming electricity and laying there, quietly purring. These absurd household appliances clearly illustrate Kintera´s ability to create sculptures that are iconic whilst simultaneously fleeing the safe haven of art by engaging with the materiality of objects and with issues of ecology and (energy) consumption. After his residency at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam his work has become increasingly communicative and energised; producing pieces that talk, smoke, move, bang and buzz. While his larger installations have shown Kintera´s interest and experience with theatre and stage design.
Simultaneously a shift has taken place in his choice of materials. The materials of Kintera´s sculptures maintain their physical presence and identity while now being penetrated by other objects. Thus an ever-growing number of inferior materials gain weight and character in his work. Seductive as ever, his colourful and playful current works path the way for further ambiguity, doubt and even darkness, such as his piece entitled Devil, theatrically installed in the bunker of the Kunsthal. Krištof Kintera seems increasingly interested in formlessness on the periphery of the man-made world. Dirty socks coated in silver plates; lumps of dirty city snow that slowly melt into a puddle of water; polyurethane blobs that engulf a pair of sun-glasses and other everyday objects that in this way gain the character of an Ensoresque mask.
In his artist’s world, fragile trees move nervously, affected by the global issues of our time; a fly buzzing inside an upside-down bucket continuously chases you around the gallery space as if stating that its problems ‘are bigger than ours’. An amused smile further on in exhibition introduces the notion that perhaps the fly´s problems might be our own. Aren´t we, while busy buzzing around, not also trapped in a dirty bucket of a world that keeps morphing in order to every so often implode into a formless matter? In spite of these assertions, Kintera’s work is far from simple nihilistic commentary. He avoids this through playful, creative and direct communication with the audience, as well as paradoxical and ambiguous elements in the work.
Esiri Erheriene-Essi | The Usual Suspects:
Similar general comments could be asserted about the work of Esiri Erheriene-Essi (1982) and this is also the reason why her recent paintings supplement the sculptures of Kintera in this exhibition. Her works focus the gaze through seemingly innocent subjects decomposed and fractured into brightly coloured painterly forms.
From a distance there appears to be one clear image, taken from the recent past, recalling the Apartheid period, racial struggle and improved Black empowerment in the growing presence of Afro-American artists in the 1960’s pop industry. However, once one focuses more closely on the canvas, the dominant and often iconic image dissolves into an expressive composition of colour strokes. The flat surface serves as a type of archive of a certain period, often unsettling, that give face, depth and period background to the dominant image. She further links this past with the present by means of a well-chosen title.