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.

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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.

Installation views

ARTWORKS

ABOUT Esiri Erheriene-Essi

Born in 1982 in London, United Kingdom
Lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Esiri Erheriene-Essi is predominately a painter of mid to large-scale paintings concerned with figuration, history and society. She is captivated by history – in particular, images, objects, and documents which we can return to, in order to examine both individual and shared memories and histories. A large part of her practice entails collecting and creating an archive, which could potentially become incorporated into her work. Archives are important to the artist as they create links and orders that she can question and play with – she searches for the discrepancies, the silences, in order to, through painting, create interruptions and assaults on the canonical historical narrative. With hindsight, bias and curiosity, she takes these discordances and brings them up to the surface. Erheriene-Essi continuously re-edits the narratives with the hope of robbing history of some of its tyrannical power by creating new scenarios. Or rather, she is incessantly attempting to imagine more humane and liberating narratives than what has gone before. In the process she perhaps slightly changes our readings of history and thereby shows how we write the present.

In her work, Erheriene-Essi makes many references to popular culture, because popular culture is profoundly mythic and loaded. The canvases she makes are a theatre of popular desires and fantasies, where we all can discover and play with the process of identification. These ‘theatrical scenes’ show the imagined as well as the underrepresented, not only to the viewer but also to the artist herself. The paintings ‘play’ in their own way – they are telling a story, even though the scenes have no beginning, middle or end – they are cut off mid flow, out of context, are frozen, silent and still. Yet they have ‘sound’ as if they are performing and want to be heard. The audience is continuously invited to watch as well as to try and decipher the haphazard plot in which characters are encased in. The good thing about performing on canvas is that anything is possible – and that is what intrigues Erheriene-Essi the most.

esirierheriene-essi.com

GO TO THE ARTIST PAGE

ABOUT Krištof Kintera

Krištof Kintera (1973) is probably today’s most challenging and respected artist working in the Czech Republic. His works mainly explore the boundaries of contemporary sculpture. Kintera’s practice unfolds from public installations to small kinetic devices. What makes his work special is that he 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 main topics of our times.

The artist 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 have no other goal than to seduce you. These absurd household appliances clearly illustrate the artist’s ability to create sculptures that are iconic works by engaging with the materiality of objects and with issues of ecology and consumption.

GO TO THE ARTIST PAGE