• TREES DIE STAND: Plants and Humans

    Curated by Freda Uziyel
  • “Do not see me fall. Dead inside, but standing tall. Like a tree”

    Three years ago, while opening the front doors of the house, I found my old prunus tree laying down on the soil of the front garden. As the tree was full of buds, just before it’s early spring flowering, I could not understand what happened. But at the same moment to my memory come a title of a play by Alejandro Casona, written in 1949:” Trees Die Stand”. The play was a metaphor of human behaviour:

    Do not see me fall. Dead inside, but standing tall. Like a tree”, says one of the protagonists- the grandmother.

    My reaction of sadness mingled with thoughts about human nature and how much we are not only part of it, but also how much we are conditioned by it, formed the foundation of the idea for this exhibition.

    — Freda Uziyel

  • Goshka Macuga (b.1967,Warsaw, Poland) lives and works in London. Her practice is based on historical and archival research, which informs her installations, sculptures, tapestries, and collages. As an artist she simultaneously assumes the role of a curator, historian, and designer. 

    Macuga questions historiography, political structures, and the pressing issues of our time. Over the past years, Macuga has created a series of large-scale tapestries that weave her ideas in assembly mind maps, presentations, and panoramic scenes. Macuga takes up the historical medium of Gobelin tapestries, a portable textile often emblazoned with political messages. Her new series of tapestries are woven in 3-D so that the viewers themselves become part of the scenario.

     

    In 2019, Macuga conceived What Was I? a post-apocalyptic exhibition at Prada Rong Zhai, Shanghai. She has had solo exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA (2019); Kestnergesselchaft, Hannover, Germany (2019); Neues Museum, Nüremberg, Germany (2018); Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy (2016); Schinkel Pavilion, Berlin, Germany (2016); New Museum, New York, USA (2016); MCA Chicago, USA (2012); Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland (2011); Walker Arts Centre, Minneapolis, USA (2011); Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2009); Tate Britain, London, UK (2007); Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland (2009).  She was included in Documenta 2012 and nominated for the Turner Prize in 2008.

  • Thomas Ruff, flower.s.17, 2018, C-Print, 139 x 119 cm (framed), Edition of 6 + 2 AP

    Thomas Ruff

    flower.s.17, 2018, C-Print, 139 x 119 cm (framed), Edition of 6 + 2 AP

    Flower.s. 17, executed in 2018 depicts an assemblage of leaves gathered densely together at the centre of the photograph. The leaves repeat a starburst motif which lends symmetry to the shot. Through the use of the Sabattier effect, Ruff creates a negative shadow image which results in a ghostly yet luminous effect. The transparency and lightness of the leaves is the result of them having been photographed on a light table, which in turn intensifies the digital solarisation effect.

  • Thomas Ruff, flower.s.18, 2018, C-Print, 139 x 119 cm (framed), Edition 1/6 + 2 AP

    Thomas Ruff

    flower.s.18, 2018, C-Print, 139 x 119 cm (framed), Edition 1/6 + 2 AP

    Flower.s. 18 (2018), features a delicate flowering branch with a smattering of leaves that radiate asymmetrically from the upper left-hand corner toward the centre of the photograph. The branches partially extend past the edges of the image, underlining Ruff’s interest in and the importance of the compositional element within his works. This photograph sees Ruff utilise the paper itself to explore depth. Recalling Albers’ Homage to the Square, the background consists of three superimposed geometric shapes, the static simplicity of which juxtaposes the natural forms of the plant in the foreground.

  • Susan Hefuna, Landscapes, 2021, Paper, Ink, Stitching, 55 x 66 cm (framed)

    Susan Hefuna

    Landscapes, 2021, Paper, Ink, Stitching, 55 x 66 cm (framed)

    LANDSCAPES is a completely new group of works created in 2021. It reflects the artist‘s experiences with light, sun, fog and shapes in the Swiss Alps as well the artist’s very personal, psychological unknown inner landscapes. These extraordinary, fresh works were created at a time of Hefuna’s retreat in nature. Her experiences reflect directly in her new intriguing works. Hefuna’s LANDSCAPES show hints of lighting in the mountains by using cut out paper, layers, stitches, and Egyptian ink. While cut out paper shapes the composition, layering creates translucent depth. The fascination and the secrets of Susan Hefuna's Landscapes pull the viewer under its spell.

  • Osman Dinç

    Osman Dinç

    Black Cypress

    2001

    Fossiliferous limestone, buxus, graphite

    34 x 33 x 35 cm

     

    • Osman Dinç creates sculptures from steel and glass that sit at a crossroads between Minimalism and Arte Povera. His output alternates between arresting, freestanding, edifices for public spaces, to small sculptures that subtly animate walls. Dinç works predominantly with steel, which he transforms from rigid sheets of primary material into polished, often rhythmic forms with soft, playful, undulating curves. This is primarily guided by his principle interest in creating work with the least possible intervention to his raw material as possible. Dinç minimizes waste and refrains from obscuring the raw material's inherent sense of weight and density. Upon completion, the work is usually treated with nothing more than protective layers of epoxy resin, thus retaining its natural earthy brown colour. This allows the viewer to take in its form without finishes or textures distracting from the experience.

  • Mustafa Hulusi

    Mustafa Hulusi

    Melides Grape 02 and Gold & Pink Expander (S)

    2021

    Oil on canvas/ gold leaf on board

    73 x 93.5 cm (framed)

  • Melides Grape 02 and Gold & Pink Expander (S) diptych uses oil and gold leaf on canvas to offer us the two poles of art historical representation within a single painting – figuration (a grape still life) and abstraction (the geometric expander motif).

    The artist’s heritage is from the divided island of Cyprus where a geographic partition separates the two main demographics; the ethnic Greek and ethnic Turkish populations, the religions of Christianity and Islam, the territory of north and south.

    By using the method of hybridisation, the painting utilises interchangeable forms to act as a model for resolution thus overcoming the construction of this binary opposition.

  • Gary Hume

    Gary Hume

    Bloom

    2008

    Charcoal and pastel on paper with Gloss on Perspex

    82.5 × 63 cm (framed)

    • Flowers have been a mainstay of Gary Hume’s oeuvre for nearly 30 years. Deployed by artists as symbols of transience and mortality for millennia, Hume’s flower paintings alter that tradition, creating instead a Warholian space of repetition and symmetry. His flat, graphic and at times geometric compositions straddle the line between representation and abstraction.

       

      Bloom (2008), sees Hume reduce the idea of a flower to abstract lines and a narrow colour range of green, white and grey. The flower has been magnified, depicting a close up of the blossom, with an increased use of line in the background depicting the stem and leaves.

    • Aviv Benn

      Aviv Benn

      The Day Empties Its Images

      2021

      Oil, spray paint, and oil pastels on canvas

      127 x 127 cm

    • “My paintings are a visual universe starring symbolic archetypes that pop up and reappear time and again, and together formulate the dreamlike world they inhabit. These colorful figures take over the entire painterly space, encompassing their surroundings, dissolving and merging, floating in an unknown limbo.

       

      Repeating the same imagery over numerous canvases, informs a narrative that stretches beyond the boundaries of a singular artwork; new relationships are woven together to build a vivid myth throughout my work".

       

      - Aviv Benn

    • Jyll Bradley

      Jyll Bradley

      Graft 2 (Green)

      2021

      Fluorescent live-edge Plexiglas, mirrored Plexiglas, ash wood

      168 x 11 x 11 cm

      Edition of 5

    • Jyll Bradley

      Jyll Bradley

      Graft 2 (Pink)

      2021

      Fluorescent live-edge Plexiglas, mirrored Plexiglas, ash wood

      168 x 11 x 11 cm

      Edition of 5

    • Graft 2 is an edition of new wall hung sculptures by Jyll Bradley.

       

      Graft’ is a horticultural term for combining one plant with another. Graft also means ‘hard work’. In these new sculptures Bradley ‘grafts’ together her signature organic and inorganic materials – live-edge Plexiglas and wood - to create a work that both mirrors her own height and reflects the viewer. In this, Graft 2 suggests the work it takes to bring together different aspects of self; to connect with our own and another’s human nature.

  • “We - people feel so close to nature, that we throughout history and diverse civilisations are recognising in the patterns of nature, a real meaning. Many of us see suddenly that the bark resembles face. It is a cognitive process: by just looking, we imagine something of ours or us. Seeing faces in trees is a human condition”.

    - Freda Uziyel

  • Daniel Silver

  • Mother is part of a new series of ceramic heads made by the artist in his studio for most of the time under the period of Covid-19 lockdown. Silver modelled the pieces in clay, using shop mannequins’ faces as a starting point and then letting each work develop its own characteristic and personality. Once kiln-fired, each head is then treated with coloured inks and acrylic lending them a painterly air. The artist regards the works as individuals from a rather dream-like family, familiar yet slightly surreal.

  • Merav Kamel & Halil Balabin

    Kamel and Balabin duo soft sculptures, express a lighter side of their practice, the material embodiment of little jokes, witticisms, wordplay, and twisted historical quotes, charmed by the bland and prosaic, vulgarities, and social and political criticism. They involve bold images with a hidden sting, and this is also how they act on the viewer: sweetly seductive, and then painful and thought-provoking, as the story of each sculpture is exposed. The sculptures are strange hybrids, bare-bodied, limbless, and more.

    Merav Kamel & Halil Balabin

    Tree of Knowledge

    2021

    Wood and textile

    67 x 55 x 33 cm

    • Paloma Varga Weisz

      Paloma Varga Weisz

      Lazlo's dream

      2018

      Limewood

      figure: 49.5 x 14.5 x 16.5 cm

      overall: 62.5 x 23 x 27 cm

      series 1 of 2 + 1 a/p

    • Paloma Varga Weisz

      Paloma Varga Weisz

      Woman in blue

      2003

      Watercolour, coloured pencil and pencil on paper

      49 x 58 x 2.5 cm

    • Paloma Varga Weisz works primarily in the mediums of sculpture and drawing. Classically trained in Bavaria, Varga Weisz was taught traditional techniques of woodcarving, modelling and casting before attending art school at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in the 1990s. Her woodcarvings are intricately textured and tactile, and frequently probe traditional approaches towards display. Varga Weisz’s handmade woodcarvings are heavily textured and tactile, and frequently probe traditional approaches towards display. Her figures, both sculptural and illustrated, are often laden with personal and collective motifs, where oddities of form are common fare: anthropomorphic figures, hybrid forms, or figures verging on the grotesque.

  • Simon Moretti

    • Untitled (Homage to Picasso) 2021 Collage 33 x 24 cm

      Untitled (Homage to Picasso)

      2021

      Collage

      33 x 24 cm

    • Untitled (Homage to Picasso) (2021) is from a new series of collages featuring images of iconic works by Pablo Picasso combined with gay pornography from various decades. In this work, two male pin-up models - stars of a beefcake magazine from the 1960s - obstructs a page from John Richardson’s biography, A life of Picasso, Vol.1:The Early Years, 1881-1906, and specifically the chapter titled Dionysos featuring self portraits drawings by Picasso. 

  • Goshka Macuga & Simon Moretti, Encounters in the Field, 2019, Screen print, 95 x 76 cm

     

    Encounters in the Field (2019) is a collaborative work between Simon Moretti and Goshka Macuga, which celebrates the centenary of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis, shows its founding editor Ernest Jones together with Sigmund Freud at the base of a symbolic tree on whose branches perch several persons associated with the history of the journal: Alix and James Strachey, and Joan Riviere. This screen print is a composite of archive photos and found images that were re-drawn, digitized, and translated into a machine drawing. Its trace of electronic information—the hand of the future, tracing the past—implicates the dialogic transfer of meaning across different temporalities and traditions.

  • "At the time of our lives shadowed by pandemic, fears of climate change and biological dark forces I am trying to show an antidote; something filled with love that we rarely realise it exist in us - the love of trees and all that’s grows in soil".

  • Image courtesy of the artists, Pi Artworks London, Sadie Coles HQ, Sprüth Magers Gallery, Kate MacGarry Gallery, Frith Street Gallery and Fireflies Project