Mauro Cerqueira, ‘Interpunction # 4’ : Adriaan Verwée, ‘Early works, late monuments’ : Julia Spínola, ‘The drum in the mouth’
Gallery Tatjana Pieters
13 January - 17 February 2013
Review by Tanya Michils
Until February 17th 2013, Tatjana Pieters gallery in Ghent is hosting a group exhibition of emerging artists from Belgium and abroad: Adriaan Verwée (Belgium), Julia Spínola (Spain) and Mauro Cerqueira (Portugal). Inside the gallery, ‘Interpunction #4’ by Mauro Cerqueira catches one’s attention immediately. His minimal assemblages consist of found objects, pictures, drawings and text (newspaper cuttings, and own writing). It turns out the objects belonged to former tenants of the building where the artist used to rent his studio. The edifice was demolished by a construction company in order to build high-end flats, meeting the on-going gentrification demands of old Porto and its need for contemporary, luxury accommodation. Seen from that perspective, his objects become containers of collective and individual memory, reminders of the past and how easily it is erased.
Adriaan Verwée’s ‘Early works, late monuments’ are spatial compositions made of basic materials that question the fragile relationship between objects as ready-mades or as simple remains. They focus on the creation process and address the universal question of art. Is the exhibited object to be called art or just discarded waste of an (un)finished project’ The Ghent-born artist engages the spectator to reflect upon the essence of artistic creation, and defies one’s prejudice of what art should be.
Julia Spínola’s ‘The drum in the mouth’ is a visual translation of a drunkards’ babbling. The repetitiveness of speech is reinterpreted in graphical compositions that render the tension between word, rhythm and structure. Spínola shapes and models the apparent chaos of a drunkard, turning the individual anecdote into a universal, abstract narrative accessible to the visitor.
The success of the event is the result of Tatjana Pieters’ vision. The gallery, which opened in 2005, attracts a lot of promising talent. Although Adriaan Verwée is represented by Pieters on a permanent basis, the invitation of Julia Spínola resulted from a previous collaboration with independent curator Sofie Van Loo. She introduced Pieters to the Spanish artist at the art event ‘Trigger’ (2009). Pieters got acquainted with Mauro Cerqueira’s work at the art fair ARCO, in Madrid. The divergences, both inspirational and artistic, of the three guests do not prevent Pieters from creating a smart and artistically stimulating encounter, which leaves one inspired.
The merit of the exhibition resides in the strength of each artist individually and in the dialogue which occurs from presenting them together. Their quest of authenticity and purity is reduced to its essence and results in a coherent intellectual yet poetic setting.