21 Apr - 22 Jul 2011
21 April - 22 July, 2011
Giò Marconi gallery is pleased to present "X", an erotic group show that combines older erotic positions and contemporary erotic artworks. On display are works by Nader Ahriman, Enrico Baj, Bruno Di Bello, Judith Bernstein, John Bock, Monica Bonvicini, Nathalie Djurberg, Keith Farquhar, Simon Fujiwara, Wade Guyton, Robert Heinecken, Dorothy Iannone, Sarah Lucas, Man Ray, Dasha Shishkin, Andreas Slominski, Francesco Vezzoli.
In Nader Ahriman's (Shiraz, Iran 1964) drawings and collages cinema, philosophy and Greek and Roman mythology are blended into an erotic mix: Socrates has an amorous tete-à-tete with his boy, Antigone is depicted as Pasolini’s muse and the “Birth of Europe” shows a rough sexual encounter between Zeus and Europa.
In the small drawing did in 1967 one of the recurring elements of Enrico Baj's (Milano 1924 - Vergiate 2003) production assumes the form of an ironic phallus: in those years the artist has frequently used bows, cords and medals as parodic subjects of his 'portraits'.
Bruno Di Bello (Torre Del Greco, Italy 1938) participates in the show with a "Variazione su una foto di Man Ray" ("Variation on a photo by Man Ray") made in 1975. On display is his former muse Kiki segmented into 14 small parts.
Judith Bernstein's (Newark 1942) charcoal diptych presents two nude figures, facing each other, caught in an act of masturbation. Censured in 1973 for the drawing of a screw that was considered to be too similar to a penis, the feminist artist has developed her very own phallic iconography ever since.
John Bock (Gribbohm 1965) contributes various erotic drawings and collages to the show that are presented in a very dense, “Louvre-style”, hanging therewith allowing the spectator to enter into the realm of the artist’s wilde erotic mindset.
The works of Monica Bonvicini (Venice 1965) are mainly text based and explicitly refer to sex and violence. “Fuck” “me” or “Satisfy Me” are imperatives that scream into the spectator’s face and suggest a physical encounter. In the collages from the series "The Bedtimesquare" the bedroom becomes a point of intersection and exchange similar to the function of New York’s famous tourist attraction.
In "Badain" an orgy of 4 puppets, 3 white women and a black man, enrolls in front of our eyes: the protagonists of Nathalie Djurberg's (Lysekil, Sweden1978) video take part in strange erotic rituals and games.
With his “flat-pack statues” Keith Farquhar (Edinburgh 1969) is translating hand-painted nude bodies into cardboard cutouts like those lifesize film star replicas that line the foyers of movie theaters. Farquhar splashes his models with paint and then photographs the results and turns them into 2D sculptures.
Simon Fujiwara (London 1982), whose large installation Phallusies (An Arabian Mystery) is on display in the other half of the gallery’s ground floor, shows 2 new collages on dark red cardboard. On each one is a naked man flirting with the spectator while his manhood is only slightly covered by an old Spanish fan.
Wade Guyton (Hammond 1972) shows one of his iconic trademark black “X” dyptichs, therewith giving the exhibition its title - “X” (short for x-rated).
Based on images taken from the popular press, the American photographer Robert Heinecken (Denver 1931) highlights the falsification of reality enacted by the world of advertising and the use of the female body as an object of desire.
Two historical works by Dorothy Iannone (Boston 1933) let the viewer have a glimpse of her amour fou with fellow artist Dieter Roth. The flatness of the painting and gouache is reminiscent of Egyptian frescoes and Byzantine mosaics. Hugely explicit titles such as “Let Me Sqeeze Your Fat Cunt” show that Iannone has no fear of contact when it comes to sexual encounters.
The genital metamorphosis of Sarah Lucas (London 1962) is shown both in one of her trademark stockinged “NUD” sculptures and in 3 of her prints.
The works by Man Ray (Philadelphia 1890) include an unusual painting of a naked woman, a selection of 5 black and white pin up style nude photographs and a grey marble phallus floor sculpture.
The seemingly gentle lines of Dasha Shishkin (Moscow 1977) contrast strongly with the often aggressive and sexual subjecs that characterize her drawings. The openly beautiful, colourful and often tumultuous drawings only reveal their mostly violent and often sexual content on second glance.
Andreas Slominski (Meppen, Germany 1959) uses his trademark material polystyrene to create small extremely provocative erotic bas-reliefs that are reminiscent of urban graffitis.
The sculpture on display by Francesco Vezzoli (Brescia 1971) is one of his earliest embroideries – a reproduction of an advertising the artist saw while studying at London’s St. Martin.