Monday, December 3, 2007

THE VISIONS COME: Lee Ranaldo (USA,) Leah Singer (CA,) and Philippe Vandenberg (BE.)

Lee Ranaldo (USA,) Leah Singer (CA,) and Philippe Vandenberg (BE.)

Curated by Jan Van Woensel

Whitehot Magazine of contemporary art Booth
NADA Art Fair at Art Basel | Miami Beach, Florida, USA
December 5th – 9th, 2007

The Visions Come contextualizes the artist as an unconventional, independent observer and messenger of his surroundings. The artists of this exhibition edit, transcribe, dissect, repeat and erase imagery from popular culture, news, and history.

Lee Ranaldo's drawings and paintings on paper are based on photographs from newspapers and postcards. By divorcing them from their original context, these artworks become loose elements of time, culture and memory. Ranaldo paints an endless sequence of adopted images that visually and symbolically inspire the artist. This process is a human attempt to subjectively capture and de-contextualize the daily flow of visual information. Leah Singer's images seek a balance between the figurative and the abstract. The artist creates elaborate silhouettes from human figures, and complex layers from drawings on transparent sheets; new compositions and unexpected narratives are seamlessly created. The artist leaves these images open to our interpretation, their sources becoming untraceable and often no longer relevant to the reading of the work. They result in sensitive collages that tempt us to look at the abstract space between the images. The insinuative and suggestive paintings, drawings and texts by Philippe Vandenberg are the result of an intense thinking process in which the artist filters the world to its essence. While embracing the coincidental, the accident or the imperfect, Vandenberg’s paintings, freeze the agonizing moment of writers block or artistic discontinuation. Elements of world history, religion, and literature are fused into a mantra of ambiguous reflective statements that potentially disturb our social context. [JVW]

Lee Ranaldo is a contemporary artist, musician and writer based in New York. Known as a co-founder of the legendary experimental rock band Sonic Youth in 1981, Lee has worked on an impressive body of artworks independently over the years. His work includes sound installations, paintings, drawings, prints, videos, literature and spoken words. Inspired by a wide array of American and European artists like Robert Smithson, Henri Matisse, Jack Kerouac, Stan Brakhage, and Jean-Luc Goddard, his work is characterized by an interdisciplinary journey through sound, images and texts.

Originally from Canada, Leah Singer is an experimental filmmaker and visual artist based in New York. She has worked with film in live settings in areas as diverse as opera, music videos, rock shows and street performance. Ongoing since 1991, DRIFT is her audiovisual collaboration with partner Lee Ranaldo in which spoken words, soundscapes, and live manipulated 16mm film projections are blended. Her drawings and prints evoke a residue of the anonymous stream of images encountered in daily urban life; images that are immediately forgotten but are always vaguely familiar when one sees them again.

Based in Brussels, Philippe Vandenberg is one of Belgium’s most prominent contemporary painters. At the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent, he encounters the work by Bosch and Van de Woestijne. He reads Literature and History of Art at the University of Ghent from 1970 till 1972, when he decides to devote himself full-time to the study of painting. Vandenberg remains fascinated by literature and makes a series of drawings specifically made to put between book covers. In 1994 he lives through the Book of Job and the Apocalypse, Augustine, Sophocles, Heiner Müller, St John of the Cross and Cioran. A year later he writes The State of Things and The Lamentation of the ship. Between 1996 and 1999 he frequently visits Marseille, where Rimbaud died and Artaud was born. He creates The Notebooks, a diary made of drawings, watercolors and handwritten notes. He becomes interested in George Trakl and Paul Celan and paints the portraits of Artaud and Ulrike Meinhof. In 1999, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp (MuHKA,) organized his retrospective exhibition. Jan Van Woensel is the New York based manager of Philippe Vandenberg

Jan Van Woensel is an independent curator, writer, lecturer, art dealer, and a Professor at NYU’s Department of Art and Art Professions, based in Brooklyn, New York.