Bella Kesoyan
Sublime in Nature
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An exhibition by Daniel Malarkey: Sublime in Nature ran from 16th June to 10th July 2021

The Sublime in Nature envisioned by curator Daniel Malarkey in collaboration with Victoria Miro, Maureen Paley,Kasmin Gallery and other prominent galleries, brings together works by contemporary artists who, while at very different stages of their artistic paths, are indispensable for the foundations of the rejuvenated and unconstrained history of art: Claude Lalanne, Celia Paul, Didier William, Gladys Nilsson, Patrizio di Massimo, Paul P.and others. Infused with a hint of playfulness, The Sublime in Natureinvites the viewer to a historical location on Cork Street to reflect upon our newfangled reality in a beautiful juxtaposition to the solidity and the grandeur of the natural world. In his curatorial vision Daniel urges us as a society to step back, “look at a tree for hours and fall asleep under the afternoon sun”. Presenting the works of art that will invigorate people’s minds for decades to come, a token of love and a symbol of beauty in its ultimate simplicity, The Sublime in Naturerepresents a masterful collage of what the future of art collecting is all about.

Summer 2019

T he matter of the sublime and its prominence in the discourse of beauty and etherealness in nature evolved into eminence in the eighteenth century and has been a source of creative inspiration for notable artists and writers ever since. In recent years the impermanence and the vulnerability of nature have been put at the centre stage of moral and political debate, throwing into further interrogation the already blurring lines between nature and culture.

Connecting the sublime with experiences of awe, terror and danger, Burke saw nature as the most sublime object, capable of generating the strongest sensations in its beholders. This Romantic conception of the sublime proved influential for several generations of artists.
– Edmund Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry (1757)

Black Water Caves

Working across a variety of media, the artists featured in the exhibition expand on the traditional vision of the sublime in nature and redefine the canonical approach to artistic apprehension of earth and creation. Artists from different generations and different backgrounds, leaning on a diverse miscellany of experiences and struggles, come united in the awe and veneration when confronted with raw natural beauty.

Specially for this exhibition, Patrizio di Massimo and Tancredi di Carcaci have created works that purposefully explore the relationships between humanity and the wild while drawing on the centuries of art historical symbolism. Di Massimo’s paintings possess what was described by Hans Ulrich Obrist as ‘performative mise-en-scène’, conjuring up theatrical scenery for the imagination of the viewer. For the Rose Garden cloister, di Carcaci, singled out by critics as one of the most promising young artists in London, produced a series of eight sculptures displayed alongside an en plein air series by Tom Schneider, former student of famed Chicago Imagist Karl Wirsum.

Glowing Vent

Internationally renowned for heren grandeur de vif poetic fantasy, Claude Lalanne perfected the technique of transference of the architectural forms of the natural world into her sculptural pieces that, although cast in bronze, remain weightless and illusory. In conversation with Lalanne, the familiarity and the stillness of Celia Paul’s landscapes reminisce of the passage of time, experiences and feelings that go by. Celia Paul’s singular ability to breathe an unceremonious intimacy into her paintings comes from an immense level of kinship and affinity she gifts to her subject matter, while Paul P.achieves a congruent degree of intimacy in detachment from his models photocopied from 1970s gay erotica magazines. In a similar manner, through delving into the experiences of Afro-Caribbean diaspora in the United States, Didier William untangles the complicated issues of home and belonging through the exploration of the culinary roots of his ancestors. Conversely, the unstoppable force of Gladys Nilsson’s larger-than-life personages inhabiting the enchanted worlds ready to be discovered elevates and withdraws the viewer from the mundane and routine.

A limited-edition colour publication was published in relation to this special exhibition edited by Bella Kesoyan with texts by Dr Albert Godetzky & Dr Madeleine Haddon.

Artist & Gallery List included in the curation:
Celia Paul                   Victoria Miro
Claude Lalanne         Kasmin Gallery
Didier William           James Fuentes
Gladys Nilsson          Garth Greenan Gallery
Patrizio di Massimo  T293 Gallery
Paul P.                         Maureen Paley
& the Rose Garden Cloister with works by Tancredi di Carcaci & Tom Schneider

You can view more images from the exhibition here.

You can view information on the publication ‘The Sublime in Nature’ here.