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Brancolini Grimaldi presents works by German artist Heidi Specker
© Heidi Specker, Via Napione 2, Motiv X, 2010, courtesy Brancolini Grimaldi.
LONDON.- Termini was created during Specker’s 2010 residency at the German Academy’s Villa Massimo in Rome. Comprised of different series of images, it begins with an interest in Surrealism and Metaphysics at the home of Giorgio de Chirico and progresses to the Rationalism and New Objectivity of Carlo Mollino. The theme of memory and of intellectual legacy is central to the poetics of Heidi Specker. Surfaces, buildings and objects are transfigured, starting with the precision with which they are photographed. The image, which is often a close-up, modifies spaces and proportions, isolating the subjects from the context and making them absolutes.

Piazza di Spagna 31 features images taken at the apartment of the Italian surrealist Giorgio de Chirico that is now a museum. Although the interior is opulently furnished as befitting a successful artist like de Chirico, Specker has chosen to photograph separate objects within the house, from an ornate silver bowl to the edge of sofa cushions. Texture, material and surface come to the fore; in an image of one of De Chirico’s sculptural maquettes, Le muse inquietanti, two figures are draped in what looks like togas. We are reminded both of de Chirico's interest in classicism as well as Specker's on-going investigation into the layering of history in an ancient city like Rome.

Via Napione 2 features photographs of the house of Carlo Mollino, the highly influential Italian architect, designer and dandy whose legacy of modernism and eclecticism has had a huge influence on contemporary design in the last 20 years. Mollino had a long and enduring interest in Egyptian culture and his house reflects his varied tastes, from frames filled with butterflies to leopard skin wallpaper. Specker's images pick out some of the key elements of Mollino's apartment as well as hinting at some of the activities that went on inside there - the image of the blue and white tiles and the red velvet curtain marks a spot where many different women were photographed by Mollino.

Ultimatum Alla Terra takes its name from a Hollywood movie poster (The Day the Earth Stood Still) photographed by Specker pasted onto a clock tower in the EUR district of Rome. This part of the city was developed by Mussolini during the 1930s, but work was halted by the Second World War and the building weren’t completed until the 1960s. This has created a sense of halted time in the area and a juxtaposition of architectural styles. Specker is also interested in the image of the clock throughout art history, particularly its use in Surrealist art connecting these images back to her work at de Chirico’s apartment.

Heidi Specker was born in Damme, Germany in 1962, and now lives and works in Berlin. Her works have been exhibited at Haus der Kunst, München; Sprengel Museum, Hannover; Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel; Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg; Musées des Beaux-Arts, Brussels; National Museum für Moderne Kunst, Tokyo among others. Her photographs are present in several permanent collections, including the Berlinische Galerie, Berlin; Museum Folkwang, Essen; Deutsche Bank AG, Frankfurt; Sprengel Museum Hannover; Margulies Collection, Miami; Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin, Sammlung Ann und Jürgen Wilde, Zülpich and UBS Bank, Zurich.





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