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Artists Thomas Grünfeld and Gary Hume collaborate in new exhibition at Massimo De Carlo
Thomas Grünfeld and Gary Hume, Iron & Diamonds. Massimo De Carlo, Milano, 2014. Photo: Roberto Marossi. Courtesy Massimo De Carlo, Milano/London.

MILAN.- Massimo De Carlo gallery presents Iron & Diamonds, the first ever collaboration in Milan between artists Thomas Grünfeld and Gary Hume. The project that they have created together is being exhibited in Massimo De Carlo's Milan gallery.

For Iron & Diamonds Grünfeld and Hume create a mise-en-scene where the dialogue between their artistic languages, which is in constant equilibrium between figuration and abstraction, is key. Thomas and Gary’s works alternate in the two main rooms of the gallery, creating a path through which their own universes influence and feed one another.

The restless world of Thomas Grünfeld expresses itself through mixed media which include sculpture, collages and installations: the art of Thomas Grünfeld rise mixed feelings in the viewer about what seems familiar and what seems completely artificial and among what appears to be natural and simultaneously extremely unnatural: this induces in the spectator a yes/no reaction when looking at his works.

For Iron & Diamonds Thomas Grünfeld exhibits a series of works that are part of his own repertory, among these is a large scale work in felt, the first one ever in this size, that articulates the representation of the image as on the edge between the pictorial and the sculptural element. A series of mirrors with cushions are assembled for the first time into stations – playing with the notion of gaze so that the viewer feels as if he can sees himself and together is seen. The Eye Paintings, reflective surfaces in resin from which glass eyes crop up, all different one to the others, also play on the same theme as above leaving the spectator with the uncertain feeling that he is being scrutinized by the artwork. The juxtaposition of these hybrid elements nurtured other series by the artist such as Misfit, 2014, an assembly of three different species of taxidermied animals assembled together according to criterion such as proportion and likelihood, where the main nonconforming element is the natural pose of an unnatural creature; or as Untitled (Shelf), 1990, a useless furniture in between an art object and a decor solution.

The British artist Gary Hume, one of the first members of the Young British Artists movement (he took part in the now iconic exhibition Freeze in 1988 in London), also explores in his practice the notion of the often undepictable boundaries between the abstract and the figurative. The artist’s vocabulary expresses itself through the usage of shining colours, reflective surfaces and minimal shapes. Throughout Gary Hume’s practice the subjects of his work became reduced to the essential via an extreme simplification of shapes in order to leave the colour, always bright, as the only protagonist of the work.

For Iron & Diamonds Gary Hume realizes the Yellow Nude, 2014, series, yellow shiny reflective surfaces on aluminium boards with black silhouettes of different shapes, which represent the void that creates between the arm and the hip of the human body. The artist realizes for each Yellow Nude a Companion Painting, a real mate that completes the painting itself.

The Wonky Wheels, wheels in aluminium of different sizes and colours, force the spectator to pay attention to his walk through. The thin and oscillating circular structures seem to imitate the relationship between history and the repetitive movement of the circle of life where a small breath is enough to generate the chaos.

Thomas Grünfeld was born in 1956 in Opladen, Germany. He currently lives and works in Cologne, Germany. Thomas Grünfeld solo exhibitions include: Homey, Opere 1986 - 2013, Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Villa Croce, Genoa (2014); Homey, Werke von 1981 bis 2013, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen (2013). Thomas Grünfeld’s works have been exhibited in collective shows as come Schnitte im Raum: Skulpturale Collagen, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen (2011); Celebration, Alex Mylona Museum, Athens (2010); Tier-Perspektiven, Georg Kolbe Museum, Berlin (2009); Genesis - The Art of Creation, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern (2008); Expedition into the World of Animals, Sprengel Museum, Hannover (2008); Der Künste Ihre Räume, Kunstverein, Bonn (2005); Royal Academy of Art 2002, Royal Academy of Art, London (2002); Rosso Vivo, PAC Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea, Milan (1999); Animal, Anima, Animus, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (1998); Siafo, Exhibition Centre, Seoul (1996); The Institute of Cultural Anxiety. Works from the Collection, ICA Institute of Contemporary Art, London (1994).

Gary Hume was born in Kent 1962. He now lives and works in London. His work has been presented by a number of prestigious institutions such as the Tate Britain in London (2013), Whitechapel Gallery in London (1999) The National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh (1999), Fundação La Caixa in Barcelona (2000), Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin (2003), Kunsthaus Bregenz (2004). Group exhibitions include: Here, There and Somewhere In Between, Royal Academy at Hatfield House, London (2013); AKA PEACE, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2012); Five Decades of Passion Part Two: The Founding of the Center, 1989-1991, Fisher Landau Center for Art, New York (2009); Eye on Europe: Prints, Books and Multiples/1960 to Now, 2007, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2006); Art of the Garden, Tate Britain, London (2004); The Bird has a Yellow Beak, Kunsthaus Bregenz (2004); Painting on the Move, Kunstmuseum di Basel (2002); Public Offerings, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2001). Gary Hume was a Turner Prize nominee in 1996 and represented Great Britain at the Venice Biennale of 1999.

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