WASHINGTON, DC.- The Phillips Collection
launches its first digital Intersections project, Picture: Present, by Italian-born, New York-based artist Luca Buvoli, building on the contemporary art series in which artists are invited to create new work in dialogue with the Phillipss collection and architecture. Picture: Present is part of the artists ongoing series Astrodoubt and The Quarantine Chronicles that features tragicomic visual narratives commenting on the current covid-19 health and social crisis. The 12 scenes from Picture: Present will be unveiled simultaneously on the Phillipss website and Instagram account from July 20August 7, 2020.
Created for the Phillips, Picture: Present is the most recent episode from Buvolis Astrodoubt and The Quarantine Chronicles series. By utilizing images of works from the Phillipss permanent collection, it reads like a 12-scene storyboard, reflecting on the emotional unrest and social constraints caused by the pandemic. Buvoli plays with pieces from the collection, including Allan Rohan Crites Parade on Hammond Street, Barbara Hepworths Operation Drawing; Pierre Bonnards Boulevard; Edouard Vuillards Woman Sweeping; Horace Pippins Domino Players; Pierre-Auguste Renoirs Luncheon of the Boating Party; Loïs Mailou Joness Coin de la Rue Medard, Paris; Paul Klees Arrival of the Jugglers; Alma Thomass Breeze Rustling Through Fall Flowers; Forrest Besss Prophesy; and Albert Pinkham Ryders Dead Bird.
With lively texts integrated within the pictures and written in a style mostly reflective of the time period, the Phillips artworks are re-contextualized as individual panels to tell a fluid story about the pandemic, offering safety messages for survival through art. The narrative crosses feelings of isolation, anxiety, and fear, as well as disillusionment in how the crisis has been handled, and ends with a focus on the restorative power of art.
In sum, Buvolis digital Intersections is a utopian-dystopian meditation where dreams intersect with reality through art and humor, says Dr. Vesela Sretenović, Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. Moreover, it is about museumsand specifically the Phillipsbecoming beacons of solace, healing, and hope.
Buvoli began The Quarantine Chronicleshis daily practice of expression and communicationwhile living in isolation during quarantine, posting them on Instagram (@astrodoubt_). The protagonist is Astrodoubt (a fictitious astronaut) who imagines drifting into space to escape ecological disaster but instead, he/she/they is grounded on this planet by the deadly pandemic. Astrodoubts only hope for survival is humor and creativity.
The series is part of the artists Space Doubt Expedition Project, which began in 2009 in collaboration with NASA scientists and other institutions, including the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. Over more than one decade, the project evolved from sculpture and drawing to painting, video animations, installations, and most recently social media. He describes this ongoing project as a reflection on science, modernist utopias, geo-political fantasies, illness, environmental crises, and paranoia."
Luca Buvoli (b. 1963, Italy) is a multimedia artist who has exhibited internationally for 30 years. His work intertwines mythology, science, and ideology with daily life and humor. Major institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Guggenheim Museum in New York have acquired his sculptures, and his animated films and videos have been screened internationally at the Lincoln Center, New York; MoMA, New York; and the British Library, London. His expanded multimedia projects have been presented at the 2007 Venice Biennale, the 1997 Johannesburg Biennale, and other biennials in Asia and Europe. He has had solo shows at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2001); the M.I.T. List Center, Cambridge (2000); Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2007); John Weber Gallery, New York (1995, 1997, 1999); and Hyundai Gallery, Seoul, Korea (2012), among others.
Buvoli is the Director of the Mount Royal School of Art Multidisciplinary Master of Fine Arts Program at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland.