Fernando Casasempere exhibits at London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE
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Fernando Casasempere exhibits at London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE
Fernando Casasempere, London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE 10 February – 22 July 2022. All images: © Marcus Leith.

LONDON.- London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE today announced its latest contemporary art commission, Scratching the Surface by Chilean artist Fernando Casasempere.

Inspired by the unique context of Bloomberg SPACE, situated directly above the ancient Roman Temple of Mithras, Casasempere’s installation reflects the enigmatic nature of the Temple, which was originally discovered on the site in the 1950s. The artist’s large-scale ceramic elements connects the archaeological site with the space of the imagination, welcoming multiple narratives and interpretations.

The site-responsive installation appears to meld with the gallery space, exploring the ways in which new layers can change the surfaces around us and transport the past into the present. A large sprawling ceramic form by Casasempere fill a corner of the room, echoing the textures and layers of large ceramic sculptures by the artist positioned throughout the installation. Displayed on an industrial conveyor belt, alluding to aspects of archaeological expeditions and discoveries, the sculptures’ positioning will allow visitors to view them from all sides and better explore the individual layers. Just as the paint and wallpaper hidden within walls attests to the indelible traces left behind by our predecessors, this project aims to reflect how our presence is continually contributing to future archaeology.

Casasempere’s enduring interest in archaeology as a means of deciphering memories and accessing the past - both ecological and historical - is a fundamental source of inspiration for his practice. Scratching the Surface will become a new layer in Casasempere’s anthology of material references, inviting visitors into his ongoing investigation.

Audiences are invited to go deeper and learn more about the site and the Temple with the London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE guide on Bloomberg Connects, a free digital guide to cultural organisations around the world that makes it easy to access and engage with arts and culture from mobile devices, anytime, anywhere. The guide features exclusive interactive content, educational resources and historical exhibitions and can be downloaded for free via Google Play or the App Store.

Fernando Casasempere (b. 1958, Santiago, Chile, lives and works in London)

Casasempere works with clay, ceramic, and industrial matter, redefining the possibilities of these materials for contemporary sculpture. Through a fascination with the imprint left by humans on the earth, Casasempere draws on archaeology, geology, landscape and classical and modern architecture to subvert sculptural archetypes, while speaking to urgent global ecological and social concerns through the lens of his native Chile: when he moved to London in 1997, Casasempere brought with him over twelve tonnes of his own mixtures of Chilean clay, repurposing materials and off-casts from mining processes that would have otherwise gone to waste.

Casasempere has exhibited extensively in the UK, Chile, North America, Japan and Europe and is renowned for monumental installations including the critically acclaimed Out of Sync at Somerset House, London (2012) featuring 10,000 iron and porcelain flowers, and Back to the Earth at New Art Centre, Salisbury (2005).

Forthcoming commissions include permanent works near London’s Tottenham Court Road Station (Derwent) and at Henrietta House (CBRE). Forthcoming and selected solo exhibitions include: the San Diego Museum of Art (2022), Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (2021), Casa América, Madrid (2020), Ivorypress Gallery, Madrid (2019), Parafin Gallery, London (2018), Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo (2017), Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago de Chile (2016), Parafin, London (2015), Somerset House, London (2012), and Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Santiago de Chile (2012).

Selected group exhibitions include: Museum of Royal Worcester, Worcester (2018), Frieze Sculpture Park, London (2016), Sculpture in the City, London (2016), Sotheby’s Beyond Limits Exhibitions, London (2008), New Art Centre, Salisbury (2008), Jerwood Foundation, Alcester (2007).

Selected collections include: Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Harvard Museum, Cambridge; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Contemporary Art Museum, Osaka; Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris; and International Museum of Ceramics, Faenza.

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