Château La Coste is featuring the new sculpture and painting work by Irish artist Guggi

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Château La Coste is featuring the new sculpture and painting work by Irish artist Guggi
Guggi: Memory of Form - Chateau La Coste. Stephane Aboudaram: We Are Contents.



LE PUY-SAINTE-RÉPARADE.- Château La Coste has opened an exhibition of new sculpture and painting by Irish artist Guggi (b. 1959, Dublin) exploring the complexities of the human experience and the artist’s personal memories through interpretations of the humble vessel. Titled ‘Memory to Form’, and curated by Dr. Jon Wood, the show is a continuation of Guggi’s exhibition ‘Broken’, which was previously presented in Château La Coste’s Renzo Piano Pavilion.

Guggi’s practice is characterised by its introspective and contemplative style, drawing on the spiritual and the transcendental through the depiction of everyday objects in their simplest forms. The vessel is one of the artist’s signature motifs and in its repetition, he has created a language of these precious objects, giving form to memories.

In this exhibition, the artist continues working with canvas, wood panel and distressed torn brown paper yet, rather than his signature palette of muted, earthy tones, he had now moved towards bright, vivid colours. While some works exhibit one plane of colour, many of Guggi canvases and drawings are split into two fields of acrylic or oil paint demarcated by a vertical division. One side is washed white, whereas its counterpart is bright and bold. The colours are instinctive, as are the marks that emerge: crosses or hashes that may resemble a crucifix, an upright body, or perhaps a tree. Each piece also reveals a bowl as a cross-sectional outline, opening up the object both materially and spatially, and celebrating simplicity.

Central to the presentation is a new twelve-piece turquoise work titled Antigua (2023) that draws directly on Guggi’s memories of the Caribbean waters of Antigua and Barbuda. ‘Memories of colour, or memories of memories of colour’, as the artist describes, the paintings are immersive, light and dreamy. The pieces’ frayed edges suggest the passing of time as well as a sense of fragmentation, as if the pieces are part of a lost, larger whole.

The exhibition also features an ensemble of bronze bowl-like sculptures of varying sizes and a series of smaller urns atop higher, altar-like plinth. Together, they appear anthropomorphic and reminiscent of a familial context, alluding the artist’s childhood, which serves as an important influence throughout his practice. The large bronze sculptures relate to Guggi’s permanent work at Château La Coste , Calix Meus Inebrian (2009), translated as ‘the chalice that inebriates me’. As the title of this work suggests, these sculptures might also reference the artist’s Christian upbringing by recalling the communion bowl or chalice and the consumption of alcohol, as they sit nestled amongst the vineyards.

The artist has worked closely with foundries to create exactly the right shapes, contours and surfaces for his larger bronze vessels; the patina of each and the space within is crucial. The largest bowl, measuring over a metre wide, is characterised by its matte black painted exterior which contrasts to its highly polished interior, striking a delicate balance of texture and colour. Usually placed on a low platform, the sculptures command attention yet are open, generous and invitational, encouraging the viewer to come and experience them. By comparison, the smaller pieces, which are raised on plinths, suggest the level of the everyday table or even an altar.

GUGGI

An artist working with drawing, painting and sculpture, Guggi (b. 1959, Dublin, Ireland) digs deep into a personal yet universal subject matter: the quotidian beauty of household objects. Working across painting and sculpture, he committedly revisits his signature motifs of bowls, jugs and vessels, using repetition and abstraction to conjure an almost meditative state. Guggi is represented by Kerlin Gallery in Dublin and the Yoshii Gallery New York. Guggi has exhibited widely since the 1990’s. Most recently he has had solo exhibitions in the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris (2022),

Galerie 75 Faubourg/Galerie Enrico Navarra (2021), Kerlin Gallery (2019), Galerie Yoshii Tokyo (2019), Arcane Space LA (2019) Château la Coste, Le Puy-Sainte-Reparade (2018), the Yoshii Gallery, Paris (2017) and New York (2016, 2010); Kerlin Gallery, Dublin (2013, 2009, 1993, 1990); and Accademia Fine Art, Monaco (2012). Select group shows are National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin (2008); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2004); Cape Town, South Africa (2004) and the National Municipal Gallery, Iceland (1995).

JON WOOD

Dr. Jon Wood is an independent art historian and curator, specialising in modern and contemporary sculpture. He has worked with a variety of artists including Tony Cragg, Anthony Gormley, and Sean Scully. He studied at the Courtauld Institute of Art and worked at Henry Moore Institute for twenty years running its research programmes and exhibitions.

Jon also worked as a co-editor of the Sculpture Journal, an international academic journal, for five years and his other co-edited publications include: Contemporary Sculpture: Artists’ Writings and Interviews (2019), Modern Sculpture Reader (2007 & 2012) and Articulate Objects: Voice, Sculpture, and Performance (2009). He recently co-curated Tony Cragg at Boboli Gardens (2019) with the Uffizi Museum in Florence and Dialectical Materialism: Aspects of British Sculpture since 1960 (2019) with Karsten Schubert Ltd in London.

CHÂTEAU LA COSTE

Situated in one of the oldest winemaking regions of France, between the historic city of Aix-En- Provence and the Luberon National Park, Château La Coste is a vineyard where wine, art and architecture co-exist in harmony. Since it opened to the public in 2011, Château La Coste invites visitors to discover over forty major works of contemporary art installed in the open air and five gallery spaces dotted across the 500-acre site.

Each year artists and architects are invited to visit the domain and discover the unique beauty of this Provençal landscape, with its famed cypresses, stone pines, olive trees and ancient oaks. They are given the freedom to create a site-specific work in an area of the site that inspires them, so Château La Coste continues to evolve as new projects and installations are developed. Artists and architects who have created permanent works at Château La Coste include Frank O. Gehry, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Louise Bourgeois, Richard Rogers, Sophie Calle, Tracey Emin and Jean Nouvel.

Château La Coste
Memory to Form: GUGGI, Sculpture and Painting
August 19th, 2023 - September 24th, 2023










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