Friday, June 29, 2018

Venice: Alma Zevi - Odalisque With Red Culottes – Group Exhibition

Alma Zevi
Odalisque with Red Culottes
Group Exhibition

At the Alma Zevi gallery, until July 28, Odalisque with Red Culottes, a group exhibition, featuring ten international artists. The starting point of this exhibition is Henri Matisse’s paintings of nude female sitters, depicted against patterned backdrops or clothing. Some of the most vibrant of these are the Odalisques that he painted in the early years in the South of France. The title is borrowed from one such painting, executed in 1921. These paintings feature intense and colorful patterns, ranging from geometric to floral.
Polly Parts - Yay - 2015


David Hrankovic and Alma Zevi
Rade Petrasevic – Bring me Cocaine - 2018

Daido Moriyama – Tights in Shimotakaido – 2018

Matisse’s enormous influence, particularly on a younger generation of artists, continues until today, and so this exhibition offers a dialogue with the artists. All of whom are exploring the formal and conceptual relationship between the female body and patterns. These artists range from established names, such as the American painter William N. Copley (b.1919), French artist Aristide Maillol (b.1861) and the Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama (b.1938); to younger artists, such as the South African-British ceramicist Katy Stubbs (b.1992), Brazilian sculptor Juliana Cerqueira Leite (b.1981), Persian-Austrian artist Parastu Gharabaghi (b.1987), Polly Parts (b.1986), Vienna based Rade Petrasevic (b.1982) and Greek painter Sofia Stevi (b.1982).

William N. Copley – Untitled - 1964
Stephanie Lederle

  Katy Stubbs – Susanna and the Elders – 2018

Katy Stubbs

Henri Matisse - Verve Magazine VI No. 21/22 – 1948

To provide context, on show is a rare edition of Verve magazine from 1948. This monographic edition focused on Matisse’s work connected to Vence, France, including original lithographs made especially for the magazine. Reaching further back in time, the exhibition also includes woodcuts made at the turn of the century by Aristide Maillol (b.1861), the celebrated French sculptor. Incorporating historical works helps to analyze the homages and lineage across several generations of artists.

Marcantonio Brandolini d’Adda


Juliana Cerqueira Leite
Concentric 6 – Concentric 8 – 2016

Naked or partially or clothed, some of the women depicted appear as decorative figures, while others act as empowered figures. They oscillate between women as mythological characters, women as symbols, women as part of a narrative, and women simply as women. The representations of women range from self-portraits to portraits, from figureheads to fictional characters. Thus the exhibition engages with an enduring topic: the relationship between model and artist. Are we looking at a subject or an object? The woman can be passive or active: seen through male or female eyes, or the viewer’s eyes, or her own eyes. So, ultimately, we are thinking about how to reconcile form and decoration with theory and narrative. One suggestion is that the lively patterns can be understood as accentuating the female subject’s presence on more levels than simply enhancing her physical sensual beauty. As John Elderfield wrote, Matisse said his models “are never just ‘extras’ in an interior” but “the principal theme in the work”.

Chiarastella Cattana

Parastu Gharabaghi – Untitled - 2018

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