Berlin based artist Gwenaël Rattke is having his third solo exhibition at Romer Young Gallery, a great gallery on the outskirts of San Francisco in the Dog Patch District. Romer Young Gallery is currently run by Vanessa Blaikie and Joey Piziali, exhibiting some of the most progressive works in the Bay Area. Their programming is very well executed presenting works by artists that deserve to be in the spotlight. SFAQ featured Romer Young Gallery in a past Issue #5. Follow this link to view Issue 5 of SFAQ: http://sfaq.us/pdfs/SFAQ_issue_five.pdf. Rattke’s works are very eye catching using a vibrant, high contrasting pallete and a combination of silkscreen and collage practices. The collection of work s on view are a must see. The exhibition ends this Saturday, October 27th. Go visit while you still can.
Artist: Gwenaël Rattke
Location: Romer Young Gallery
Exhibition Dates: September 14, 2012 – October 27th, 2012
Press Release (excerpt):
Although drawing from a collection of references, preoccupations, thoughts and art, the great inspiration for this exhibition began on a recent trip to Lebanon where the artist visited the Jeitta Grotto outside of Beirut. Situated only a few miles outside of the bustling capital, the caves run 4 miles deep into the mountain and contain some of the world’s oldest and biggest stalactites.
In these caves the artist discovered a structure both physical and spiritual that gave shape to his ideas in both form and content. Dark and silent, the sculptural forms inspired awe and reverence and offered a kind of meditative, transformative retreat from the world. Caves have often been symbolic of new life, creativity, warmth, safety, as well as the unconscious mind. For Rattke, the caves inspired a shelter from the rapidity of life, a place to step back and recharge, a place to ‘reconnect with what is “us” and reflect on what is “our” purpose.’ In a world increasingly globalized economically and culturally, the caves brought the artist to question: “how do we preserve (progressively, not conservatively) our safe-spaces, our various pasts, our cultural histories, our identities, maybe even our personal sanities? …In an age of hyper digital interconnectivity and in times of increased political, moral and religious polarization, in what ways can we connect to one another rather than push in opposite directions or fall prey to alienation? …”
Some of the works in the exhibition directly reflect this idea of shelter, while other works venture to engage more directly with the world beyond the shelter. What all the works share is a reference to past strategies and past lives as a potential source of inspiration for current and future generations. Ultimately what the artist wishes to express is his own personal longing for community and a sense of face-to-face togetherness. In search of this collective spirit, Rattke works exist as metaphors for the inter-connectedness of all things: real, imagined, and aspired, past, present and future, and for the overlapping kaleidoscopic nature of his own streaming thought patterns.
Contributed by Gregory Ito