Elizabeth Xi Bauer announces the Gallery’s first exhibition of 2023. This group exhibition features artists represented by the Gallery since its inception along with a selection of artists being shown at Elizabeth Xi Bauer for the first time. Works by Theodore Ereira-Guyer, Cătălin Marius Petrișor Hereșanu, Marta Jakobovits, Abraham Kritzman, Antonio Pichillá and Alexandra Zarins are exhibited.
The title of this exhibition derives from Coolio’s 1990s hit Rollin’ With My Homies, immortalised in the film Clueless, a classic from the same decade. In the same way, the film focused on an established group welcoming a newcomer, in this exhibition, artists represented by Elizabeth Xi Bauer are shown alongside Antonio Pichillá and Alexandra Zarins. The former recently exhibited at Elizabeth Xi Bauer, whilst the latter is making her Gallery debut. This exhibition showcases and celebrates the artists’ practices, previewing the Gallery’s 2023 programme.
Theodore Ereira-Guyer’s work is an ongoing investigation into the subject of memory – what is kept and what is left behind. For example, his process of printmaking, especially the way in which Ereira-Guyer practices it, necessarily involves a loss of information between the plate and the paper. Even if it is a technique aimed at reproducibility, Ereira-Guyer uses single or a few compositions being generated per plate – every time a print is made, different aspects are emphasised whereas others are lost.
In this exhibition, we see a selection of mixed media works created during the artist’s residency at FONTE, Vila Madalena in São Paulo, Brazil. The artist works with collage, incorporating bright colours and formations that mimic natural forms and landscapes. The found seeds, that appear as artworks in their own right, bind the works together and evoke his time spent in São Paulo. He fashions these landscapes through the lens of his etching process; lines, shapes, marks and gestures interrelate and work together in a layering process to construct an image.
Cătălin Marius Petrișor Hereșanu is a multidisciplinary artist who favours the field of painting. The artist’s paintings are carriers for his interventions. The surfaces of his paintings are an exploration into deconstructing reality in order to reveal the action of image making. His works also examine the notion of space and imagination as the viewer’s guide to exploring the world around us.
This exhibition features new paintings by the artist created recently in his studio in Romania. These works mark a new direction in the artist’s practice, similar to the artist’s cut up and recomposed woven paintings but creating the same illusion through the act of painting itself. The fabric effect is created by scratching the wet layer of paint on top of the dried underlayer with a knife, a process similar to the sgraffito technique. The artist explains: “Working on these paintings is like an exercise in attention, the horizontal and vertical gestures, those that create the illusion of fabric when viewed closely, also create a good rhythm”.
Marta Jakobovits’ oeuvre is a complex, researched and developed exploration of ceramic techniques. From casting to modeling and firing, using traditional materials and methods, the artist experiments with limitations of processes. Here we see new works from her studio in Romania. The sculpted ceramics with personal glazes convey the direction of her current practice and the continued mastery of the medium in a career that spans decades; an ability to control shape, colour, and texture. The dry leaves help us to place the works in nature, the artist is fascinated by the relationship between her created works and natural forms.
Abraham Kritzman’s practice works with techniques such as duplication, zooming, abstraction, flattening, layering, veiling and obscuring, as well as manipulating methods of display in order to transform the viewer’s experience. For Kritzman, the relationships between his works – the “negative space” – are important, such as with the diptych in this exhibition. The artist has built an artistic language inspired by his travels, such as around Romania, Spain, and Japan.
In 2022 and continuing in 2023, Kritzman has been working in London, in Elizabeth Xi Bauer’s artist studio. It has been a fruitful and successful period for the artist as he creates his most ambitious and largest works to date. Following on from Kritzman’s solo exhibition Land’s End, this exhibition exhibits further new works from the studio, showcasing the direction of his current practice.
Antonio Pichillá focuses on the ever-developing connections between western contemporary art and the vernacular tradition of craft. Using natural materials Pichillá draws from Mayan epistemology to: “Restlessly look for a bond that integrate(s) with the environment as something inexact, uncodified. I struggle to give form to transitory states”. Examining the ancient culture of his native Tz’utujil heritage and the postcolonial notion of a homogenous national identity, Pichillá’s works are an act of resistance to otherness and binary constructions of identity. Instead, his work celebrates the heterogeneity of everyday contemporary Tz’utujil life. From his studio at Lake Atitlán the artist’s practice is driven by anthropological research into Guatemala’s urban and rural regions.
La Piedra De Sol (The Sun Stone) is inspired by a day in the Mayan calendar, B’atz (Knot) day, which celebrates beginning and ending, tying and untying, winding and unwinding, much like existence itself. It is also a healing mechanism too, like a necklace used by spirit guides today. Espantapajaro (Scarecrow) is inspired by scarecrows that the artist has seen, the handmade form that helps protect growing plants from birds. For the artist, it is an important part within the agricultural life cycle, especially early on when the crop is vulnerable at the beginning of February when the first rains fall. The work is made from found threads, textiles and pieces of wood creating a protective yet strange, menacing shape. The artist is interested in the relationship between bodies, memory, fabric, and identity.
Alexandra Zarins predominantly works with oil painting. Zarins is fascinated by the human figure and the psychology of portraiture. The artist draws inspiration from the Old Masters to reflect and respond to the figure in the context of our contemporary world. Leaning into the language of caricature and satire, she explores imagined alternate paradigms of people and creatures revelling and rioting in debauched arenas like playgrounds of hell. These worlds propose that by night – which functions as the alien influence – our recognisable identities are changed. Disrupting the fun: the untamed ferocity and celebration of visceral impulses offered here gives way to hedonism, and turns salacious and sinister, haunted by an undercurrent of existential dread. Her paintings satisfy a perverse desire to indulge in the grotesque and obscene, sometimes confronting us with uncomfortable reflections of society.
The artist works from her imagination conjuring surreal moments of pronounced connection and intimacy. The obsessive repetitive marks build up layers as thick paint is pulled across the surface of the canvas presenting elongated figures that seem supportive yet hostile. Zarins is interested in the dialogue between intimacy with oneself and others, something that is comforting and peaceful yet also challenging and made uneasy by critical and over-analytical thoughts as crippling self- consciousness seeps in.
The exhibition runs from 3rd February to 1st April 2023 (extended), Wednesday to Saturday, 12-6 pm or by appointment.
Elizabeth Xi Bauer Gallery
Fuel Tank, 8-12 Creekside
London SE8 3DX
020 3048 5220