T293

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Louis Cane – ‘Barley Sugar’
16 December 2015 – 23 January 2016
T293 Rome

The exhibition brings together several bronze sculptures, alongside a series of abstract paintings that shed light upon the most recent production of the French master.

The main room of the gallery is organised as a sort of wunderkammer, with all the sculptures displayed in a row and exposing their bold and cheerful shapes. They all resemble female figures playing with or laying upon an insecticide air-pipe. These painstakingly assembled objects recall the fragile and exhilarating balance of aerospace technology. Nevertheless, the colours and poses of these figures also reveal their fluctuating moods. They are joyful, yet somehow meditative and even nostalgic. Indeed, they have been caught by the artist in their stubborn eagerness to learn to fly by employing a fly-tox air-pipe.

All spread around the several rooms of the gallery, the paintings further develop the artist’ need to chisel contradictory feelings out of the physical quality of colours. All made by resin on stainless wire netting, these oeuvres are part of the latest body of work produced by Cane. They emphasise the most peculiar aspects of Cane’s life-long research: his keenness to capture and mirror light, to stimulate pleasure through colours and to use unconventional supports in order to shape new possibilities of what a painting can be. The self-evident procedure that makes them look as assemblages of several monochromes is also stressed out by the use of the open frame that places them in line with Cane’s renowned Sol-Mur paintings (1972-79). As these expand the canvas (and the chromatic physicality of its surface) to the floor, the resin works underscore the physical quality of light through the radical exposure of the paintings’ support.

Once again, Louis Cane breaks down the hackneyed art historical canons that still limit our understanding of contemporary art. There is no distinction of high and low culture in his work. Precious materials like bronze are mixed with humble objects like fly-tox, and a wire netting replaces the more traditional canvas in his paintings. Furthermore, as this exhibition aims to show, the chromatic research undertaken by Cane mainly through painting also nurtures sculptural processes, whilst the resin works put an emphasis on support and materials as never before in painterly practice. This way, this exhibition at T293 poses itself as a critical analysis of Cane’s practice organised spatially and visually, and through this study, aims to foster a different understanding of the legacy of conceptual art in the contemporary field.

T293 - Louis Cane – ‘Barley Sugar’ - 1
T293 - Louis Cane – ‘Barley Sugar’ - 1
T293 - Louis Cane – ‘Barley Sugar’ - 1
T293 - Louis Cane – ‘Barley Sugar’ - 1
T293 - Louis Cane – ‘Barley Sugar’ - 1
T293 - Louis Cane – ‘Barley Sugar’ - 1
T293 - Louis Cane – ‘Barley Sugar’ - 1
T293 - Louis Cane – ‘Barley Sugar’ - 1
T293 - Louis Cane – ‘Barley Sugar’ - 1