In Place of a Trophy

'In Place of a Trophy' (2013), marble, latex, ceramic. 82x54cm, other dimensions variable
Fringe A7M3, stainless steels, print on cotton, 220x140cm
Dyptique – Sans Titre 1, 2 (2013), found object, burnt piece of plywood, 79x63cm
Installation View
Installation View
'Intermediate Positions' (2014), granite and foam. 75x172x3cm
Installation View
Detail: 'Low Returns II' (2013), metal, glass, rug, 205x130x80cm
Untitled (Marble Effect Versace I), 2013, digital print on vintage catalogue page, 53x37cm
Collection 1 (herbier), 2013, found object (brick), 23x11cm
Sans Titre (La Gaubretiere), 2013, metal welded and painted, 100x50cm
'There is Lambs wool in Front of my Eyes' (2013/14), enameled wooden box, frame lath, painted wood
Private View: Thursday, 10 April, 2014 
Exhibition Dates: 11 April - 31 May, 2014 
Vasilis Asimakopoulos   |   Leo Babsky   |   Olivier Kosta-Thefaine   |   Frank Maier 

'In Place of a Trophy' presents forward four internationally based artists whose work evades any conventional reading of the object of art. The selected works present a conceptual understanding of the constructed environment; through a re-imagining of context and materiality, the works consider our relationship of space as imagined, evasive, and unstable.
Articulated through an unconventional and diverse array of urban materials, such as concrete, brick, wood and metal, the artists approach such unconventional materialization with a surprising, whimsical, and urgent nature, transforming objects that might otherwise be ignored or discarded to create a new temporal language: a landscape of spatial distortion, which (while reminiscent of its initial framework) reinvents itself and appropriates a sense of masquerade. Reused, reshaped and reinterpreted, each artist exhibits a distinct yet related body of work that can be understood archaeologically, as though a future civilization has embalmed and reinterpreted samples from our contemporary urban environment. Here we see captured street scenes, extracts of the metropolis, items of urbanity, artesania, and even kitsch, reinvented with museum-like dissociation, pseudo-scientific analysis, as though a series of cultural, socio-historic curio on display. Here, the viewer is reverted to passivity, refuted entry as though a museum visitor attempting to process the foreign objectivity that has been displayed. Non-descript rubble lying on the side of a pavement is magnified and printed on denim, disguising as painterly tapestry in Vasilis Asimakopoulos’s Knocking. Discarded cement blocks rendered useless at a construction site are presented by Olivier Kosta-Thefaine, as objects that should be reconsidered, redefined and treasured. Similarly, the ordinary metal grill of a security fence is moulded and transformed into neat, abstract and geometric patterns in Kosta-Thefaine’s Satrouville and La Gaubretiere and six framed spray painted works hang playfully alongside two forgotten bricks, reminiscent of graffiti sprawled on street corners and walls (Detail D’une Rue and Collection 1).
In the same vein, Frank Maier creates asymmetrical sculptural paintings from painted detritus: wood and string. Leo Babsky challenges the material aspects of contemporary life by combining every day objects and allowing the viewer to reconsider their appeal as new constructed and desirable entities: 'In Place of A Trophy' presents objects that are stripped of their original frameworks and uses, inciting us to reconsider our ingrained reference models. Marble, latex and ceramics, precariously stacked and balanced offer distorted mirrors of the every day. Combined, the works provide a new landscape with alternate potential, a glossy caricature of the real that serves to garner a new sensitivity for the static material world that surrounds us.