In Place of a Trophy
Group Exhibition

Private View: Thursday 10 April 2014 (6-8pm)
Exhibition: 11 April – 31 May 2014
Participating Artists: VASILIS ASIMAKOPOULOS, LEO BABSKY, OLIVER 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.

VASILIS ASIMAKOPOULOS

VASILIS ASIMAKOPOULOS (b. 1982, Athens, Greece) holds an MA in Sculpture from the Royal College of Art, London (2011) and a BA in Fine Art from Middlesex University, London. Selected group exhibitions include Breathing Space at Hanmi Gallery, London (2013), Kiss The Future with Schwartz Gallery, London (2013), Tungsten Borealis at Arch 402, London (2013), When We Dead Awaken with Beers Contemporary London (2012), Foreign Body at Wayward Gallery, London (2011) and Designers of the Future at the V&A Museum (2010). Solo exhibitions include Dunes of Aspartame at Bannwarth Gallerie in Paris (2011), and Sorbic Acid with Umbrella Gallery, Leeds. Vasilis was also the winner of the Mostyn Open Award (2011), shortlisted for the Conran Prize in 2011 and a recipient of the RBS Bursary Awards, Royal British Society of Sculptors (2009). The artist lives and works in London, UK. 

LEO BABSKY

LEO BABSKY (b. 1982, UK) graduated from Central St Martins College of Art and Design with an MA in Fine Art in 2007 after completing his BA in Fine Art Sculpture at Brighton University. Babsky’s previous solo presentations include Total Stature at Comme Des Garcons, Berlin (2012), Low Returns with Sugarcube Gallery, Stockholm and at the London Art Fair within the Artists Projects section (2010). Selected group exhibitions include N. 3 at GlogauAIR Project Space, Berlin (2012), Salon 2011 with Matt Roberts Arts, London (2011), Triangle Workshop Open Studio’s, DUMBO Arts Festival, New York (2010), Unfinished Business, Waterside Project Space, London (2010) and Double Take, Mother Gallery, London (2009). Babsky has done residencies in Berlin, New York and Vermont, he was shortlisted for the Clifford Chance and University of the Arts Sculpture Prize (2008) and was the recipient of the Artists and Writers Grant from the Vermont Studio Center in 2009. The artist lives and works in London, UK. 

OLIVIER KOSTA-THEFAINE

OLIVIER KOSTA-THEFAINE (b. 1972, Paris, France) recently completed a residency at the Institut Français d’Ankara in Ankara, Turkey (2012) and has also had his work acquired by FMAC, Fonds Municipal d’Art Contemporain de la ville de Paris (2011). Selected solo exhibitions include En Flanant with Galerie Jeanroch Dard, Paris (2013), Details d’une rue, A.L.I.C.E., Brussels (2013), Monde Sauvage at Galeri Stensland Berliner, Stockholm and Monde SauvageCripta 747, Torino (2010). Recent group exhibitions include Escape Prevert / Scenes du Monde at Savigny-le- Temple, France (2013), Des maisons vides ne font pas une ville, M1886, Ankara (2013), Close Encounters with Galerie Jeanroch Dard, Paris (2012), Street SmartKulturhuset, Stockholm (2012) Newseum, Heerlen, The Netherlands (2012), Out of Sth vol.3, BWA Awandarde, Wroclaw, Poland (2012) and The Importancy of the Unimportant, Hudson Museum/Art Rock Foundation, Rotterdam (2009). Olivier has exhibited at Art Brussels (2013), Art Copenhagen (2012) and has forthcoming solo shows at UD Platform in Lisbon (2014) and Mardin Biennale, Turkey (2014). The artist lives and works in Paris, France. 

FRANK MAIER

FRANK MAIER (b. 1966, Stuttgart, Germany) holds an MA in Sculpture from the State Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe (1995). Selected group exhibitions include Das Abenteuer der KunstAmacher Contemporary, Munich (2013), SNO Contemporary Projects, Sydney (2012), Happy Fainting of Painting with Zwinger Galerie, Berlin (2012), Related Art Structures for the Kienzie Art Foundation (2012), Telephone with Gallery Matthew Brown, Berlin (2010) and Fairly Abstract at Gallery Zink, Munich (2009). Maier was the recipient of the State Grant for Artists, Munich (2005) and the Graduate Studies Grant, State of Baden-Wuerttemberg (1996) and his works have been acquired for the Bavarian State Art Collections, the Artist Pension Trust Berlin and Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich. The artist lives and works in Berlin, Germany. 

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