The paintings are about time, our span of it as living things, the nature of the void we come from and to which we will – or will we? – return. As Bennett says, ‘there is a clarity about the start of life, but an ambiguity about the end’. There are lots of oppositions to get our heads around: life / death; night / day; dark / light; stillness / movement; abstraction / representation; control / spontaneity…. They’re all built in.
Emma Bennett (Born1974) 's contemplative paintings are contemporary manifestations of the classical idea of the memento mori. By depicting fragile life forms such as flowers, fruit, small birds, fish and hunted game set against dark, monochromatic grounds, the artist engages with notions of time, transience, life, death and life after death.
Still life forms are appropriated from art historical sources but are recomposed and set out of
context. Combined withexpressive techniques within and against the monochromatic fields, Bennett introduces a set of dichotomies that create tension and dynamism: figurative and abstract; modern and classical; fast and slow; surface and depth; instinctive and predetermined. This new set of paintings also begins to explore the energy and momentum that propels all thingsthrough space and time. Composition and fluidity of paint suggest a gravitational pull of elements through a spatial void, with the once fecund but now expired conjoined or about to collide. And the work seeks to portray the potential of these energies continuing beyond life: we are therefore presented with the certainty of a beginning and the ambiguity of the end.
‘‘I like to make shiny, colorful art pieces that appeal to our dreams and urges but actually deal with decay or disillusion,’’ says the Brussels-based artist Vincent Olinet.
Decay is the stage of existence.
Vincent Olinet experiments and makes his works as objects-toys in transit between the real and the imaginary. Fascinated by the making of the merveilleux, he carves into the real and confer it the excess of a dream. He chooses his subjects for their emotional power, their potential to speak universally, and shapes them to amplify their sculptural nature. His models become two-face figures, protagonist and stage, playing with both an attractive and repulsive perceptions, developing the confusion of truth and falsity.
Vincent Olinet works in a variety of mediums from sculpture, photography and mixed media to large scale installations. Olinet attended l'Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts in Lyon, France, 1999-2005 and Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, Netherlands from 2006 - 2007. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including the 2005 Prix Pézieux and 2004 Charles Dufraine sculpture prize from l'Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts. Olinet lives and works between Brussels and Singapore.
Adrian Ghenie is a young Romanian painter whose works demonstrate his fascination with history and the trauma of dictatorship. The sources for his images are derived from a combination of his own personal memories and from historical books, archives and both documentary and fictional film.
Ghenie plunders visual history via disparate avenues - archives, history books, cinema, painting, YouTube and Google - to build his dense, multi-layered paintings. His preparations are intriguing in their ebb and flow between fact and fabrication. Once images are selected from different modes of representation, Ghenie creates collages with printed images that are overworked and embellished in paint. Sometimes he turns stills into cardboard models, creating a kind of mini film set, tangible, with shifting light and relative scale.
Cinema’s aesthetic preoccupies Ghenie, particularly the moment cinema developed its own unique qualities: when scenes were created, seen and understood as nothing but filmic – movement, light, structure, genre, and moments repeated in different productions to the point of cliché that could not be separated from that medium, just as the surface and qualities of a Caravaggio can only really exist in paint.