The Blog

From Surface To Structure: A New Show at St James's

An exhibition of drawings and sculptures by six contemporary European artists opens on the 14th of June at the Jean-Luc Baroni Gallery, St James's, London. Out of a shared background in the classical realm of Old Master Drawings and Paintings. Novella Baroni and Flavio Gianassi discovered an affinity for contemporary art according to a mutual passion for a certain purity of vision in the artist; a muscular yet refined execution of line and detail and expression of sheer form. Both were guided by a simple, honest and singular eye for quality. The result, they trust, is a show encompassing talents of wonderful variety yet delightfully harmonious intent. In From Surface to Structure, drawing and sculpture hold up a mirror to nature and to each other, each to each.

Sculpture by Marc Beattie

As Flavio Gianassi, one of the curators, says:

"The idea behind the show - idea that I shared with Novella Baroni- is to do something different from the usual contemporary exhibitions due partly to our background that is for both in old master paintings and drawings. In the selecting of works, drawings and sculptures, we have used the same method that we would have done for an old master painting: qualities and technique. And of course our taste: every single work is something that we would have in our place."

When I asked Flavio what he would like the audience to take away home, he responds:

"I would be happy if the audience would be able to bring home the idea that you can approach and purchase quality piece of arts even without spending crazy monies. And then that the first investment is the pleasure that you get from just buying art and the daily enjoyment of having something that you love."

Matteo Baroni cuts, models and welds together elements of scrap iron and copper with infinite skill and precision, embracing the concept of 'upcycling' - adding value to

discarded material - in a remarkable and vivacious fashion. Inspired by his extensive travels, Mark Beattie's work is guided by his experiences of different countries and cultures. Working with steel in all its contrasting properties of texture and finish, he is able to create an exciting sensation of form. The drawings of Sandra Beccarelli have an intensely private quality, fed by an eclectic use of materials and texture with a view to reflecting the internal worlds of thought and feeling. Adrien-Angelo Bastien's attention to detail is an evident tribute to the art of Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) and the German Medieval masters as well as his personal feeling for the order in the natural world.

Dianne Kaufman's series of striking watercolours, which she defines as a 'metaphor for the accident of being', were inspired by a seminar she attended in Pochlarn, Austria, the birthplace of Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980). Fiona Robinson's work 'had its genesis in experimental studies using ink on plucked strings, made whilst listening to the music of John Cage.' Her drawings, she writes 'are orchestrated and considered, embracing the measured tones of composers like Bach as much as the randomness of Cage.'

A very interesting and thought-provoking art exhibition. Gianassi and Baroni have shown a great skill and expertise in selecting a very talented group of emerging artists in London today.

Artwork by Sandra Beccarelli