Tube Zilvinas Kempinas

15/05/2010 - 16/09/2010

Galeria Leme presents Zilvinas Kempinas’ first solo show in Brazil. An exhibition that even the artist considers as “the most challenging project until today”, was conceived by the curator Jacopo Crivelli as a small retrospective, and includes some of the most emblematic works by the Lithuanian artist, such as the impressive Tube (2008-2010), a large installation with which Kempinas represented his country at the last Venice Biennial (2009).

As in most of his works in the last years, in the installation at the gallery the artist used 7 km of magnetic tape. If in Venice the light vibrations on the tape alluded to the continuous reflections on the lagoon’s water, in the version developed for Galeria Leme the artist seems to establish a dialogue with the solemn forms of modernist space designed by Paulo Mendes da Rocha.

To counterpoint the monumentality of Tube, there are some more ludic works such as Lemniscate (2008) and Focus (2009), in which the tape comes to life by the action of simple fans. Despite the ironic lightness of these works, it is evident that the use of timelessness and archetypical forms, full of meanings (the symbol of infinity, Lemniscate, and a circle, Focus) allude to a reflection of the inexorable passing of time that the video cassette tape, with its magnetic memory prematurely obsolete and unreadable, suggests.

The exhibition ends with a piece at first sight more restrained, but as usual in Kempinas’ work, points to the need for a more careful reading. Missing Lines (2009) refers directly to the great Western pictorial tradition, but the title and the art craft’s character of the picture’s “construction” suggest an attempt to add something to this tradition that was lacking, through a reflection on the bi-and tri-dimensional character of painting, which could suggest an affiliation with the cut canvas by Lucio Fontana.

Zilvinas Kempinas had solo shows at Baltic Center for Contemporary Art (2010), Wien Kunsthalle (2008), Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius (2007), and Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2006), among others, and has participated in important group shows such as the 53rd Venice Biennial (2009); Immediate Future, Lund Konsthall (2009); Manifesta7, Bolzano (2008), among others.

In 2007, Kempinas was named by Art Review Magazine as one of the ‘Future Greats: 25 artists you need to know’, and in 2008 won the Calder Prize and Atelier Calder Residency Award.

Courtesy: Yvon Lambert, Paris, New York