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Marie Amar & Pino Pascali    Apr 8 - May 21, 2011

La Poussière
Marie Amar
La Poussière, 2010
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For their inaugural exhibition, Brancolini Grimaldi will stage a vibrant dialogue, both conceptual and visual, between the latest body of work of contemporary French photographer Marie Amar, never shown in this country before, and Arte Povera sculpture from 1967 and1968 by Italian artist Pino Pascali.

Curated by Paul Wombell, the exhibition signals the curatorial direction of Brancolini Grimaldi; seeking relationships across various innovative art forms and making connections between different generations of artists. This combination promotes an interaction between the two dimensional work of Amar and the three dimensional sculpture of Pascali, who both utilise everyday materials produced by industrial processes to suggest other alternative realities and the possibilities of the imagination.

Marie Amar’s latest series of ten one-of-a-kind photographs entitled “La Poussiére” will be the first exhibition of her work in London. Amar delves into the inner workings of our technological cleaning systems, collecting thin layers of lint from washing machines, a mixture of bits of dust, dirt, human hair, fibres of cotton, wool and synthetic materials. She assembles these brightly coloured, mangled together substances, layering them to create ‘unique dust sculptures’. She then photographs this residue, the by-product of the constant desire to be clean and fresh, blowing them up to create large scale prints. The resulting images on first impact might be taken for an abstract work or even a landscape; however upon closer inspection, small details emerge suggesting the transformation of the materials.

Almost fifty years earlier, in 1967, Arte Povera artist Pino Pascali similarly began to work with brightly coloured acrylic brushes, using a diverse range of unusual industrial products such as water pipes, bitumen, various dusts, leather and camping equipment in the construction of his sculptures. Alluding to silk worms or caterpillars, his series “Bachi da Setola” (literally translated as ‘bristle worms’, but with a play on the Italian word for silk, ‘seta’) represented the artist’s interest in using objects and materials available due to an industrial boom in Italy in the 1960s. This play on and transformation of everyday materials into art questioned the boundaries that existed between high culture and popular culture, as well as between the natural and the man made.

Born in 1962, Marie Amar is a French artist based in Paris. She displayed a strong interest in drawing and painting from a young age, and studied art history in school. She received her first camera in 1974 and began photographing portraits in the streets. Amar is largely influenced by land art, Arte Povera, minimalism and Richard Avedon, and has had solo exhibitions in Paris, Moscow and Cologne.

Born in Bari, Italy in 1936, Pino Pascali moved to Rome in 1955 to learn scene painting and set design at the Academy of Art. Pascali worked as an advertisement illustrator and designer before his first solo exhibition in 1965 at the Galleria La Tartaruga. Pascali’s impressive career culminated in a solo show at the Venice Biennial in 1968, shortly before a tragic motorcycle accident killed the artist at the young age of thirty-two. In the span of his short life he produced a limited number of artworks, including sculpture, installation, performance and mixed media.

Paul Wombell is an independent curator and writer on photography. He has worked as the director of Impressions Gallery, York, director of The Photographers’ Gallery, London and festival director of the Hereford Photography Festival. He writes extensively on the subject of photography and has curated exhibitions for the annual Madrid photographic festival Photoespana as well as FotoGrafia Festival Internazionale di Roma. His most recent work has been for the exhibition Calves and Thighs: Juergen Teller.

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