London Art Reviews

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Responses: Great Tits exhibition was a great collaboration between Orion Contemporary and Fiumano Projects gallery, London.

David Franchi – Thursday, 21 July 2016.

Free as a bird © Alexander Lumsden, ph. co. Orion Contemporary and Fiumano Projects Gallery

Free as a bird © Alexander Lumsden, ph. co. Orion Contemporary and Fiumano Projects Gallery

The interesting exhibition “Responses: Great Tits (Parus Major)” was at the Fiumano Projects gallery, organised by Orion Contemporary, London.

It has been a show made as reply by Sarah Lederman and Alexander Lumsden. The artists were inspired by two 1930s paintings by Swedish artist Mosse Stoopendaal.

They were invited to respond unreservedly to Stoopendaal’s works, unrestrained by curatorial tendencies and with no limits. By keeping in account their individual practices and interpretations, Lederman and Lumsden have created artistic replies to paintings of Magpies examination (Pica Pica) and Great Tits (Parus Major).

Alexander Lumsden proposed sculptures of contemporary immigrants, wrapped in their sleeping bags, representing their isolation, and the incapacity of our society to respond to these crises.

Lumsden referred to the 13th century Persian version of the spiritual ode ‘The Elephant in the Dark Room’ by Maulána Jalálu-d’-Dín Muhammad i Rúmí. The story has a moral for individuals: each person responding individually to a situation inevitably creates conflicts instead of resolving problems.

This reinforces the artistic credo of Lumsden that is “the figures could be anyone, and in a way become everyone.”

The response of Lumsden was mirrored in the juxtaposition to the collaborative birds – magpies and great tits – that are not migratory birds but still are borderless.

This part of his oeuvre showed Lumsden’s concern that “unlike the animal kingdom, our world is filled with defined borders and regulations, which have forever changed the pattern of human migration and ultimately our ability to relate to one another.”

Sarah Lederman mirrored the pure colours of Stoopendaal. She has an artistic practice, which is strongly based in the

Tic Tac Toe © SArah Lederman. ph. co. Orion Contemporary and Fiumano Projects Gallery, London

Tic Tac Toe © SArah Lederman. ph. co. Orion Contemporary and Fiumano Projects Gallery, London

materiality of paint she mostly applies to canvases. Differently from Lumsden, Lederman presented her work has a common thread with Stoopendaal´s artistic output. She also depicted animals in her paintings but as she explains, they are more close to “Small creatures [that] crawl across the body of the paintings looking for something to suckle on”.

In the Lederman paintings, we find the contrasts. Apparently quiet, her paintings are inspired by medieval illuminated manuscripts, Japanese ‘shunga’ prints and traditional representations of femininity. She examines the materiality of paint to make compositions where the female body is fluid, liberated, and out of control. She changed her focuses of female body, but for this exhibition made a fine investigation of femininity.

Founded in 2008, Orion Contemporary gallery is run by Swedish Andrés Olow Clase. Recently, it achieved a semi-permanent base within Fiumano Projects space, King´s Cross, London. The gallery programme focuses on promoting young and emerging artists with a strong focus on Nordic art.

Sarah Lederman graduated (BA) from Chelsea College of Art in 2008. She was first shown by Orion Contemporary the same autumn. She has since been awarded the Catlin Art Prize (2009), won various artist residencies and completed her MA in Fine Arts at Goldsmiths College (2014). Her practice is featured in the ‘Mirrors to Windows: The Artist as Woman’ film.  This was screened to sell out audiences at the Freud Museum and National Portrait Gallery in January 2016.

Alexander Lumsden arrived back in the UK in 2011 after four years in Argentina and the Dominican Republic. In 2012, he was the Daler Rowney Artist in Residence whilst 2014 saw him return to his native Gothenburg. The exhibition Responses sees his work elevated into a fully global context.

From 19th until 31st May 2016, the exhibition “Responses: Great Tits (Parus Major)” was at the Fiumano Projects, organised by Orion Contemporary gallery, London.

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This entry was posted on July 21, 2016 by in Private Galleries, Reviews and tagged , , , .

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