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Stephan Balkenhol
Date: Nov 26 , 2011 - Jan 28 , 2012
Biography Available works
Artist: Stephan Balkenhol
Internationally praised and acclaimed for revitalising the tradition of the figurative statue – which has been largely abandoned by mainstream minimal and conceptual art trends since the 1960’s – Balkenhol deliberately avoids specific narrative references in order to depict the familiar yet anonymous ‘Everyman’, common men and women, rather than the usual historical heroes and heroines generally associated with classical sculptures in his work.

A student of German conceptual sculptor Ulrich Ruckiem in Hamburg, Balkenhol had an explorative and creative approach to sculpture and ‘human form’ that can be described and seen as a reaction to our current understanding and engagement of traditional and contemporary art. His use of distorted proportions, ordinary clothed figures and an often unusual choice of animals inject a sense of humour into this familiar and expected art form, creating an easily accessible yet intimate aesthetic that has generated a wider appeal for the mass public.

Balkenhol applies and extends the same concepts to his drawings and wood relief works. His drawing, often based upon his own imagination as he has seldom worked with real-life models, echoes the essence of his sculptural work with a childlike sensibility. Meanwhile, his wood relief recalls traditional portraiture, yet simultaneously resonates with a contemporary photography of youth by Thomas Ruff and Jeff Wall. The nonchalant and distant facial expressions on the young men and woman in Balkenhol’s reliefs give nothing away, concealing a mysterious quality surrounding the subjects.

Stephan Balkenhol was born 1957 in Fritzlar (Hasse), Germany and currently lives and works in Karlsruhe, Germany, and Meisenthal, France. He has been exhibited extensively since the early eighties, including the prestigious and prominent “Skulptur Projekte in Munster’ (The Munster Sculpture Project) in Germany, The Saatchi Gallery in London, The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, Japan’s National Museum of Art in Osaka and the Tokyo Opera City Gallery, 'Africus: Johannesburg Biennale '95' in South Africa, the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery) Berlin in Germany and the Kunsthalle Basel in Switzerland
Erwin Olaf
Date: Oct 28 , 2011 - Nov 25 , 2011
Biography Available works
Artist: Erwin Olaf

Born in1959 in Hilversum (the Netherlands), lives in Amsterdam.

Erwin Olaf's art visualizes implicitly the unspoken, the overlooked, that typically resist easy documentation. Olaf's trademark is to address social issues, taboos, and bourgeois conventions in a highly stylized and cunning mode of image making. With his razor-sharp aesthetic intuition, Olaf purposely conceals his themes, so that the viewer has to accept the initial concealment in Olaf's photo series. Yet in the end, his unconventional style never misses to deliver dramatic visual and emotional impact.By taking care of the scenic and lightning design, and the utmost perfect composition in his typical, immaculate 'Olafian' way, together with his passion for flawlessly conceiving scenarios, Olaf vividly captures the essence of contemporary life.

Mixing photojournalism with studio photography, Olaf emerged on the international art scene in 1988, when his series Chessmen was awarded the first prize in the Young European Photographer competition. This award was followed by an exhibition at the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Germany in the same year. Deliberately disturbing and intended to raise awareness, Olaf committed himself in his earlier work on the subject of social exclusion in which he explored issues of class, race, sexual taste, beliefs, habits and grace. In his recent series Rain (2004), Hope (2005), Grief (2007) and Fall (2008) Olaf challenges the notion of domestic bliss. Dusk (2009) and Dawn (2010) show how culture can become repression, despite a beautiful appearance. A similar disengagement takes place in Olaf's Hotel (2010) series in which he explores the subtle range of detached melancholic emotions in dimly-lit exquisitely furnished 1950s hotel rooms.

Erwin Olaf has had numerous important group and solo exhibitions both nationally and internationally, including George Eastman House, Rochester, USA; Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; Chelsea Art Museum, New York; Kunsthalle, Winterthur, Switzerland and the Museum of the City of New York, New York. Solo exhibitions include Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Bilbao Art Centre, Bilbao, Spain; Groninger Museum, Groningen; MonteVideo, Amsterdam; Modern Art Gallery of Bologna, Bologna, Italy; Museum of Modern Art, Moscow, Russia; The Hague Museum of Photography, The Hague; Photo Museum Antwerp, Antwerp; Institut Néerlandais, Paris; Domus Artium, Salamanca; Hermitage, Amsterdam; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. His work is part of the collections of Gemeentemuseum, The Hague; Centraal Museum, Utrecht; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Groninger Museum, Groningen; Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Germany; FNAC Collection, Paris; CaldicCollection, Rotterdam; Rosenblum Collection, Paris; Orefa Collection, Paris.
Date: Sep 30 , 2011 - Oct 23 , 2011
Biography Available works
Artist: Andy Wauman
‘What I try to do is make one copy out of a trillion.’ The young Antwerp artist Andy Wauman (b. 1975) tries to look with unprejudiced eyes at the world around him, at the deluge of visual and verbal information that washes over us every day.

Everything in this massively digitised society has become a copy of a copy. The original has become so rare that it may even have lost all real interest. A fascinating idea, that Wauman explicitly plays with: perhaps an original way of copying a copy is more interesting than desperately seeking originality. A pair of worn-out sneakers, for instance, of the kind churned out by the billions in sweatshops, get a new life when he paints them in the colours of the Belgian or the Dutch flag. There is a reference there to the work of Marcel Broodthaers, who once turned a stack of unread poetry books into a sculpture. There was no money in poetry, but the fine arts might do the trick, or so Broodthaers hoped (and he was proved right, in a way).

Meanwhile, Andy Wauman has a good sense of how these things work. He knows his history: not just Marcel Broodthaers, but also artists like Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger, Richard Prince and Robert Longo have influenced him. The essence: to uncover the meaning imposed by some power or other. To reinterpret things that people take for granted, in word or image, to give them different shapes, to make them read differently. With letter cookies, you can make the sentence ‘What the Fuck am I Kidding’, printed T-shirts can proclaim ‘Think Crooked to see Straight’, rubbish can spell ‘Heart’. The point here is not a verbal or visual pun.

Wauman locks horns with the laziness and slavish docility with which people read words and accord them a meaning that soon becomes a universal cliché. ‘What fascinates me is the creative versatility of chaos. Chaos is important to spread your imagination; chaos that drives you like a bus.’ Creativity needs chaos to prosper. Chaos as the roller coaster for new ideas. The world of information flows, of the internet, but also of mass- consumption goods, is very stimulating. The word ‘Ideal’ seems to have been carved from coal: an old economic commodity that disintegrates easily. ‘Heart’ is made of compressed scrap metal: the world’s discarded mass-produced articles and chaotic rubbish can be used for a new and totally different form.

‘City where all the things pass through human hands’. The city is the no man’s land for Andy Wauman. The graffiti are messages from an anonymous recalcitrant. The tags he draws are, in their turn, interpretations of clichés, copied a thousandfold. ‘Temptation city, asphalt stage, black heart of an unoccupied city’. In the city, in suburbia, things happen; signs, stencils and emblems emerge that are not interpreted and retrieved until later, but meanwhile brand themselves on the retina of the subconscious.

‘Typo ruins in fix letter uniform. Spitting black dust of contemporary consumption.’ Everything wears down and falls to pieces. Today, anything that crumbles, ages or rusts has had its chips. ‘Oxy Date’. But Andy Wauman has a special eye for old things. ‘Social energy’ is what he calls it. The things that are taken to the dump now are the treasures and memories of what was once young and daring itself. ‘Trash in bikini & media tears’, no one has the right to throw the baby away with the bathwater, to dump old stuff without any respect. Because old stuff is often less of a copy of a copy than all the stuff that is young and new today.

The trivial. ‘I hop from red light to red light. Take the elevator down, 1000 flights & walk the long 7-weeks hall.’ Andy Wauman runs, tears, bikes and hurtles through the beginning of the 21st century. He makes graphic interventions in magazines that try to keep a finger on the pulse of the times: they are glossy and frenetic, but they are always a fraction too late. Wauman points to the trivial, to things even experienced trend-watchers do not notice, because they keep on running after the latest and most original things. Wauman reveals the strength of the trivial, if it is carefully pulled just a few degrees out of joint, if it gets a marginally sharper focus, a slightly distorted form, or a shade less exposure. ‘What I try to do is make one copy out of a trillion.’

February 2006
The Hero Always Comes Late
Date: Aug 5 , 2011 - Aug 27 , 2011
The first solo show of Takeru Amano at Art Statements features new paintings and video installation. Takeru Amano's scenic paintings confuse the viewers as thye never know if what they see takes place on the ground, in the sea or in a totally imaginary world. The fact that Amano's landscapes are empty of people further creates a sense of tension as one wonders what lies behind these montains, trees, waves and color patterns. This state of confusion put in perspective the show's title "The Hero Always Comes Late", highlighting the stress that exists when we are no more the masters of our destiny. Our anguish changes our perception of reality while we wonder if we will make it or not (as we don't know when the hero will bring us back in the safe track of life).
Gambatte Humanity!
Date: Jul 1 , 2011 - Jul 30 , 2011
This group exhibition features some renowned international artists together with some of the current most promising Japanese ones: Yoshitaka Amano, AES+F, Erwin Olaf, Dale Frank, Yuichi Sugai, Caroline Chiu, Shunsuke Francois Nanjo.
Gambate Humanity! confronts works from artists of different generations and cultures having in common the exploration of humanity. Like a new revelation book, the exhibition brings us to the genesis of our world and explores the depth of our soul. By exposing our strengths and weaknesses, we are invited to step back and reflect about the evolution of the world and of our own.
The Butterfly Effect
Date: May 13 , 2011 - Jun 26 , 2011
Biography Available works
Artist: Shunsuke François Nanjo
Born in 1981 in Tokyo, Shunsuke François Nanjo works between France and Japan. He has a Master Degree in Fine Art from the University Toulouse le Mirail, France.
Shunsuke François Nanjo's core inspiration and works relate to the concept of Heterotopia as explored by Michel Foucault in Of Other Spaces (1967) . According to Foucault, Utopia is a place separate from reality and time as we know it, existing only in our imagination. It has its own logic of functioning, and does not expose the world we are living in. On the contrary, Heterotopia, while also in charge of its own logic and time, can be located in our daily life. Theaters, cemeteries or airports are all examples we might find in our reality, a space located within the space. In addition to exploring and exposing these heterotopias, the artist's work aims to reveal the traces of memory our lives leave imprinted in this world. These traces haunt our life and might stick to our surroundings only to reemerge in new forms. Francois' recent work often extracts these haunting pasts of spaces or things. By observing the traces of these memories, he can find a departure point to new personal myths
Date: Mar 18 , 2011 - Apr 16 , 2011
Biography Available works
Artist: Yuichi Sugai 菅井祐一
Yuichi Sugai was born in 1952 in Tokyo.
In the 1970s he was very active within the minimalist paintings movement and held, at that time, exhibitions in different galleries in Tokyo as well as art institutions such as the Kyoto Museum, Kanagawa Citizen's Gallery, etc.
In the early 1980s Yuichi Sugai studied printmaking and subsequently opened a printing studio in Tokyo that soon became a reference in Japan and overseas, working with such artists as Toeko Tatsuno, Ufan Lee, Isamu Wakabayashi, Sandro Chia, Martin Kippenberger, Donald Baechler, etc.
In the mid mid-1990s he married and moved to the United States with his new wife. He continued making prints for international artists and taught printmaking at various institutions.

After many years of hesitation and a deep will and need to create art, Yuichi Sugai decided in 2009 to produce his own work again. He developed a brand new series of works inspired by his childhood and a sense of nostalgia that currently inhabit him.
Yuichi Sugai is using a very unique medium; mixing printmaking techniques, painting and Kimono fabric to produce very original and inspiring works.

The Feast of Trimalchio
Date: Feb 4 , 2011 - Mar 15 , 2011
Biography Available works
Artist: AES+F
AES+F is a group of four Russian artists formed in 1987. The group focuses on photography and video art. Since AES+F video "Last Riot 2" shown at the 2007 Venice Biennale, the group’s reputation became truly international. Their work has been widely shown on many biennials (Venice, Sydney, Gwangju, Moscow, Istanbul, etc.) and at a large number of important group and solo shows worldwide such as The Museum of Modern Art (Moscow), The Bass Museum (Miami), The Chelsea Art Museum (New York), The Haifa Museum of Art (Israel), Institute of Modern Art (Brisbane), Maison Europeene de la Photographie (Paris).

AES+F’s new project "The Feast of Trimalchio" (video and photography) was featured at the 17th Sydney Biennale [2] and the 53rd Venice Biennale. The Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT) included AES+F’s The Last Riot 2 video in their exhibition “Transformation” that ended in January 2011.
Date: Nov 17 , 2010 - Jan 22 , 2011
Biography Available works
Artist: Yoshitaka Amano
Amano was born in 1952 in Shizuoka City, Japan. Always fascinated by drawing, he joined the early Japanese anime movement in 1967, working on character design for a number of Japanese TV programs, including the series Kashaan and Tekkaman. Some of Amano's masterpieces are deeply rooted in people's heart such as Gatchaman, Honey Bee and The Time Bokan. Amano continues to inspire us with his recent works, such as the world acclaimed Final Fantasy series. Amano has won several prestigious awards including the Seiun Award in 1983 and the Julie Award, Dragon Con Award and the Eisner Award in . He was also nominated that same year for the Hugo Award.

Since 2002, Yoshitaka Amano has slightly put aside his commercial assignments and has focused more on developing his art works. His amazing glossy paintings on aluminum has been exhibited in prestigious museum and galleries worldwide since 1989, including the Orlean Museum of Art in France, Tokyo's Uenonomori Museum, The Angel Orensanz Foundation in New York, MOCA Taipei, Germany's Kunstverein Heilbronn, MOCA Shanghai and the Barbican Centre in London.
His current exhibition at Art Statements Tokyo, his first solo show in a gallery in Japan, features some monumental works following the theme of Deva Loka. In Indian religion, Deva Loka is where Gods live. It is a kind of heaven where everything is being created and where everything will return. Following these themes, Yoshitaka Amano exhibits some amazing works on aluminum, full of mythological creatures trying to escape the frame they have been painted in. The viewers are first surprised by the scale of the works, then by their complexity and then by the unique glossy medium and technique used by Amano. One can stand in front of these paintings for hours and constantly find new and hidden characters, thus re-reading again and again the scenes of the paintings.

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