Milan / September 17 —November 13, 2010
On September 17th 2010 Galleria Massimo De Carlo will host the second solo exhibition of Roland Flexner’s works. On this occasion the artist will present a new series of photographs, as well as several works on paper in which for the first time he uses liquid graphite instead of ink.
For over twenty years Roland Flexner has focused mainly on drawing, studying and perfecting theories and techniques that have been influenced by Japanese calligraphy and the post-Renaissance idea of Vanitas. For this new works, the artist has developed a technique that combines the two topic moments in an image’s life: its creation and its dissolution. Through a process that involves a variety of elements, such as water, liquid graphite, paper, breath, and - most importantly - time, the artist created in each work a world that stems from the meeting and merging of chance and a precise will, and in which the only true key to interpretation is imagination.
In his new photographs, Roland Flexner once again relied on chance, on the one hand, and an extremely precise technique, on the other. The artist set up a real photo shoot in his studio, and blew thick smoke on the sculpture of a skull. The smoke moved freely and spread, forming constantly different and ephemeral patterns, which a shot instantly froze in time, once more creating a dream-like and surreal atmosphere. Later, Flexner mirrored the image of the skull, so that it became a unique, fascinating diptych.
Born in Nice in 1944, Roland Flexner has been living and working in New York since 1982. Ever since the 1970s he has been actively involved in the redefinition of the status of painting, and over the course of his thirty-year-long career his works have been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the PS1 in New York, the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, the Magasin - Centre National d’Art Contemporain in Grenoble, the Musée National d’Art Moderne, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. He took part in the 2006 Berlin Biennale and in the 2010 Whitney Biennial. His works are also part of collections at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou, Paris, the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, and the Musee d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, Nice, and some have recently been acquired by François Pinault.