Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw: FOUR ROOMS


08.10.2011 – 29.01.2012

Artists: Sonia Almeida, Mark Barrow, Baldur Geir Bragason, Vittorio Brodmann, Ana Cardoso, Aline Cautis, Ann Craven, Francesca DiMattio, Ida Ekblad, Enzo Giordano, Heather Guertin, Davíð Orn Halldorsso, Ingunn Fjóla Ingþórsdóttir, Jacob Kassay, Gilda Mautone, Elizabeth Neel, Ylva Ogland, Paloma Presents [Urs Zahn & Roman Gysin], Zak Prekop, Jo Robertson, Małgorzata Szymankiewicz, Patricia Treib, Daniel Turner, Garth Weiser

Special participation by Pietro Roccasalva

On view through January, 29, 2012
Curators: Ewa Gorządek, Helena Kontova, Giancarlo Politi, Nicola Trezzi
Castels Cellular

Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej Zamek Ujazdowski will host a group exhibition entitled “Four Rooms”. The title of the show is originated by the site of the exhibition, four rooms located in the basement of the Ujazdowski Castle, which are among the few parts that have remained from the original building. Furthermore the exhibition refers to Four Rooms (1995) a movie consisting of four short stories directed respectively by Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, Alexandre Rockwell and Allison Anders, who have been here ‘replaced’ by Ewa Gorzadek, who introduced me to Polish artist Małgorzata Szymankiewicz, Helena Kontova, Giancarlo Politi and myself.

Surreal, visionary, brutal, ironic: these are adjective that perfectly fit the movie as well as the artworks in the exhibition. Moreover another connection between the movie and the exhibition resides in the cohabitation between an official story“ painters working between abstraction and figuration" and many parallel stories, which are all told word of mouth.

In fact while at first sight the exhibition is a presentation of a young generation of artists working with the legacy of painting in an expanded and conceptual way as perfectly illustrated by the practice of Daniel Turner and Mark Barrow, if you dig into each story, as for the characters of Four Rooms, you will discover that there is an invisible net linking many of the artists in the show.

Ann Craven’s generous and nurturing attitude can be seen in the work of Jacob Kassay, Heather Guertin and Ana Cardoso, who have all been Craven’s studio assistant. Ana Cardoso is from Portugal as well as Sonia Almeida and the two artists have known each other since then although they both left one to study in London and the other in New York and they were discovered by us through different paths.

While studied in London at the Slade School of Fine Art Sonia Almeida met Jo Robertson and the two of them reconnected coincidentally during the preparation of this project. Columbia University was the school where Francesca DiMattio, Garth Weiser, Elizabeth Neel and Patricia Treib studied and where Ann Craven who follows Patricia Treib’s work is now teaching. The same happened to Heather Guertin, Zak Prekop and Aline Cautis, who all studied in Chicago and lost track until I found Cautis’s work in Romania, noted the similarities with Guertin and Prekop and discovered that the three of them went to the same school.

Another trope which is repeated in the show is that of the couple: Francesca DiMattio and Garth Weiser, Heather Guertin and Zak Prekop, Gilda Mautone and Enzo Giordano have been together and their works are connected in ways that are subtle and beautiful. Probably the best example to describe it is Francesca DiMattio’s use of Garth Weiser’s discarded canvases for her painting.

As for Ana Cardoso and Sonia Almeida, regional area also played an important role as for the case of Ylva Olgland and Ida Ekblad, coming respectively from Sweden and Norway, as well as Davíð Orn Halldorsson, Ingunn Fjóla Ingþórsdóttirand and Baldur Geir Bragason, who all come from Iceland and were all suggested by Dorothée Kirch.

In the case of Paloma Presents: Urs Zahn & Roman Gysin and Swiss Vittorio Brodmann, the story is even more articulated. Vittorio Brodmann started the project Paloma Presents in Zurich with fellow artists Georg Blunier and Mathis Altmann and therefore in this scenario he is exhibiting his own work as well as being the “shelf” as a member of Paloma Presents of a collaborative project by Swiss artists Urs Zahn and Roman Gysin.

Last but not least it is interesting to note how the title “Four Rooms” can be considered a sort of déjà vu in the contemporary art field, especially in Poland. If Italian artist Pietro Roccasalva who kindly provided the image for the poster devoted part of his production to the protagonist of the aforementioned movi played by Tim Roth, “4 rooms” was also an exhibition organized by Jaroslaw Suchan at Bunkier Sztuki in Krakow in 2002.

Nicola Trezzi, co-curator “Four Rooms”

Partners: Prague Biennale, Flash Art

Media Patrons: Gazeta Wyborcza, Aktivist, Exklusiv, Stolica, Elle Decoration

Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle
Jazdów 2
00-467 Warsaw


Comments are closed.