Parentescos: Johan Coplans, June Crespo, Florian Slotawa. Installation view, Nordenhake Mexico.

John Coplans, Florian Slotawa , June Crespo
»Parentescos: John Coplans, June Crespo, Florian Slotawa«

Nhmx, February 05, 2019 - March 23, 2019

Nordenhake Mexico presents Parentescos, a Spanish word meaning family relationship, kinship or relatedness, a new exhibition project of the work of artists John Coplans (London, 1920 - New York, 2003), June Crespo (Pamplona, 1982 - Bilbao) and Florian Slotawa (Rosenheim, 1972 - Berlin).

June Crespo produced a series of sculptures made out of concrete, textile and flowers, among other materials, in the space of the gallery during her stay in Mexico City. One of the starting points of her creative process comes from observing the small empty spaces between buildings created by seismic movements. The artist associates buildings joining together, squeezing together, or slightly separating from each other as time goes by, with people emotionally getting close and drifting apart throughout a lifetime. Crespo extracts negatives from the gap between the gallery and the neighboring house to produce a concrete cast out of it. Such concrete works also depart from object shapes, including radiators and leaves from the gallery garden, in order to produce sculptures containing flowers and blue or red pigments. Likewise, the artist’s concrete entities are merged with everyday objects, such as a mirror wrapped in newspaper or her clothes. Therefore, she creates a constellation of entities -or bodies- installed on the floor of the gallery that follow a complex and precise system of affections conceived by the artist’s intuition.

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John Coplans’ black and white photographs become strongly politicized throughout the exhibition of his own aged body shown nude and fragmented. One of the artist’s key features is the self-portrait of body parts in almost infinite poses and movements. His work developed from the 80s until his death in 2003, as of his fundamental role as curator, and especially as an art critic, having also founded the Artforum magazine in New York. In fact, in his old age, Coplans continued the artistic practice he interrupted in his youth due to the Second World War. The poetic subtlety of his photographs is inextricable from the political power of showing his old body in multiplied temporalities, thus generating a soliloquy with himself. Such repetitive display of old body is evocative, and at the same time disruptive, of the sculpture genre in the fine arts system.

The work of Florian Slotawa exposes the links and destinies of the objects produced by a postindustrial society. The conceptual practice of the artist is based on the combination and serial disposition of pre-existing objects that explore rigorous methodologies of organization within the artistic discourse. Slotawa combines different objects he bought, or found, such as ceramic cups and spray cans of the same color and diameter. The artist has also worked intensely with photography to document assemblages of installations that only exist during the time of the exhibition. In contrast to the almost alchemical processes of Crespo and the exuberant performativities of Coplans, the almost assamblages of Slotawa are re-ordered in the shape of disquieting indexes, which in turn are bodies of fragmented objects that find a meticulously and lyrically disturbing material and discursive unity.

The exhibition speculates on strong links or antagonisms between works of art, produced in very different contexts and times. It converges ambiguous notions of the real and the fictitious, limited by space-time discourses of the temporary exhibition.

June Crespo was born in 1982 in Pamplona, España. She currently lives and Works in Bilbao, España. She has a degree in Fine Arts from the University of the Basque Country in 2005 and has recently completed the residency program De Ateliers (Amsterdam 2015-2017). Projects and solo exhibitions include Ser dos (2017) y Cosa y Tú (2015), CarrerasMugica gallery, Bilbao; Chance Album nº1, etHALL gallery (Barcelona 2016), Kanala, MARCO (Vigo 2016). She has participated in group exhibitions including: foreign bodies, P420 Gallery (Bologna 2018), escucho tus pasos venir, Heinrich Ehrhardt gallery (Madrid 2018), Generación2017, La Casa Encendida, Madrid 2017, fluxesfeverfuturesfiction, Azkuna zentroa, Bilbao 2016, Wild Things, The Green Parrot, Barcelona 2014, Hitting it off, P-exclamation, New York, 2014, Pop Politics, CA2M, Madrid 2012 and Antes que todo, CA2M, Madrid, 2010.
John Coplans grew up between London and South Africa. After the Second World War, he applied for an arts education grant and began painting. In 1957 his paintings were included in Metavisual, Tachiste, and Abstract Art, the first survey of British post-war abstract art. Coplans moved to San Francisco in 1960, and began teaching basic design at the University of California, Berkeley. He was one of the founding editors of the magazine Artforum (1962) with Phil Leider and gradually became involved in art criticism. In 1963 he organized the exhibition ‘Pop Art USA’ at the Oakland Art Museum. Between 1965-67, he was the director of the Art Gallery, University of California, Irvine, where he organized the exhibition Abstract Expressionist Ceramicsand later became senior curator at the Pasadena Art Museum where he organized the exhibition Serial Imagery. He curated a series of exhibitions with accompanying catalogues between 1967 and 1978, most importantly James Turrell (1967), Robert Irwin (1968), Roy Lichtenstein (1968), Andy Warhol (1970), Richard Serra (1970), Donald Judd (1971), Ellsworth Kelly (1972), and Weegee: Täter und Opfer (1978). In 1971 Coplans moved to New York to take over editorship of Artforum. Stepping down from Artforum in 1980, he became director of the Akron Art Museum in Ohio. At Akron, John Coplans organized the first American exhibition of Brancusi's photographs and the first American exhibition of John Heartfield's montages. Coplans moved back to New York in 1981 and began his career in photography. He immediately received widespread acclaim, his works shown in and acquired by museums in Europe and the United States. John Coplans has exhibited with Galerie Nordenhake since 1996.

Florian Slotawa was born in 1972 in Rosenheim, and currently lives and works in Berlin. His solo exhibitions include STUTTGART SICHTEN, Sculptures of the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Deichtorhallen Hamburg; Everyday Life (mit Paola Pivi und Bojan Šarčević), Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin (2014); "Andere Räume", Arp Museum Bahnhof, Remagen (2012); "Local Plants", Artspace, San Antonio (2012); P.S.1, MoMA, New York (2009); “Solothurn aussen“, Kunstverein Solothurn, (2008); “One After the Other“, Arthouse, Austin (2007); “Land gewinnen”, Haus am Waldsee, Berlin (2005); “Bonn ordnen”, Bonner Kunstverein (2004); and “Gesamtbesitz”, Kunsthalle Mannheim (2002). He has taken part in numerous group exhibitions internationally, most recently at Kunstverein Wolfsburg (2016 and 2006), Guggenheim Bilbao and Haus am Lützowplatz (both 2016), Hamburger Kunsthalle (2015), MoCA, Taipei, Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz, Vancouver Art Gallery (all 2013), Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt/Main, Pinakothek der Moderne, München (all 2012), Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago (2009), Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (2008), as well as ZKM Karlsruhe and Sprengel Museum, Hannover (both in 2007). His installation “Ersatzturm” was presented in the 4th Berlin Biennale (2006). In 2013 he participated in the Aichi Triennale 2013, Nagoya. After exhibitions in 2009 and 2015 in Berlin, his first show at Galerie Nordenhake Stockholm opened in february 2017. In 2018 he had the major exhibition STUTTGART SICHTEN, Sculptures of the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Deichtorhallen Hamburg .


John Coplans, June Crespo, Florian Slotawa

Nordenhake Mexico presenta Parentescos, un nuevo proyecto expositivo en el cual confluye el trabajo de los artistas John Coplans (Londres, 1920 – Nueva York, 2003), June Crespo (Pamplona, 1982 – Bilbao) y Florian Slotawa (Rosenheim, 1972 – Berlín).

June Crespo desarrolla en el espacio de la galería durante su estancia en la Ciudad de México un grupo de esculturas de concreto, textil y flores, entre otros materiales. Uno de los puntos de partida de su proceso creativo surge de observar los pequeños espacios vacíos entre los edificios creados por los movimientos sísmicos. La artista asocia el hecho de que a lo largo del tiempo los edificios se unen, se aprietan o se separan ligeramente unos de otros, con los acercamientos y alejamientos emocionales de las personas a lo largo de la vida. Crespo extrae negativos del hueco entre la galería y la casa vecina para a continuación positivarlos en forma de concreto. También se basa en objetos como radiadores y hojas del jardín de la galería para producir piezas de concreto que contienen flores o pigmentos azules o rojos. A su vez, las entidades de concreto se combinan con objetos cotidianos como un espejo envuelto en papel de periódico o la ropa de la artista. De esta manera, ella crea una constelación de entidades o cuerpos posicionados en el suelo de la galería que siguen un complejo y preciso sistema de afectos concebido por la intuición de la artista.

Las fotografías en blanco y negro de John Coplans devienen fuertemente politizadas a través de la exhibición de su propio cuerpo envejecido que se muestra desnudo y fragmentado. Una de las ideas clave del artista es el autorretrato de partes del cuerpo en poses y movimientos casi infinitos. Su trabajo se desarrolla desde la década de los 80 hasta su muerte en 2003, posterior a su rol fundamental no solo como curador sino sobretodo como crítico, siendo fundador de la revista Artforum en Nueva York. En su vejez recupera el trabajo artístico que interrumpió en su juventud con la Segunda Guerra Mundial. La sutileza poética de sus fotografías es indisociable de la potencia política de mostrar su cuerpo viejo multiplicadas veces y generar así un soliloquio consigo mismo. Tal exhibición repetitiva de la vejez es evocadora y a la vez disruptiva del género de la escultura en el sistema de las bellas artes.

El trabajo de Florian Slotawa expone los vínculos y destinos entre los objetos fabricados por la sociedad postindustrial. La práctica conceptual del artista se fundamenta en la combinación y disposición en serie de objetos pre-existentes que exploran rigurosas metodologías de organización en el discurso de lo artístico. Slotawa une distintos objetos comprados o encontrados como vasitos de cerámica y latas de spray del mismo color y diámetro. El artista ha trabajado intensamente con la fotografía para documentar ensamblajes de instalaciones que sólo existen durante el tiempo de su exposición. En contraposición a los procesos casi alquímicos de Crespo y a las exuberantes performatividades de Coplans, los casi-assamblages de Slotawa se re-ordenan en forma de índices inquietantes que a su vez son cuerpos de objetos fragmentados que encuentran una unidad material y discursiva meticulosa y líricamente perturbadora.

La exposición especula sobre fuertes vínculos o antagonismos entre obras de arte producidas en contextos y tiempos muy dispares. En ella convergen nociones ambiguas de lo real y lo ficticio que se encuentran limitadas por los discursos espacio-temporales de la exposición temporal.

Parentescos: Johan Coplans, June Crespo, Florian Slotawa. Installation view, Nordenhake Mexico.

June Crespo, Parentescos (Erraia), 2019, concrete, textile, 28 x 55 x 39 cm

Installation view

June Crespo, Parentescos (Amama), 2019, concrete, flowers, textile, 13 x 38 x 31cm

Florian Slotawa, Volkswagen C6T (Jadegrün met.), 2015, safety goggles, auto lacquer, aluminium, 26 x 43.5 x 11 cm

John Coplans, Self Portrait (Feet Crossed), 1985, gelatin silver print, 41 x 51 cm

June Crespo, Parentescos (Amama), 2019, concrete, flowers, textile, 13 x 38 x 31cm

Florian Slotawa, Mannheimer Bestandsaufnahme (Werkzeugkästen), 2002/2009, gelatin silver print on baryta paper, 56,6 x 77 cm

June Crespo, Régimen nocturno, 2019, concrete, pigments, textiles, 35 x 53 x 102cm

Florian Slotawa, KS.050, 2017, vase, spray can, aluminium, 40.5 × 7.5 cm

Florian Slotawa, KS.056, 2017, vase, spray can, aluminium, 38 x 6 cm

June Crespo, Régimen Diurno, 2019, concrete, flowers, pigments, mirror, newspaper, 61 x 47 x 43 cm

Installation view

June Crespo, Parentescos (Ama alaba), 2019, textile, epoxy, metal, concrete, pigments, 25 x 69 x 21cm

Florian Slotawa, NCS S 0585-Y80R, 2015, bicycle frame, acrylic on aluminum, 90 x 104 x 15 cm

John Coplans, lnterlocking fingers, 1999, gelatin silver print, 93 x 75 cm

Installation view

John Coplans, (Crossed Fingers nº 1), 1999, gelatin silver print, 52,5 x 62,5 cm

June Crespo, Régimen diurno, 2019, concrete, flowers, pigments, textile, 47x42x55cm

Installation view

Installation view

June Crespo, Espacio de ti a mí, 2019, concrete, pigments, 127 x 40 x 23 cm

June Crespo, Mismo Calor, 2019, concreto, flores, textil, 12 x 40 x 31cm

John Coplans, Self Portrait, (Clenched Hand), 1987, gelatin silver print, 52 x 45.3 cm

John Coplans, Self portrait (side view, hand on chest), 1985, gelatin silver print, 51 x 61 cm

Installation view

Florian Slotawa, Honda BG28P (Tahitian Green Pearl), 2015, spirit level, auto lacquer, wood, 80 x 20.5 x 4.5 cm

Florian Slotawa, NCS S 2060-R20B, 2015, paint can, acrylic on aluminum, 29.7 x 16.3 x 7 cm