How many exhibition works:
BASTIAN London is delighted to present Lullaby for Realville, the first solo exhibition in London by Edin Zenun. Running from 15 July to 13 August 2022, the show is comprised of twenty-six small and medium scale abstract paintings which appropriate, distil, riff-on and assimilate music, utopian political philosophy, art history, lavatory graffiti and music. While these influences are not always visually apparent, Zenun configures these influences in abstractive form, a process he likens to musical sampling.
The desire to create something new out of something existing is one of the guiding forces behind Zenun’s artistic practice and is underpinned by Jacques Derrida’s theory of ‘hauntology’, where people feel nostalgia for futures that never materialised. While he dismisses this harking back to the past as delusional, even toxic, the discrepancies between the idea and the reality open avenues of discovery that feed into his work. For example, two works in this presentation are dedicated to Sonia Delaunay (1885-1979), the co-founder of Orphism, the art movement developed by her and husband Robert that explored pure abstraction and bright colours. In reworking and ‘remixing’ the ideas behind Delaunay’s works, the artist creates not only a tribute to the past, but the opening up of new creative possibilities.
The exhibition’s title is a song by the jazz composer Sun Ra and highlights the importance of music in Zenun’s work. Some of the paintings in Lullaby for Realville are named after songs and record sleeves are another key inspiration. Sun Song 2, 2022, is illustrative of how the imagery merges into abstractive depiction, combining not only psychedelic album covers but also the19th century educational illustrations of ocean life by Ernst Haeckel. The paintings themselves are stripped down, condensing this welter of ideas within a minimalist aesthetic. Other inspirations include graffiti. ‘It is in itself a language where the letters become abstract sounds,’ Zenun says, ‘and the way it is written is like a portrait of its author.’
The show includes five one metre squared paintings, while the remainder are smaller in reaction to the trend for artists to produce large works. Zenun observes: ‘With large paintings, it is not up to you whether you look at it or not. It is unavoidable. With a smaller format, the viewer has to decide whether they want to engage with it or not.’
As curator Nicole Tatschl says ‘This show is part of our Sommergäste series which we started last year which shines a spotlight on a single artist or medium, exhibited for four weeks at the gallery. I’m really proud of as it as it highlights contemporary and emerging artists. I personally really enjoy the Sommergäste series as we can experiment and play more on the curatorial side. Zenun’s work is an excellent example of this, as the contrasting sizes of his canvases allows for a very playful approach to their presentation.’
Edin Zenun was born in Skopje (now Macedonia) and now lives and works in Vienna. Zenun’s work centres on painting and its intrinsic questionings around composition, the interaction of form and colour, and its materiality by exploring handmade pigments, oil, and clay. His paintings examine the space between abstraction and figuration and the interface between the retina and the brain, where individual parts transform into a whole. His work has been exhibited at Belvedere 21, Vienna (AT), AutoItalia, London (GB), Zeller van Almsick, Vienna (AT), among others.
Located in Mayfair, BASTIAN London works with a roster of international artists on the primary market, including Joseph Beuys, Anselm Kiefer, Wim Wenders and Ulrich Erben.
Established by Céline and Heiner Bastian in 1989, the gallery is directed by Aeneas Bastian since 2016. 20th Century artists, such as Pablo Picasso, Jean Dubuffet, as well as German and American post- war artists including Joseph Beuys, Anselm Kiefer, Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol, form the core of the exhibition program.
The gallery publishes numerous exhibition catalogues, artist monographs and catalogues raison- nés. BASTIAN participates at international art fairs, such as MASTERPIECE London, Frieze Masters, Taipei Dangdai, Art Cologne and Art Düsseldorf. From 2007 until 2019 BASTIAN Berlin has shown exhibitions dedicated to modern and contemporary art. At the beginning of 2019, the Bastian family donated their building Am Kupfergraben to the State Museums of Berlin, who have established an art education centre there, which was inaugurated on 1 September 2019. In November 2021 BASTIAN opened a new gallery space designed by John Pawson in Berlin Dahlem.
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