Mail Art: IMMIGRATION
May 30, 2006
  Press Release Art Vitam for AAF NYC

ART VITAM: NEW YORK IN JUNE
MIAMI GALLERY BRINGS FRESH FRENCH SUNSHINE TO THE AFFORDABLE ART FAIR IN NYC

NYC, NY– Art Vitam shifts venues from Miami’s palm trees to New York City’ skyscrapers this June, taking part in the one of the hottest art fairs on the planet: The Affordable Art Fair (June (15 - 18). Sophie and Arnaud Blachet, both French, will exhibit new works by a handful of their emerging artists who have established themselves in both the US and Europe over the last half dozen years: Michael Baigneaux, Mathilde Denis, Matthew Rose, Claire Jeanine Satin, and Christina Stahr. The 2006 edition of the AAF NYC is Art Vitam’s first foray into this well-respected international fair.

The Blachets launched Art Vitam in Miami’s Wynwood Art District in 2002, and quickly set about exhibiting a range of young artists working in collage, new photography, book works, and contemporary drawing in the go-go Miami/South Beach area. They are pleased to present artists they feel draw out ideas from across conceptual disciplines, continents and cultures.

“We’ve organized approximately eight exhibitions per year, most of them group shows that show tendencies in contemporary art in both the US and Europe,” says Sophie Blachet. “Most of our artists have come from France, Italy, Belgium, the UK and the US.”

“For the last four years, we’ve worked consistently with a dozen artists – Michael Baigneaux, Maxime Dautresme, Mathilde Denis, Frédéric Lemoine, Alfredo Lopez, Lorent Matagne, Jacques Pzrybylka, Matthew Rose, Claire Jeanine Satin, Sylvie Schmitt, Henri Touitou et Christina Stahr – emerging mid-career artists who, in their own way have reinvented a traditional medium – collage, drawing, painting, photography and exploited the sense and sensibility of the art object, and its expectations, to push forward word, image and presentation,” adds Arnaud Blachet.

Art & Collectors & Artists With An Edge
“Art Vitam is the only Florida gallery chosen to participate in the AAF NYC,” says Sophie Blachet. “So we’re happy to be representing Florida in New York City this June. New York is clearly the center of the contemporary art world, a universe of art and collectors that are both seasoned and savvy – and even if they are young collectors there’s an edge. Several of our artists, notably Claire Satain and Matthew Rose, have established themselves in the museum circuit with permanent installations, and their bookworks, in particular, have been acquired as part of permanent collections.”

Michael Baigneaux, born just off the Mediterranean coast in France in 1972, has long reworked the aesthetics of writing, turning it into the visual focus of a coded and expansive language. “James Joyce’s Ulysses,” he notes, “is obviously a great influence because it is in this novel where language and writing becomes the hero of the book.” For AAF NYC, Baigneaux’s decoded artworks take writing to a new level, offering the viewer/reader an approach to the work that literally steps out and off the page.
Christina Stahr has no sacred cows when making work from rare and vintage books, cutting up choice bits and, like an alchemist, spinning rare and raucous works layered with gold leaf, fabric and pop materials. Her limited editions are unusual books in that they blend writing, music and image to the point where the act of turning the page is the significant experience, and reading is elevated to a kind of visual banquet. Indeed, in Stahr’s “Chocolate Collages,” A suite of works, assembled from the wrappers of chocolates she has eaten, consciously recalls Schwitters' obsessions. They combine commercially printed and fine art papers with aluminum wrappers and 24 karat gold leaf, playing on contrasts of color and texture. The Chocolate Obsession series, like the Book Series, investigates the marketing and packaging of luxury consumer goods, and the pleasures they promise.

Claire Jeanine Satin is known especially for her conceptual works influenced by the ideas of composer/visual artist John Cage and the conversion of ordinary industrial materials into environmental constructions and book works of layered transparent mass. "Discarding the idea of the book as a linear form with a fixed sequence and narrative, I have chosen a more complex temporal, textual, spatial invention of interdependent meaning-making thought," she says. "For me, the 'book' can take on forms that do not involve ordinary 'reading' practices such as those found in codices, scrolls, tablets, etc., or ordinary media such as paper, velum, etc. My work becomes a book the instant one recognizes its potential 'to be read'." Satin’s works can be found in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA; the Museum of Modern Art, NYC, NY; the American Centers in New Dehli and Bombay, India; the Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archives of Concrete and Visual Poetry; and the Library of Congress Rare Books Collection among others.

Mathilde Denis approach to art making is not unlike Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – a deep exploration of doubt, spirit and relationships that unfold in a brilliant adventure of consciousness. And, in particular, a female consciousness. In this French woman’s large-scale collage works, one is confronted with a journey that is often punctuated with the continuous invention of light, color, surface, and the dubious effort at clarity. For Denis, the act of composition is somewhat magical, where the materials – boards, bits of paper, and other ephemeral – are recovered and often rescued from other worlds (the street, bookshelf, the wastepaper basket) and then applied onto canvas, covered up with paint, stripped down, and recovered, a process she likens to unpeeling the layers of her “self.” The works are a kid of performance where she, she says, she “loses the balance and finds it again…to strive not to see it…to endanger myself…to lay myself bare.”

Matthew Rose, an American who has lived in Paris for a dozen years, has long exhibited his collages, prints, drawings, books and objects in Europe and the US. His work is collected throughout Europe and the US, and can be found in the permanent collection of The Boca Raton Museum (FL), among others. Combining vintage and popular images to produce contemporary tales that are both Pop and poignant the artist takes visual and verbal phrases apart and stands them up out of context. His “stories” are rhyming fragments that mimic contemporary consciousness that play out in surreal fashion as in his series, A Perfect Friend. Here, sex and identity are typically mixed in startling ways: A snarling English setter’s head is perfectly placed upon the elegant torso of a 17th century Dutch portrait, a man plumbs his own vagina, a startled hostess balances a head of plates on her neck, a swan reads a libretto while at the opera, a porn queen balances a kitten on her head. The artist cites the late artist Ray Johnson, whom he calls both a friend and teacher, as one of his main influences as well as Bellmer, Max Ernst, Cornell, Johns and various Fluxus artworkers. Some of Rose’s more conceptual text works, such as his “withdrawing” drawing, needlepoints like “Communism,” (produced by the artist’s mother), as well as found his sculpture, like “Chez Giselle,” also push the bounds of word and image.

Art Vitam invites the New York public and friends to join in a great celebration this June.

Where: Metropolitan Pavilion 125 West 18th Street, New York City, NY, Booth A-207
When: June 16-18, 2006, from 12 noon – 8 PM.

Art Vitam: www.artvitam.com
AAF NYC:
www.aafnyc.com
For information and images, please contact: Sophie Blachet +1 305 571 8342
E:
Info@artvitam.com
 
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Valeria & I are working on the conception of the book right now. We are waiting, still, for some answers by selected mail artists.

ARCHIVES
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The Mail Art Call is now finished




MAIL ART CALL

MAIL ART PROJECT 31.12.06/Immigration
Sophie Blachet, director of Art Vitam and Valeria Pouza, independent curator, are seeking Mail Art works for an ongoing Mail Art Project book on the theme of immigration.

The Mail Art Project will proceed in two phases:

Phase One
The Mail Art Project will collect over a period of six months beginning in June 2006, a range of mail art works sent royalty free to be published in book form. Only 100 works will be chosen for inclusion in the book entitled “Mail Art Project 31.12.06/Immigration”.
All works will be, however, exhibited online at http://ganthine.blogspot.com
Deadline for the project is 31 December 2006.
Phase Two
Beginning of January 2007, Blachet and Pouza will choose 100 works received for publication in the book.
Selected artists will be contacted either by regular mail, e-mail or phone by the end of January 2007.

The Details: The Mail Art Project 31.12.2006/Immigration
Theme: Immigration. Coming, going, staying, living, borders, boundaries, legal, illegal… it’s your call.
Format: Anything goes, from postcards, envelopes, to large format works on board and works on paper.
No entry fee.
Works will be juried, and not returned but exhibited and documented online.
Deadline: 31 Dec 2006

The Book
The book will include one full page reproduction of the work with description of the work, name of artist and artist details (in three languages).
Each selected artists will receive a book.
Printer to be announced

If you are interested in participating, please send works to:
Mail Art Project 31.12.06/Immigration
P.O Box 975
Miami Beach, FL 33119 USA

For more information please contact
In English/French: sophie (AT)artvitam.com
In Spanish/ Español: mailart(AT) artvitam.com



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