Drawings Volumes Sculptures is an itinerant exhibition of works by David Tremlett, curated by Fantom’s Ilaria Speri and Massimo Torrigiani, and produced in collaboration with Galleria Michela Rizzo, Venice. Commissioned by Mediolanum Centodieci è Arte, it was installed between October 2019 and January 2020 at the bank’s FBOs in Venice, Parma and Udine.
The exhibition took place as part of the initiatives of Mediolanum’s platform Centodieci è Arte, established to promote contemporary art in all its expressions. Featuring 18 drawings on paper by the artist, many recent and previously unreleased, Drawings Volumes Sculpture offers an in-depth, original perspective on David Tremlett’s prolific production.
“Walls, sculptures and drawings can talk and tell stories, they can echo. All are objects, all are rigid. Walls, sculptures and drawings are three dimensional, they make space and have volume.”
This quote by David Tremlett, taken from a manifesto he wrote in 1987, condenses into a few words the poetics of one of the most celebrated British artists in the contemporary art panorama. Tremlett’s works find their roots in the artist’s studies in sculpture, and thus in the notion of space, a founding element in his research. They explore the relationship between art, architecture and decoration, by means of processes assimilable to musical compositions.
Active since the end of the Sixties, close to Russian Constructivism and Conceptual Art, Tremlett has dedicated most of his production since the 1980s to the wall paintings: pictorial interventions conceived for both public and private spaces, indoors and outdoors, which constitute the most famous and copious part of his production – a clear and essential alphabet of universal signs. According to Tremlett, shapes and colors are the core of our daily experience, as well as the privileged subject for his geometric and chromatic variations. As an integral and functional part in the process of creation of his wall paintings, Tremlett’s drawings suggest an unprecedented and harmonious dialogue with the architecture, be it a pre-existing or an imaginary one. These harmonic sequences of volumes, shapes and shades respond through the surface to a precise idea of space, even when they are not in direct relationship with the walls and ceilings of the spaces in which Tremlett is invited to operate.
Thanks to Galleria Studio G7, Bologna for the kind concession of some of the works on display.
David Tremlett was born in St. Austell, England in 1945. He studied at the Birmingham College of Art and at the Royal College of Art of London. Active from the late Sixties, in the Eighties he started to produce most of his works in form of wall drawings, executed with colorful crayons on different kinds of surfaces. Among his interventions – permanent or temporary, both in museums and in public and private spaces – are: the famous so-called Barolo Chapel in La Morra, in the province of Cuneo (1999, in collaboration with Sol LeWitt), the British Embassy in Berlin (2000), Palazzo Re Enzo in Bologna (2003), the church of Villeneauxe-la-Grande (2005), the synagogue of Zamosc (2006), the British Council Building in Nairobi (2014). Tremlett exhibited in galleries and museums such as the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Musée des Beaux Arts in Grenoble, the Pecci Museum in Prato, the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona, and the MoMA in New York. In 2011, he was commissioned a wall drawing by the Tate Britain, Drawing for Free Thinking, wide 450 square metres, now permanently on show at the museum’s entrance wall. Among his most recent interventions are those for the church of Coazzolo in Piedmont, the Bloomberg London Building, the Complex of Santa Chiara in Bari, a public artwork on the houses of Ghizzano, in Tuscany, and a fresco in the deconsecrated chapel of the Relais San Maurizio, in the Italian province of Cuneo.
David Tremlett, Drawings Volumes Sculptures A project by Centodieci è Arte Curated by Ilaria Speri and Massimo Torrigiani / Fantom In collaboration with Galleria Michela Rizzo, Venice October 2019 – January 2020 www.centodieci.it