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BERNARD GARO - SARA MASÜGER

01/07/2022 - 04/09/2022

BERNARD GARO

In the work of Bernard Garo, human existence does not appear as such, but is restored in its cosmic or geological situation.
As he sets up temporalities on a large scale, his art could belong to a current of contemporary art which remains associated with this beginning of the 21st century and which will enter into future books on the history of art, because in fact, the primordial question dealt with by the artists of this period is the meaning that their activities can take on in a world in danger.

In this context, we find a dominant current which needs to reflect on the future of our planet and which prepares the change of our society, faced with the acceleration of global warming and its devastating effects. Through strong and meaningful works in a world in full swing, Garo keeps his promise and maintains a strong position, by generating questions and existential awareness useful both to art and to society.

Faced with this reality, Garo has been probing for more than two decades mainly with painting, but also with installations, sculptures, drawings without forgetting photography and performance, the fragile memory of our humanity by measuring the impact as well as the vulnerability of humans in relation to their environment.
His preoccupations focused first on the topographies of passage and oblivion, on the forces of the elements, natural and artificial borders, time and the geological histories of the mountains and more recently has interfered in his work the erosion followed by the retraction of glaciers, the cycle of water and carbon.

He transposes into his work what sensitizes him the most, namely the “great outdoors”.
An environment without humans or non-humans, inscribed in a long geological time, since it includes all of reality including the past as well as the future, rocks, magma, ice, water and micro-organisms up to the atoms which now play the role of symbolic interlocutors and which form the plane on which his works unfold (painting, photography, film, performance, scenography, sculpture, xylography, installations). To correspond to this approach, the artist favors a materialist and entirely natural approach, which uses the matter of our origins as a pictorial “skin”.
Painting isn’t an image, for Garo, but a surface, a vibration, colors, a structure and an energy which engenders emotions leading to reflection, which Deleuze calls “deterritorialization”, considering it as the highest of artistic values, since it brings together all the arts indiscriminately.

The artist introduces contextualized matter into his paintings, which distinguishes him from other artists of the same family such as Ollafur Eliasson, among others, while bringing him closer to some others families of materialist painters, such as Anselm Kiefer or Miquel Barcelò.

What is more beautiful in our time than to preserve a link to the real, to the tangible, to the concrete, to the plasticity, to the physical truth which brings us back to the memory and to the consciousness of a whole, while it would tend to dissolve into the cloud (i cloud).

If indeed human existence is revealed in its impact with this “outside”, it is through the weariness of the human subject; slave of its own technological and economic power and focusing on immemorial times or infinite spaces (according to Tristan Garcia).
Because culture today calls for a new “outside”, which is manifested by the reappearance in current aesthetics, of a nature without men, treated in a multiple and decompartmentalized way.

So here we are today placed on the side of the artist, in front of “the great outdoors” an inhuman universe and without men, to express his feeling of total vulnerability and helplessness in the face of this world in full disarray which refuses in part to see reality in the face and find it difficult to change in the face of the climatic drama that is coming.

The artist in his constant quest for the absolute and evolution, beyond the visible and the present, borrows the vocabulary of art freely to create space, to expand our vision of the world to the points extremes of human experience, the tiny or the gigantic, from the quark to the milky way, from the glacier to rock dust. He no longer represents the human individual in his works; it leaves it outside, either as a spectator, a helpless witness to the announced disaster of the melting of the glaciers, for example, or as the culprit and victim at the same time, of the self-destruction of its own habitat.

In his canvases, he therefore paints the flow of life which he superimposes on a long geological temporality which relativizes everything and offers us a transposition of a multi-spatial and multi-temporal reality of our world (Weltanschauung), in all case a perception rid of the illusion that the human being is at the center of our world.

Garo’s art is in this sense also that of geographical, earthly places. It is the song (the song lines) of the earth, it is made of natural materials (the original ochres), it is the loving, intellectual and sensual gaze cast on places, as are also other artists from other cultures for their ancestors or for their close environment.

No one can hang without knowing the secular history of this medium whose heritage he perpetuates through a contextualized personal language but in resonance with that developed over millennia by other children of the earth. Garo in fact transcribes the same love of the primordial forces that engendered us. His look is unique at the same time common and different because he is different, coming from an urban culture, but which has never lost its roots nor abandoned its search for harmony with its environment in perfect harmony with the imagination of “ dreams” and in correspondence with primitive cultures and their connections to the spiritual world from the earth.

Bernard Garo’s painted work explores the concept of boundaries and our identity at the heart of nature. Raw materials – volcanic sand, marine sediments, bitumen of Judea, asphalt, latex, rockdust, soils and natural pigments – are joined on the canvas to build monumental compositions.

SARA MASÜGER

Sara Masüger’s sculpting revolvees around the representation of bodies and body-fragments in tin, aluminium or acrystal- a composite material that results in a plaster-like appearance. Her sculptures are never preceded by drawings or preparatory sketches, for the simple reason that the source of her artwork of her artwork is her own body, and the casted body-parts – hands, face, ears, fingers, etc. – from the molds out of which the works are created.. The legacies and filiations are quite obvious, and the artist has overtly expressed her admiration for the work of Alina Szapocznikow, Louise Bourgeois and Mendardo Rosso. Beyond the conspicuous formal analogies between these artists and Sara Masüger’s practice, it is undeniable that her sculptures also pursue other routes – or to put it more aptly and consistent with the French homonyms voie/voix, “other voices”, seeing as language is pivotal in her works. The corporeal representations set up echo chambers inside of which words reverberate, and the body is merely an emanation. The omnipresence of language is significant, and comes across in the choice of titles, such as I talk to you later, Dictation, or Longterm Translation which achieve the reunification of body and mind via an ongoing oeuvre that projects countless organs into space. These organs are repetead and ricocheted within a flow that has much to do with stammering and babbling as with brouhaha, interference, discord and dissonance. And although the body is sometimes represented in its totality, this is merely as a transition from stillness to motion, as indicated by the ambivalence of the titles used to designate the works where the body is seemingly motionless: Gehende (“walking”), Stehende (“standing”), Liegende (“lying down” in both the active and passive sense). The body, as expresses in Sara Masüger’s sculptures, is a body of language, a body in flux, a body in repetition, with its own rhythm.
Sara Masüger’s works underscore the rift between body and mind that occurs in the history of philosophy as well as in how, more prosaically, our intuition recognizes the challenge of delineating what defines the very essence of our own body, or our corps proper (“object body”). The expression corps proper appears late in the history of philosophy. It was coined in the early 19th century by the little-known French philosopher Pierre Maine de Biran, who paved the way to the phenomenology of Husserl and Merleau-Ponty. Maine de Biran affirms, contrary to Renè Descartes’ cogito ergo sum, the primacy of the body as an essential site where the self is aware of existing.
Masüger’s sculptures are always spatial projections of sculpted organs and lay emphasis on the body’s sensorial dimension. The sensorial dimension is simultaneously conveyed by the sculptures themselves, by the organs they embody, and by the centrality of language as indicated by the titles: Longterm Translatation, I Talk to You Later, Dictation convey this sense of wavering between duration, memory, memorization and reminiscence, which are the basis of the sensorial world. It thus becomes clear that Sara Masüger is by no means seeking to focus her practice on any sort of pathos, but rather to tackle her own body, to delimit its resiliency, to experience it as pure sense-perception, like the embodiment of a set of potentials, like the site for an action mingled with intellect and language. Consequently, when viewing her sculptures, one must take into account the processes by which they were made. For instance, the tin ear, or the aluminium hands arranged in a cluster, or the agglomeration of black acrystal arms, should not be regarded as strictly arising from the sculpture work, but as outcomes of a series of performative acts. The body is in action, as a preliminary to all of the sculptures. The body twists, knots, grisps, clutches in order to take its own imprint. The face is coated into a viscuous substance so as to be molded and reproduced, cast in rubbery material, in tin, in acrystal, and during the duplication process loses the features correlating it to the original model. However, the performative aspect is not rendered visible, but remains confined to the intimatesphere of the studio. Sara Masüger has never sought to publically enact this practice. The performance which comprises the set of gestures required for the casting process and by the phisycal constraints she applies, can only be grasped a posteriori, when her sculptures actually go on display and are exhibited to viewers. The performance is thus relegated to its repetition, like theather rehearsals which take place away from the public eye. The hidden performative aspect inevitably elicits a notion that, beyond the boundaries of intimacy, connects to ceremony and ritual.
My body is not another0s body and if, paradoxically, Ican perceive another’s body with relative clarity, I can never fully grasp my own body; it remains an enigma, both joined and foreign to myself , even if I have no troble perceiving myself as a thinking subject. Sara Masüger’s sculptures highlight the inevitable gap, the irreducible distance that overrides any attempt to understand and delimit one’s body. Our own body is always the starting point towards understanding it, and this observation stumbles across the opaqueness of how what constitutes us remains irremediably distant from us. It is both from and with my own body that I attempt to grapple with it, and this operation requires setting up a distance that undermines the entire venture. The endeavor to understand my body is always accompanied by an outwards motion: I view my body as if it were another’s body, and this distance – a sort of mirror duplication – inevitably leads to an impasse: my body is not quite my body if it is envisaged as being analogous to another’s body. In line with Jean-Paul Sartre, instead of “I exist in my body” one should say “I exist my body”. This implies that although Sara Masüger’s artwork consists exclusively of body-parts molded from her own body, her oeuvre is not an enterprise based on self-portraiture nor an inner exproration with psychoanalytic intentions, and even less so a realm of pathos. Rather, it entails a contortion act that seeks to bypass the paradox of grasping one’s bodily self, and to find the linkage between corporeality and thinking subject. The challenge ampounts to reducing, as far as possible, the zone of alienness and indiscernibility separating the artist from the very body that belongs to her, “so enmeshed and intermingled” as Renè Descartes puts it in Book VI of his Metaphysical Meditations.
Sara Masüger attemps to straddle this incongruity about the body – neither utter inwardness nor a simple interface with the world – while avoinding representation of bodies other than her own.

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PAST

Past Exhibitions

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ZAK VAN BILJON - Vision beyond

11/03/2022 - 25/06/2022

by ZAK VAN BILJON

South-African born photographer Zak van Biljon finds inspiration for his work in the complex relationship between humans and nature. He explores a variety of themes ranging from notions of reality and perception to the interplay between nature, humanity, urbanity and art. Most importantly, he challenges our universal understanding of the natural world. As a master of the infrared photographic technique, van Biljon creates lustrous, alluring effects in his photographs that surpass the conveyance of an aesthetic perception of nature. While the upcoming exhibition leaves room for van Biljon’s unmistakable landscape images that reveal to us the sensations resulting from experiencing nature in an alternate color universe, the focus lies on photographs that examine themes of abstraction. That is to say, the artist is calling attention to nature’s ability to abstract itself in different ways.
​Amongst other things, nature has a tendency to abstract itself in intricate structures such as branch wood or flower fields. Both of these structural forms have been the subject for different photographic series by Zak van Biljon. Selected pieces from both series have been singled out for this exhibition and curated alongside van Biljon’s signature landscapes. In particular, the new works point to intricate natural microcosms encapsulating the dynamics of rule and disorder that underlie the existence of the natural and the human world. Van Biljon’s photographs of thicket, branches, flower fields and meadows fascinate due to their densification of patterns and details. The employed infrared photographic technique brings out seemingly contradictory color accents which are sprinkled throughout the natural sites captured by the artist. As a result of this, we perceive not only the painterly but also the abstracting qualities of nature on a heightened level. Van Biljon’s photographs show us, in other words, how nature creates and simultaneously dissolves its own forms.
​Further on, nature’s ability to abstract itself becomes most prominent in van Biljon’s photographs of water surfaces, which are the latest addition to the photographer’s oeuvre. These images reveal the material properties of water and illustrate, again, how nature abstracts and fragments itself on various levels. Van Biljon captures the exact moments where the mirrored forms on the water’s surface are being dissolved, fragmented and abstracted by the movements of the liquid element. However, what is, perhaps, most striking about this set of photographs, is their monochromatic golden color. So to speak, van Biljon further challenges our perception of nature, while staying true to his medium—the infrared. The liquid element captured by the artist is not only transformed in its coloring but also seemingly in its materiality. The artist—quite literally—turns water to gold.
​In essence, van Biljon reflects upon notions of transformation and abstraction which are central elements and themes when it comes to the natural world. However, oftentimes it takes an artist’s skilled eye to draw attention to such processes. The curated image selection highlights the wide range of sensations to be experienced when viewing infrared photography and it gives a comprehensive understanding of Zak van Biljon’s ever expanding infrared universe.

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MAURO PERUCCHETTI - Superfici

11/12/2021 - 27/02/2022

by MAURO PERUCCHETTI

Mauro Perucchetti channels a minimal approach to painting through an intense yet controlled use of colour, brush and medium. Working in pigment, oil paint, and mixed media, Mauro challenges the fundamentals of painting, with luscious compositions of textural forms which seem to reconnect what is on the canvas to the textures of its origins on the painter’s palette.
“Although not quite sculptures, the artworks are definitely three- dimensional paintings” says Mauro “this makes me think of how Enrico Castellani coined the beautifully simple description he gave to some of his work: SUPERFICI or Surfaces. Painting is intrinsically related to my emotions and experiences and SUPERFICI is the result of uncountable scans of the surroundings that my senses record while being in nature. The beauty that manifest itself with textures, colours and scents in nature becomes abstract on canvas.”
These are unchartered territories, which the viewer can explore at will and marvel at the fact that they never look the same twice.
Depending on the light washing the three-dimensional surfaces of the paintings the viewer can literally get lost in a sea of colours and in the shadows and highlights created by the topography of the organic textures.
All abstract, some more minimalist and some more abstract expressionist, all are what you make of them, but all carry a distinct signature which make it difficult not to recognize the artist’s sensibility intrinsic to them.

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ECLECTIC FUSION

17/09/2021 - 28/11/2021

by Stano Cerny Patricia Koysova Roland Pangrati
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MAURO PERUCCHETTI - Unicum

14/07/2021 - 16/08/2021

by MAURO PERUCCHETTI

On display at BVLGARI Boutique St.Moritz
Via Serlas 22

UNICUM, at the root of the Latin term, literally means ‘a unique example or specimen of something.’
In his body of abstract artwork, Perucchetti has manipulated his staple resin material, resulting in new, sculptural ways of displaying his art. These sculptures are individual testaments to the medium from which they are formed- matchless in their chemical composition, form, colour, texture and size. Yet together, they exemplify a serious achievement for the artist, cementing his place within the cannon of Contemporary Art.
Throughout my life I have always been fascinated by new materials and worked very hard at discovering new mediums for my work. This is obvious in my art.
For many, many years before I even started making Art formally, I devoted myself 100% to the arts, experimenting with forms, colours and mediums.
Some of the effects I achieved blew me away but, certainly in the early days, they often ended up being stored as prototypes, like heroes without a mission. I have now decided to expose some of those ideas to daylight.
I love Abstract as its art in its purest form, completely devoid of any restrictions.
Everything is so unique and at the same time so flexible that it changes according to individual interpretation. Abstract is a visual and emotional experience, which carries its own soul along with the ghost of the executioner, to the viewer.
A celebration of colour, form and technique, present in Art, UNICUM has a very unique fingerprint, which carries a sensuality not usually associated with the mediums I use.
Mauro Perucchetti

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Black Matter

16/07/2021 - 12/09/2021

by SANTIAGO PARRA

“I know I am expressing myself when I paint but I can’t explain the source of the resulting
gestures. I am not in any way suggesting that black matter is responsible for what I paint,
rather I am interested in the relationship between the two unexplained movements, the one
observed in the universe and the one traced by my brush.” – Santiago Parra

Having exhibited in world leading cultural centres such as London, Mexico, Miami and
Madrid, Parra is internationally recognised for his powerful black abstract paintings on raw
canvas, each made with a single brushstroke. Black Matter marks Parra’s very first solo
exhibition in St. Moritz at Galerie 10 and seeks to underline his role as a protagonist in the
field of abstract painting.

Parra’s staple medium of a blank canvas and black acrylic paint plays an integral role in his
quest for autonomous expression. The simplicity of medium, and the one brush stroke
technique present the purest and most seamless channels for his expression and
materialisation of the unconscious mind.

Black Matter thus poetically parallels Parra’s practise with the inexplicable and unseeable
forces that control the stars and galaxies. In this way, Black Matter not only heightens the
mystery behind automatic painting, but also highlights the importance of the unconscious
mind in abstract image-making.

Santiago Parra is in the collections of the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), Miami, USA,
Jorge Perez Collection, USA, Jean et Colette Cherqui ́ Collection, France, Tanya C.
Brillembourg Collection, USA, Solita Mishaan Collection, Spain, Cesar Gaviria Collection,
Colombia, Kehinde Wiley Collection, USA, and Collection Lazaro, Spain.

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Spring Show

21/04/2021 - 04/07/2021

by VIRGINIA JOYCE-FLEMING ZAK VAN BILJON
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JD MALAT GALLERY x ST. MORITZ POP-UP

23/12/2020 - 11/04/2021

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JD Malat Gallery is proud to present its new pop-up space in the world’s most unique
Alpine Metropolis, St Moritz. This Winter, JD Malat Gallery will bring the work of its
emerging and established international artists together in an effort to highlight the
dynamic cross-cultural exchange between the gallery’s diverse programme and St
Moritz.
St Moritz has been a creative centre for many visionaries over the years. From the
Giacometti family and the Alpine painter Giovanni Segantini, to intellectuals such as the
philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, and the writer Thomas Mann, St Moritz has since been
widely recognised as a popular space where diverse traditions and cultures meet and
interact.
As a cultural hub that embraces diversity and welcomes creativity, the St Moritz pop-up
space reflects the JD Malat Gallery goal to inspire and engage a diverse audience in the
world of art.
Viewing our artists in a new context presents an exciting way of thinking about their art. While
we hold solo exhibitions here in Mayfair, London, our pop-up in St Moritz will be a space dedicated
to group exhibitions. Presenting our artists’ work collectively and in a new space will allow a new
Robert Montgomery, SEAROCK SONGLINES, 2015, LED light sculpture. Photo: Mik Freud
and creative international audience to appreciate art from across the globe.’ – Jean-David Malat,
Founder.
For the first time, St Moritz will see the work of leading artists, such as the Colombian
abstract expressionist Santiago Parra, the Ghanaian figurative painter Kojo Marfo, as well
as American abstract painter Andy Moses and Turkish sculptor Hande Sekerciler.
The pop-up space will also present the work of artists who are already in prominent Swiss
collections. The widely known Swiss painter of mountains, Conrad Jon Godly, the
Icelandic artist Katrin Fridriks and the leading Post-War West Coast abstract painter Ed
Moses will be shown collectively. Also returning to Switzerland is the work of leading
figurative painters Jean-Pierre Cassigneul and Henrik Uldalen, as well as the work of
conceptual light and text artist Robert Montgomery.
By bringing each artist’s creative perspective to St Moritz, JD Malat Gallery hopes to
strengthen the dialogue between international artists and make evident the connective
and encompassing force of art.
JD Malat Gallery specialises in contemporary art and champions a broad spectrum of
emerging and international contemporary artists. The programme consists of an array of
exciting artists supported by year-round exhibitions and contemporary art fairs. JD Malat
Gallery x St. Moritz celebrates the diverse and innovative programme that JD Malat
Gallery has to offer.

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Die kleine Geschichte der
ST.MORITZER PLAKATE 1894 - 2021

17/10/2020 - 15/12/2020

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curated by Carolin A. Geist and Virginia Fleming

…A short story divided in three sections :

  1. At the beginning and at the end was Manufactura Engiadina – Young local art
  2. In the beginning there was the first commercial poster from 1895- Cultural history
  3. At the beginning oft he tour was Giovanni Segantini-Art history of St. Moritz

This autumn, Galerie 10 is presenting an exhibition that dares the balancing act between young contemporary art and the local cultural and art history of St.Moritz. The content is structured accordingly.

In the summer of 2020, the project of the Manufactura Engiadina (www.manufacturaengiadina.com) emerged into a competition in which local artists in cooperation with the municipality of St. Moritz, were given the opportunity to design the official St. Moritz poster for the summer of 2021.

Out of all 17 participants, the crystalline vision of Aaron Schwarz stood out for the jury. A landscape of longing, which captured the radiance of summer, the suggestion of winter, nature, the urban- alpine uniqueness of St. Moritz, the worldliness, as well as the tranquility.

All 17 posters are exhibited and can be purchased.

In order to show the visitor the works of the young artists in the context of the cultural history of St. Moritz, the curators researched the history of the town, and expanded the exhibition by including a reappraisal of the history of St. Moritz’s posters, which begins with the first commercial posters from the 19th century and ends with the future poster from 2021. The various stages are dealt within chapters.

Did you know, for example, that the first posters of St. Moritz were not even created by the Kurverein as a commission? At that time was no spa association. The very first posters ironically came from France and were advertising material for the East French Railway Company, which wanted to attract new customers on its routes.

The very first commercial poster of St. Moritz dates back to 1895 (but- there are commercial posters of the Engadin from the 1890s- therefore the chronology in the title starts one year before the first St. Moritz poster).

In the course of the research the curator Carolin A. Geist came across the wondrous story of the “Segantini-Fundes”: In 2007, Mario Häfliger and Marius Hauenstein found two boxes in the attic of the Protestant Church of St. Moritz…A real treasure! Two original Segantinis had been sleeping in there for 109 years! Giovanni Segantini painted two tapestries as posters for the 1898 Kantonal Sängerfest. Their story is presented in the front room of the exhibition, and the originals are on display.

Text: Carolin A. Geist

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Threesome: You, Me & the Art

15/12/2019 - 15/03/2020

by Helen Waldburger Elliot Jack Stew

by Helen Waldburger, Elliot Jack Stew

An exhibition created through shared experience and combined vision. Galerie 10 is please to present ‘Threesome; You, Me and the Art.’

After meeting in 2014 as Central Saint Martins Univesity, London; Helen Waldburger and Elliot Jack Stef have cohabited and worked in the same space for six years. ARt plays a vital role in their relationship making in the welcome third player in their ‘threesome’.

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Max Zuber

15/12/2019 - 15/03/2020

by Max Zuber

For over a decade now, the Celerinaer of choice has been living and working between Lake
Zurich and the Staz Forest.
Scenes of the nature of Engadine or the St. Moritz society are therefore often reflected in his
works – as the currently exhibited paintings on Lake St. Moritz, the Staz Forest, the Upper
Engadine Lake District or a scene of a cheerful evening in a bar at Badrutt Palace testify.
Sparkling vivid and yet not at all randomly selected scenes give the theme of the Engadine in
paintings an exciting new rebirth.