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.
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.
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.
“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.
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
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
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,
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.
…A short story divided in three sections :
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
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’.
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.