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We are guided around the picture by a sequence of triangles: The suddenl y illuminated section of bright green grass outside leads us down towards t he young boy's face\, Pierre\, whose eye is in turn overcast by a rhyming s treak of black. This shadow\, momentarily thrown by the flickering candle l ight beside him\, acts as an arrow\, directing our gaze to the sharp geomet ry of the metronome atop the piano\; inexorable\, keeping time\, puncturing the wilder marks of the balcony's ironwork behind him. Matisse's 1916 pain ting 'The Piano Lesson' shows the living room of his home at Issy-les-Molineaux. This central movement through the work is enclosed by two figures: a straight-backed\, straight-lined wo man in the back corner\; blank faced\, terse\, almost monochrome\; and a re presentation of his 1908 sculpture 'Decorative Figure'\, who at the front i s all curves\, lying back\, earthy brown\, an image of relaxation. Discipli ne and sensuality are compared\, contrasted\, interlinked\, and marked by t he burning candle and metronome\, past and future also.

In some senses simply a celebratory homag e to a brilliant painting\, this group show will take the opportunity to co nsider some of the many possible themes and avenues set up by Matisse's wor k. This might happen on very direct\, visual terms\, as with Josef Strau's piece\, My Soul Is Filthy But Your Word to Me is Like the Lamp for the Thie f on Your Heart (2010)\, consisting of a lamp beside an iron railing which is overcast by a shadow-like piece of black material. Elsewhere Matisse's t hemes might be activated metaphorically. Hannah Sawtell's new intervention comes in the form of an iron gate at the entrance of the gallery. Unable to access the works hanging behind it\, we are swiftly forced to occupy the p osition of the boy in Matisse's painting\, who\, under the watchful eye of his teacher\, is unable to step outside and play on the grass glistening ju st beyond the balcony. This interior / exterior opposition will reappear th roughout the show\, guiding the hang\, sometimes appearing as the dichotomy between work and play\, focused concentration and more exploratory experim entation.

Markus Selg takes the small sculpture in Matisse's painting as his point of departure f or a new sculptural figure\, setting it beside a handmade rug and a carved wooden chair (all works 2012). Charles Atlas on the other hand\, in his fil m Cartridge Lengths 1 from 1970 (and one of the artist's first) utilizes a single Super 8 cartridge length to record a dove fluttering around outside. Dancer-like\, slightly trepid maybe\, the dove moves around the lush groun ds surrounding The Foundation Maeght where Atlas ended his first tour with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. DAS INSTITUT meanwhile complicate the i ssue with a tableaux-like series of hanging transparent rubber screens (201 1).

Matisse's painting might of course also be regarded more formally. Dianna Molzan breaks down painting to its fundamental material elements before rebuilding them in new \, perhaps more physically aware\, constellations. In a sense\, she looks a t what constitutes the apparatus of a painting\, and\, by extension\, she d wells on the drama of presentation that takes place in the gallery\, not un like Will Benedict's sideways glances at how images are channeled and what does the channeling. Directly evoking Matisse's carefully balanced composit ions are Michelle Abeles' photographs (all 2011)\, which\, as with Nicholas Byrne's new painting\, function on a series of stark colour relationships. Furthermore\, Abeles' photographs often feature a male nude: Pierre now al l grown up perhaps? Or simply a compositional device\, an object amongst ot her objects enclosed within the frame.

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Charles Atl as (b. 1949\, Missouri) lives and works in New York. He has been p roducing film and video works since the start of the 1970's. Always experim enting with new technologies\, his works move between the highly flamboyant and the very minimal\, driven throughout by the desire to portray those ar ound him. Throughout his career Atlas has been involved in collaborations w ith international performers and choreographers including Merce Cunningham\ , Michael Clark\, Leigh Bowery\, Marina Abramovic\, Yvonne Rainer and June Paik. For Atlas\, the theatricality of dance and performance is a point of enquiry into artifice\, fiction and reality.

Michele Abeles (b.1977) lives and w orks in New York. Taking into consideration photography's repressed aspects - the support that holds the image\, and the techniques used in the proces s of its creation – she looks at the way in which objects and bodies create spatial relationships within frames. Her studio constructions mix still-li fe flotsam with nude male bodies whose heads are often cut off by the frame – a strategy that positions the works as rejoinders to the com- monplace u se of the anonymous female form as a prop for picture-making. She often ove rlays these studio arrangements with swathes of transparent colour\; a comp ositional device that whilst appearing like a digital after-effect is achie ved using analogue means.

Will Benedict (b. 1978\, Los Angeles) lives and works in Vienna. His work encompasses painting\, drawing and use of found imagery \, often incorporated with frames and windows or other such devices. Recent ly the frames themselves have come into focus in his work\, and their role as constructs\, or channels for the conveying of something with the expecta tion of meaning.

Nicholas Byrne (b. 1979\, Oldham) lives and works in London. Wo rking on copper\, linen and paper\, his paintings disperse emergent figurat ion amongst an often highly elaborate and densely worked ground. In an intr icate play of display and con- cealment\, forms such as curves\, loops and spirals recur. The work employs a diverse lexicon of art historical referen ces\, but takes particular influence from notions developed during the Roco co period concerning the motivating effect that sinuous form exerts upon th e beholder's gaze\, leading it around the surface of the picture as if foll owing a dancer.

Luigi Ghirri (1943 - 1992) was an italian photographer and write r\, known for his small-scaled\, poetic urban photography. In his small col or prints Ghirri evokes the figure of the flâneur\, capturing the contingen cies of modern cities. Using meta- physical titles for his series\, Ghirri exploits the ambiguity of reality and its representation. The scenic images are char- acterized by a delicate composition of color and form. His photo graphs remain singular objects. The print's fading color has made them uniq ue documents of the passage of time. Simultaneously\, Ghirri's works seem t o hint at the universal in fleeting moments.

DAS INSTITUT
is an import/export ag ency founded in 2007 by Kerstin Brätsch (b. 1979\, Hamburg) and Adele Röder (b.1980\, Dresden). Working independently and also as DAS INSTITUT their w ork explores issues concerning authenticity of artistic creation and the va lue and utility of art and artistic formulations. The two artists repeatedl y explore the theme of the virulent marketing of art and the persona of the artist today as occurs in corporate design and in image branding strate- g ies.


Dianna Mo lzan (b. 1972\, Tacoma) lives and works in Los Angeles. Her canvas es engage in an open and unpredictable dia- logue with the history of abstr act painting. While she uses a variety of material approaches that differ f rom one work to the next\, each painting exhibits a subtle precision in its intention and execution. Although she works with traditional materials\, s uch as oil on linen\, she approaches her canvases irreverently\, invoking e lements of fashion\, ceramics\, and popular design whilst drawing attention to painting's fundamental apparatus and by extension its role within the g allery space.

Hannah Sawtell (b. 1971) lives and works in London. Her multi-disc iplinary practice scrutinises the excess of production through objects\, im age\, text\, video and sound. Her ongoing actions utilize a system of colla tion and manipulation of sur- faces retrieved from the digital realm\, colo nised spaces and simulated matter. She manufactures works that navigate uti lity\, connecting praxis and spectacle. Since 2009\, her ongoing project\, 'Intervention'\, consists of gate structures deployed at a specific border site in the gallery space and drawing a distinction between the 'active' in front of the gate and the 'inactive' behind it.

Markus Selg (b. 1974\, Singen\, Germany) lives and works in Berlin. Working in sculpture\, video and digit al prints\, he merges myth\, folklore\, traditional craft and digital techn ology to consider the role of the artist in a contemporary context. Harking back to Wagner's concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk\, he often begins with a f ictional narrative in order to stage his artworks within a larger all-encom passing production to create highly symbolic experiential rooms.

Josef Strau (b. 1957\, Vienna) is an artist\, curator and writer living and working in Ber lin. He describes his work as an ongoing story and as such much of his work is text-based and printed on pamphlets. Sometimes attaching his texts to f reestanding lampshades\, he playfully manipulates traditional aspects of li terature such as the idea of the 'illuminated' manuscript. These automatic texts are somewhat deceptive\, for although they might take the tone of per sonal revelation they are of course a fiction dealing in contingency\, day to day vagaries and concealed truths\, becoming rather more fragile\, anti- narratives of sorts.

DTEND:20120401 DTSTAMP:20141025T190415 DTSTART:20120226 GEO:51.531598;-0.0597315 LOCATION:Vilma Gold\,6 Minerva Street \nLondon\, E2 9EH SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:The Piano Lesson\, Michele Abeles\, Charles Atlas\, Will Benedict\, Nicholas Byrne\, William Daniels\, Luigi Ghirri\, DAS INSTITUT\, Dianna Mo lzan\, Hannah Sawtell\, Markus Selg\, Guy Sherwin\, Josef Strau UID:201615 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:203000 DTSTAMP:20141025T190416 DTSTART:183000 GEO:51.531598;-0.0597315 LOCATION:Vilma Gold\,6 Minerva Street \nLondon\, E2 9EH SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:The Piano Lesson\, Michele Abeles\, Charles Atlas\, Will Benedict\, Nicholas Byrne\, William Daniels\, Luigi Ghirri\, DAS INSTITUT\, Dianna Mo lzan\, Hannah Sawtell\, Markus Selg\, Guy Sherwin\, Josef Strau UID:201616 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR