Curating

*PHASE*

DUVE is pleased to present PHASE a duo exhibition presenting paintings and sculptural work from artists Drew Englander and Leo Orta on view in Berlin Germany from February 17th to March 30th 2023. Exhibition text by Angeliki Kim Perfetti.

“The light and space artist James Turrell has been quoted: “We live within this reality we create, and we’re quite unaware of how we create the reality.” Englander is interested in the fluidity of reality and the constant transformation of things we assume are concrete, even (and especially) in our minds, memories, and thoughts.”

“The artists’ iconic wobbly brushstrokes make up scenes from contemporary life and the past, and the result is a collection of memories that are just like water, they seem everchanging in their movement. In fact, water is a new element that is present within this latest body of work.”

“There is a direct link to the work of Henry Moore, that Orta is referencing in terms of his admiration for the artist and his capacity of abstracting bodies through forms and circular cavity. In fact, Orta is setting out to further push the minds limitations, as he sees those cavities as way to extracting faces, mouth, shadows, and body parts that further create hybrid living. Making us all wonder what are they: creatures? humans? animals?”

“The work is set on issues and notions of environmental concerns; however, it is not there to give a solution nor an answer, but rather the artist wants to present the viewer with a point of view out of numerous possibilities. Maybe this scenario, is not even a night on Mars, but a tomorrow on Earth? Chaos, hope, generosity, egocentrism, and empathy are some other values that can be raised through the work.”

*PHASE* Full Exhibition Text by Angeliki Kim Perfetti

DUVE is pleased to present *PHASE* a duo exhibition presenting paintings and sculptural work from artists Drew Englander and Leo Orta.

New York-based Drew Englander continues his invigorated explorations of genres including still life, cityscapes, domestic interiors, everyday items, and passions. Continuously finding inspiration in music, skateboarding and film, whilst reading or just quietly observing everyday situations. These new works presented in *PHASE* depict colourful, light-infused scenes that have been distilled by Englander’s careful attention to the sensory pleasures of everyday life. Growing up in a rural area of New Mexico and now based in the concrete jungle of New York, the artist is utilizing a hybrid of digital and analogue techniques. Like David Hockney, Englander too draws on an iPad, before adapting his acrylic and airbrush techniques. Distorted, wavy brushstrokes are used as a pathway in the continuous interest of capturing and portraying space and time. Englander’s work has consistently depicted places and scenes that have always felt recognizable and relatable, however, in this new body of work, the viewer is really invited in, as personal items and figures have started to emerge: a top of a head in a shower, or a personalized cup portraying the two cats of the artist – Swan and Goose.

The artists’ iconic wobbly brushstrokes make up scenes from contemporary life and the past, and the result is a collection of memories that are just like water, they seem everchanging in their movement. In fact, water is a new element that is present within this latest body of work. Englander wants water to serve as a gentle reminder that nothing is fixed, but rather fluid, highlighting that life is in constant flux. The light and space artist James Turrell has been quoted: “We live within this reality we create, and we’re quite unaware of how we create the reality.” Englander is interested in the fluidity of reality and the constant transformation of things we assume are concrete, even (and especially) in our minds, memories, and thoughts. The fact that things are in a constant state of change is what the artist likes to underline within his work. Whilst connecting with emotions and vulnerabilities, he emphasizes the seemingly simple act of looking closely at things and recording life.

That keen sense of reflecting upon and wanting to explore ones surrounding is also very present within Leo Orta’s work. Whilst working across a variety of media including sculpture, installation, painting, and performance, Orta’s practice questions the existential nature of being human and examines the social and emotional bonds humans create within their communities and environments.

For *PHASE* Orta is presenting two wall pieces with two different energies: one that focuses on a sunset on planet Earth, and the other – a late night on the planet Mars. Together they represent cold and warm energies, on which lay two artefacts – a human couple, and a tree. This might be seen as a simple vision of humans wishing to find life on Mars. While some believe we should invest and conquer this new planet, others argue that the focus should be to save that same tree on planet Earth by finding renewable and sustainable ways of continuing life here. The work is set on issues and notions of environmental concerns; however, it is not there to give a solution nor an answer, but rather the artist wants to present the viewer with a point of view out of numerous possibilities. Maybe this scenario, is not even a night on Mars, but a tomorrow on Earth? Chaos, hope, generosity, egocentrism, and empathy are some other values that can be raised through the work.

Orta has also created two stools for the exhibition, that follow the energy found in the coloured skies. Their legs represent a membrane in motion, an atom in fusion, or a cloud in furry. Their abstract shape becomes an onomatopoeia.

Speaking about abstraction we are presented with ‘From the back of my Mind’, an armchair, which does not necessarily conceptuality connect with the other four works made for the exhibition, but it explores the intuition and physicality of the representation of the creatures hidden in the artist’s mind. There is a direct link to the work of Henry Moore, that Orta is referencing in terms of his admiration for the artist and his capacity of abstracting bodies through forms and circular cavity. In fact, Orta is setting out to further push the minds limitations, as he sees those cavities as way to extracting faces, mouth, shadows, and body parts that further create hybrid living. Making us all wonder what are they: creatures? humans? animals?

Ultimately *PHASE* is an exhibition that is the very result of a strong duo presentation of two contemporary artists whose inviting us all to become more aware of the world we live in, to take a moment to look around and reflect, to consider that things are not set in stone and to try to think creatively around the concept of community on Earth and beyond.