Patricia Low Contemporary is delighted to announce a solo show by LA-based artist Amy Bessone to launch Patricia Low Venezia, a brand new gallery located on the Grand Canal in the heart of Venice’s museum district, Dorsoduro. Titled Our Secret Garden, the exhibition comprises an array of paintings and a sculptural work that picture archetypal figures, either alone or in groups, in obscure environments pulsating with colour. Echoes of painted figures by Ingres, Picabia, Munch and De Chirico, among others, merge with suggestions of classical and neo-classical architecture, cartouches, and desert oases. Referencing multiple art-historical and architectural sources, yet reconfigured into ambiguous, dream-like settings, and executed in an intense, almost digital palette, the paintings combine a sense of the ethereal with the hyperreal.
In one painting, a reclining nude is seen in a midnight garden along a path leading to a small arched structure; in another, a figure stands in contrapposto pose beside a head on a plinth. Elsewhere, a bronze mask on a pedestal stares hollow-eyed at the viewer, while in another painting, a collection of figures and masks seems to be emerging from a haze of pinks and blues. Motifs including trees, arched recesses and an island fortress recur throughout, alongside the various figures in their particular poses – which also appear in miniature three-dimensional form as part of a diorama, where they are reminiscent of chess pieces. In doing so, Bessone returns these figures, which she paints from sculptures found on auction websites and sundry other sources, to sculptural form. The vignettes in which they appear make up an immersive, if also indeterminate, narrative – a charged, female-centric world of lush foliage, alcoves and abundant bodies, and a site of reclamation and reactivation for objectified forms.
Amy Bessone was born in New York in 1970 and lives and works in Los Angeles. Educated in the US and Europe — at Barnard College, the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Parsons Paris School of Design, and De Ateliers, Amsterdam — her multidisciplinary practice combines paintings, ceramics, bronze and prints. She has exhibited her work in numerous solo and group shows internationally, notably with Salon 94 and David Kordansky Gallery, as well as The Pit, Los Angeles; Kunsthall Stavanger, Norway; the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the Rubell Family Collection, Miami. Her work is held in the collections of the latter as well as MOCA, LA, and those of Frac Bretagne in France, the Saatchi Collection, London, and the Rennie Collection, Vancouver.