Sans titre (2016) at Material, Mexico City With Basile Ghosn and Paula Kamps Booth B06.
Ghosn’s practice is based on architecture and its utopias.The artist proposes a rewrite of modernist fantasies by tackling, within them, the questions of his era. He uses means of production appropriate to the alternative press, gleaning images, cutting them up, recomposing them, altering them with the aid of photocopiers in copy centers. A ghostly atmosphere emerges, a reflection of an aesthetic of ruin and of procedures appropriate to a DIY philosophy. He composes mental spaces, hybrid landscapes halfway between reality and dream.The latest productions of Basile Ghosn are also the reflection of a concern for the recovery of materials: they are conceived with recycled toner in the printers, from plates of found plexiglass, from recycled steel. It is a way for the artist to reflect upon his own economy of means, at a time when we become aware of the rarity of resources.
For Material 2020, Basile Ghosn produced a new body of works specifically inspired by the context of the city. He drew the images from catalogs dedicated to Mexican architecture, travel guides from the 1950s or special issues of architecture magazines devoted to Luis Barragàn, Juan O’Gorman or Mario Pani. The artist then printed his complex collages on plexiglass portholes, evoking a lo-fi appropriation of the stained glass technique, popular amongst Modernist architects.
The practice of Paula Kamps, meanwhile, explores mediums peripheral to painting; it focuses mainly on a technique halfway between watercolour and drawing, emphasising the brilliance and intensity of color offered by these processes. Her work, between figuration and abstraction, gives pride of place to large flat areas – «stains» as Andre Butzer says – which, skillfully spread over the canvas, reveal human figures, scenes of daily life, always fragmented. With figures often hazy or obscured and a recurring, but arcane symbology, Kamps’ work’s elegantly hint on subjects persistent throughout art history – the unreliability of memory, the evasiveness of meaning, and our continual desire to understand one another.
Kamps’s newest series focuses on volcanoes, as a symbol of the power of nature and the fascination its destroying potential can wield.We’re drawn to it and appalled at the same time. Formally, the volcano pattern also evokes her intuitive approach of painting: her watercolours and diluted inks stains take the shape of mountains or smoke clouds almost naturally if not controlled by hand.
Basile Ghosn (b.1991) French of Lebanese origin, studied atVilla Arson, Nice. He has been the subject of personal or duo exhibitions at the Friche Belle de Mai, Marseilles (2019), at La Panacée Contemporary Art Center, Montpellier (2019), and Sans titre (2016), Paris and Marseilles (2019). His work has also been presented in group exhibitions at the Cité Radieuse – Le Corbusier, Marseilles (2018), at Belsunce Projects, Marseilles (2018), at the Villa Arson, Nice (2017) and Glassbox, Paris (2019). He lives and works in Marseille.
Paula Kamps (b.1990, Germany), studied at the Kunstakademie in Dusseldorf alongside Lucy McKenzie and later Elizabeth Peyton. She has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Kunstverein Heppenheim (2019) at Spazio Nea in Naples (2018) and at the Kunsthaus Mettmann (2014). Recent group shows include Orchard32, NewYork (2019), Carbon12, Dubai (2018), and Kunstverein Reutlingen (2018). In 2020, she will show with M. LeBlanc, Chicago.