a is for… and, am, anxious, apple, adore…


Kaufmann Repetto, Milan

June 7 – September 7, 2018

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Anthea Hamilton’s work weaves complex symbols and narratives, bringing together references from architecture and design history to personal themes via fashion and popular culture. Her sculptures and immersive installations, such as the one currently on view at Tate Britain for the Duveens Commission, are often animated by performances that involve and activate the public as much as the space.

The exhibition presents a new body of work that expands recurring themes in Hamilton’s oeuvre. The “wavy boot”, one of Hamilton’s leitmotivs, appears in varying versions: sinuous and oversized to the artist’s own height; chunky and made of concrete, with window-like cavities; colorful and tiered, held together by the boot’s own lacing; or transparent and secured by locks. Both individually and collectively, these works cling to the notion of accessory as a futile concern, but also as a fetish, an object of both erotic and consumerist desire. Each accessory, in turn, is dressed in additional ornaments and accoutrement, creating a recursive analyzation of its own principles and form.

The body is a recurring subject matter in Hamilton’s practice, who often utilizes her own as a matrix for her works. The second space is animated by a series of three-dimensional arrangements that include acrylic cut-outs of the artist’s own legs. These tableaux, which act like 3D collages, incorporate both common and unexpected elements, chosen both for their tactile or evocative qualities.

The works are positioned against a wallpaper depicting a scrambled view of the sky, more reminiscent of a desktop than of an idyllic landscape. Destabilizing the boundaries of the gallery’s physical space, it calls into question the ideological constructs of the gallery as an organization, while at the same time eliciting notions of a contrived ideal that is both virtual and almost dreamlike, suspended by an air of humor and lightness.

Anthea Hamilton, a is for... and, am, anxious, apple, adore... 
Anthea Hamilton, a is for... and, am, anxious, apple, adore... 
Alice Mackler 
Alice Mackler 

Project Room

Mackler’s works on view at kaufmann repetto Milan are emblematic of her ongoing inclinationtowards the female form. She has been quoted, “It is not intentional. I love being female.” Her lumpy, curvy ceramic sculptures are often stanced in a leaning position, as if in exaggerated contrapposto, defining an air of authority through their blobby and bold self-assuredness. The works exude a sense of attitude, confidence, and defiance; all of which are qualities that echo Mackler’s determination and dedication to her practice.

The selection of works on view, made between 2016-2018, coalesce in a type of quirkycommunity that seems to simultaneously value individualized eccentricities and also ashared spirit within the celebration of these differences. The figures divulge their unique histories and cultural mediations in a way that reveals a collectively matriarchalexperience. Mackler’s women are rooted in strong and stubborn dispositions that displace stereotypes of femininity and serve up the grit with which they are composed.

Courtesy the artists and  kaufmann repetto Milano / New York


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