ARCO MADRID 2023
22. – 26. February 2023
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Tammam Azzam’s work communicates the awareness and importance of topics such as migration, war, violence, focusing on destruction and re-construction through images that dive into our emotions and linger in our memory. Being on the edge to abstraction, his works emphasise an emotional access to the depicted rather than a descriptive one.
His compositions focus on the rebuild from destruction which is a metaphor for the Syrian artist who left his home country in 2011. In spite of his personal experience and his own history, the works of Tammam Azzam are not only limited to his perspective, instead images of war and destruction lead to works that stay open to the viewer, so the war in Syria is a symbol for the ongoing political conflicts happening around the world.
When we look closer the pieces of paper seem to tell a story on their own, jumping from one onto the next. We can see the cracks and gaps between them, separated and broken, shredded. But once the viewer steps back all the small pieces create a fascinating composition out of the shattered pieces that the artist painted with acrylic before breaking them apart, maintaining a painterly aesthetic. A technique that the artist started exploring in 2016, after moving to Germany.
Tammam Azzam (*1981, Damaskus, Syria) received his artistic training from the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Damascus. Over the years Azzam’s practice has encompassed painting, paper collage and digital works all of which grapple with the conflict of his homeland. Following the Syrian Civil War, he relocated to Dubai where he began working in digital photomontages. In 2016 he came to Germany as a fellow at Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg, Institute for Advanced Study, in Delmenhorst and has been living in Berlin since 2018.
Works by Tammam Azzam are included in collections in Europe, the Middle East, and the U.S. They have been exhibited throughout the world, including at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C., (2021), the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, and the Rudolf Stolz Museum in Sexten in South Tyrol, Italy (both in 2020), the Kunstverein Iserlohn “Villa Wessel”(2019), the Ayyam Gallery, Dubai (2019 and 2016), the For-Site Foundation, San Francisco, (2017, 2016), and the Stadtmuseum Oldenburg (2017). A selection of his works is part of the travelling exhibition “Kunst trotz(t) Ausgrenzung” which is touring various museums and institutions in Germany since 2018. In 2021, together with artists like Monica Bonvicini, Rebecca Horn, and Lawrence Weiner, he contributed a column to Stoa 169, the “Artist Colummned Hall” in Polling, initiated by Bernd Zimmer. Tammam Azzam has received numerous awards and prizes, amongst others the Creative Activism Award of the Cultures of Resistance Network.450
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„Wayward“ is an algorithmic artwork that incessantly generates visuals that ri on art movements including Pop Art, Protest Art and Process Art, and techniques including photo-based engravings, silkscreen prints and reprographic experiments. The animation is constantly mutating, and created with news photographs of the moment. Images of current events are constantly fed into the artwork, and immediately become artistically reinterpreted via monochromatic repetitions, half-tone eects or ink-like smudges, to name some of the applied eects. The ever-changing artwork harnesses art historical references to process the turbulent times of the present.
As a constantly mutating artwork, „Wayward“ remains forever unfinished: the news of the moment replaces the item that came just before. Layer after layer, the endless artwork captures the ephemerality of news cycles, and of life itself. Just like artists of the past have responded to the social and political upheavals of their time, Wayward equally captures the emotional disquiet of the moment. The unrest produced by the incessant bombardment of 24/7 news cycles often leaves us feeling numb and paralyzed. Wayward is the artist’s attempt to process our times with the unlikely merging of press photography, algorithms and art history.
Daniel Canogar (*Madrid 1964) Spanish American artist received a M.A from New York University at the International Center of photography in 1990, however, moving into an area of the projected image and installation art. He has a permanent art installation with LED screens including Aqueous at The Sobrato Foundation (Mountain View, CA, 2019); Pulse, at Zachry Engineering Education Complex in Texas A&M University (College Station, TX, 2018), Tendril for Tampa International Airport (Tampa, FL, 2017) and Cannula, Xylem and Gust II at BBVA Bank Headquarters (Madrid, 2018). And has had solo shows at the American Museum of Natural History, Sundance Film Festival, Wilde Gallery, Max Estrella Gallery and Anita Beckers Gallery.
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In her works, Ivana de Vivanco questions preconceived notions of gender, Western history and colonialism as well as questions of power and powerlessness. Her works are scenic representations in small, concentrated spaces, visually appealing but uncomfortable oddities that evoke an eerie atmosphere full of metaphors and socio- political references. The expansion of the image with sculptural and installative elements adds an additional dimension to the works and invites the audience to become part of their bizarre pantomimes. In her paintings for Arco Madrid, a historical pictorial reference from the history of the Spanish colonization of the Inca Empire becomes a universal gesture of empowerment that not only reveals repressive power structures, but reverses them.
Ivana de Vivanco (*1989, Lisbon, Portugal) studied art with Gonzalo Díaz Cuevas at the Universidad de Chile and at the HGB in Leipzig with Oliver Kossack. In 2016 she completed her master’s degree with Annette Schröter at the HGB. Since 2020 she has been teaching painting in the second year at the HGB. Works by Ivana de Vivanco have recently been shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Santiago, the Kunsthalle Darmstadt, 68projects Berlin, The RYDER Projects in Madrid, SCAN Projects in London, Galerie Anita Beckers in Frankfurt and the exhibition “Dissonance. Platform Germany” at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, curated by Christoph Tannert and Mark Gisbourne. In 2021, the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) acquired one of her works for its collection. Ivana de Vivanco’s work has been published in the publications „Dissonance – Platform Germany“ (DCV) and „100 Painters of Tomorrow“ (Thames & Hudson), among others, as well as in Elephant Magazine, in Something Curated, in Juxtapoz Magazine, in Schirn Mag, in Artishock or in Le Quotidien de L’Art
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Jonas Englert’s works reflect social-philosophical phenomena and both political and historical narratives and materials through the formats of video, diagram, text, and sound. Sometimes using found footage or own visual recordings, his work explores the in-between fiction and documentation, focusing on the human being as both an individual and in a societal context.
Drawing attention to specific gestures in historical, cultural and/or political moments unmasking their authenticity and exposing the curated, clinical and artificiality of these moments. Captured in harmonic compositions in the form of moving images that reference biblical, historical or artistic fragments in time. Making us wonder if the diplomacy depicted in these political gestures that became historical moments in the last century are needed or if they are just part of the political agenda for the media, being merely a theatrical expression without genuine value attached to them.
“Declaration of Principles” is made only with found footage, the main video in the centre of the 31 image field polyptych shows the moment in which Yitzhak Rabin, prime minister of Israel, and Yasser Arafat, president of the Palestinian National Authority and Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, shook hands in agreement in the peace negotiations and the mutual recognitions of the two parties with each other, in presence of Bill Clinton, the President of the United States in September 1993. Englert associates this historical moment with other art pieces, political instances and biblical references questioning their genuineness, how they are symbolic and strategically staged, and above all medialized.
Jonas Englert studied art with Heiner Blum, Rotraut Pape and Alexander Oppermann and philosophy with Juliane Rebentisch at the HfG Oenbach. For the winter semester of 2012/2013 he studied applied theatre studies with Heiner Goebbels at the Justus- Liebig-Universität Gießen. He was awarded the Dr. Marschner-Preis in 2012, the Johannes Mosbach scholarship in 2013 and an honorary mention in the course of the B3-BEN-Awards in the category Time based and immersive arts in 2017. Since 2018 Englert is awardee of the Frankfurter Künstlerhilfe. In 2019 he received the theory award of the Marielies Schleicher-Stiftung. His works are part of the collections of the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C., the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Ivo Wessel Collection and private collections. Furthermore he created various works in the theatrical context, amongst others at the National Theater Mannheim, the State Playhouse Dresden, the Hannover State Theater, the Theater Bonn and the Berliner Ensemble.
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Amparo Sard started her career piercing small white papers. Self portraits in surrealistic situations where she was expressing with a very personal language and technique. She continued evolving in her research by enlarging papers and creating white huge fiberglass installations or aluminum sculptures. Today Sard uses all kind of materials: resin paintings, polyurethane, videos and recently recycled plastic, being also involved in the conservation of the planet and trying to raise awareness.
In her work white color represents what we see from eyes out, a linear reading of our environment. Black, deformations or exorbitant dimensions show other kind of images totally opposite. They allow what really moves us, what we perceive from the eyes inward, what provokes eective emotions, the tension that awakes our intuition.
The punctures in the paper of Amparo Sard’s „Perforated Papers“ show the sensitivity and vulnerability of the material, which here appears almost like human skin. The engravings create figurative reliefs that deal with man and nature in metamorphosis and symbiosis. The conviction that art can sharpen our perception of ominous developments ultimately lends her work, despite its ominous undertones, an optimistic vision.
Amparo Sard (* 1973, Mallorca) lives and works between Mallorca and Barcelona. She is professor of Fine Arts at the University of Barcelona, where she graduated from. She earned her MFA in Media Studies from The New School University, New York. Her work is in art collections such as the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and The Guggenheim Museum, New York; MACRO – Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome; Teylers Museum, Haarlem, The Netherlands; Deutsche Bank, Berlin and New York; Artium Museum, Vitoria-Gasteiz; Loewe Foundation, Madrid; Colección Testimonio – Colleción de Arte Contemporaneo La Caixa, Barcelona; Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró and Es Baluard – Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Palma, Palma de Mallorca, in Spain, among others. She has been awarded with the Deutsche Bank International Award, the Gold Medal of the Italian Government, Rome, and she has been included on the Dutch LXRY List 2018 as one of the 15 best artists in the world.