Gallery News for Marco Cianfanelli
Marco Cianfanelli: Launch of a sculpture at the Leopard Leap’s Vineyards
A work by Marco Cianfanelli features at the Leopard’s Leap Vineyards estate which has hosted it’s official launch this year in Franschhoek. Marco Cianfanelli was honored at this event as this also marked the launch of his new sculpture. The sculpture titled Domain of a Mountain Leopard, a depiction of a leopard poised on a mountain peak, is more than 9 metres high. This sculpture has become a permanent addition to the Leopard’s Leap Vineyards.
For more information click here
Marco Cianfanelli at Italian pavilion, Venice Biennale & Pretoria Art Museum
Italy has initiated a multimedia installation at their pavilion at the 2011 Venice Biennale, representing 250 artists of Italian origin from all over the world. Marco Cianfanelli was selected as one of two other artists to represent South Africa. The core of the project is a film accompanied by a publication exhibited in Venice.
In concomitance with the opening of the Biennale on the 4th of June 2011, an exhibition of four artists, Severa Rech Cassarino, Cianfanelli and Lorenzo Nassimbeni will also be inaugurated at the Pretoria art Museum. The event is part of the festivities surrounding the 150th Anniversary of Italian Unification. On the occasion of the Biennale, the ‘Padiglione Italia’ will present an initiative that has seen the involvement of all 89 Italian Institutes of Culture in the world.
Exhibition Opening 4 June 2011, 18h30 for 19h00 – Pretoria Art Museum.
Various artists at the 12th International Cairo Biennale
Goodman Gallery artists Joël Andrianomearisoa, Kudzanai Chiurai, Marco Cianfanelli, Sam Nhlengethwa, Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse will feature on the 12th International Cairo Biennale in Egypt this December.
Since its inception in 1984, the Cairo Biennale has been considered one of the most important cultural events in the Middle East. Conceived and initially designed to explore contemporary art in the Arab world, the concepts of the successive artistic directors expanded the interest to the global international arena. The biennale is produced by the fine arts sector of the Egyptian ministry of culture, and the exhibition is spread over the entirety of all public spaces managed by the sector.
The 12th International Cairo Biennale runs from 12 December 2010 to 12 February 2011. For more information visit www.cairobiennale.gov.eg.
‘I am interested in making things that prompt a sense
of the complexity of the present.’
Marco Cianfanelli is an artist who works across the public and private realms, thinking of the world more in terms of systems than discrete objects or fenced off territories of engagement. Constantly looking to realise art where one doesn’t expect to find it and testing the possibilities for artistic intervention in the public realm, he has been involved in a wide range of projects involving art, architecture and public space.
Cianfanelli’s work embodies a vast variety of media and materials, from burnt mielie skins and sculpted sea sand, to laser cut materials, masked glass and digital imaging. He thrives on taking applications and using them for different functions. Although he uses computer-aided design and technology in the production of his work, he also engages with the more visceral organic aspects of the material he works with, experimenting with physical acts like the slinging of muddy pigment or the branding of animal hides. Marrying the application of data to more expressive gestural acts, he aims to set up a tension or dialogue between the controlled, accuracies of the digital realm and the uncontrollable realities of being human.
Key to his practice is an attempt to give shape to the convergence of multiple kinds of data, knowledge and experience, asserting the interrelatedness of all things. His work explores social hierarchies and channels of consumption as they relate to aspects of human desire, value, beauty and material relationships.
Collapsing the categories and conventions that sort our experience, he strives to invent forms that bring together thoughts in relation to economics (statistics, values and economies of scale), geography (resources, place and ownership) and emotion (self, psychology and chemistry). Human forms superimposed on a graphical index track personal narratives in relation to seemingly unrelated empirical data. The silhouettes of human figures appear repeatedly in relation to other shapes or forms that point to unexpected connections between social forces. In other instances, statistics are translated into physical forms, so graphs become landscapes, affirming the idea that nature, culture, landscape and politics are inextricably interfused.
For him, the idea of ‘place’ refers beyond fixed geographical co-ordinates. It is an emissary from the past as well as a construction-site of invention and re-invention. Place, or its absence, points to our intellectual and emotional desires for location, which are as much about the construction of Self as they are about a sense of community or even nationality.
In Cianfanelli’s forms one becomes aware of images and shapes that are, in a sense, made apparent through omission. Aspects of the object may not be entirely visible. Parts may be hidden or simply missing. Sometimes it is as if the works are remainders of images that used to be or images that have been replaced, obscured or erased. Cianfanelli is drawn to the expressive possibilities of blank space, and the aesthetic patterns that result from obscuration and omission. Yet his work has little to do with the pursuit of purely formal abstraction. The images or references within the artworks are quite specific, even though they have been visually obscured or omitted.
Scale is pivotal. By reinterpreting numbers and playing with measurements, Cianfanelli repeatedly interrogates the mysterious connectivity between microbes and planets.
From the smallest maquette to the immensity of a fully realised public sculpture, his figures and forms allude ambiguously to landscape, the human body and microorganisms. His spheroid sculptures, in particular, refer simultaneously to microscopic, visceral and celestial forms. Our desire to grasp our own humanity is precariously formed from an engagement between our sense of individuality and our location within a greater species, on a singular planetary body.
For this, his sixth solo exhibition, he embarks on an adventure in search of forms that prompt subtler responses to the complex natural and built environments in which we find ourselves.
Text by Alex Dodd
Marco Cianfanelli was born in Johannesburg in 1970 and graduated, with a distinction in Fine Art, from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1992. He has had five solo exhibitions and has won numerous awards, including the ABSA L’Atelier, which culminated in a residency at the Cité des Arts in Paris, and an Ampersand Fellowship, which took him to New York. Fiercely committed to testing the possibilities for artistic intervention in the public realm and engaging with other professionals from diverse fields, he has been involved in a wide range of projects involving art, architecture and public space. Currently, he is a member the design team for The Freedom Park, South Africa’s national monument to freedom, situated in Pretoria. His work can be found in public and private collections in South Africa (Sasol, Absa, Didata, Bloemfontein Art Museum…) Europe and the United States.
Goodman Gallery presents a group exhibition simply titled Winter Show, featuring a range of local and international art luminaries. Traveling from Goodman Gallery Johannesburg, the show presents recent works by Goodman stalwarts such as William Kentridge, David Goldblatt, Sam Nhlengethwa and Mikhael Subotzky, as well as revealing a shift in the Gallery’s approach, showcasing work from around the African continent and beyond that is both explicitly and implicitly concerned with the synergies and tensions that exist between Africa and the rest of the globe. Some of the participating international artists, such as Ghada Amer, are not only being showcased, but are now officially represented by the Goodman Gallery.
The Winter Show will elaborate on the thorny notion of the politics of representation, which Brenda Atkinson and Candice Breitz confronted in their 1999 collection of essays Grey Areas: Representation, Identity and Politics in Contemporary South African Art. The book was a direct response to the critique of Nigerian curator Okwui Enwezor, who was the creative director of the Second Johannesburg Biennial in 1997. At the time, Enwezor interrogated the practice of artists such as Breitz, Minnette Vári and Penny Siopis, considering in great depth the question of ‘who has the right to represent whom?’. Now, over a decade later, accusations of misrepresentation have been revisited and reconsidered, not only by Enwezor himself and those whose essays were included in Grey Areas, but by the art community at large. The Winter Show augments the dialogue, bringing new voices into the conversation.
Compelling features of the Winter Show include one of artist, Kara Walker’s 2009 films – which are based on narratives from the archives of a bureau established in 1865 to assist African Americans with the transition from slavery to freedom – featuring the artist’s signature black-silhouette cut-out figures, which almost impossibly convey the complexities of race, gender, sexuality and power in their stilted and evocative movements. William Kentridge will present a new drawing produced this year, a large scale tapestry, as well as a maquette of the structure World on its Hind Legs, created in collaboration with Gerhard Marx.
With Goodman Gallery firmly established as a world-class contemporary art institution, the Winter Show will reveal the gallery’s commitment – not only to representing artists of the highest caliber, but to bringing an innovative programme of relevant and compelling international works to South Africa, offering audiences exposure to some of the best contemporary work being produced, both locally and abroad.
Marco Cianfanelli was born on 30th November 1970 in Johannesburg.
2012 University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
2009 Absent Fields , Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2006 Projected Development: return to begin, Aardklop Festival artist, Potchefstroom
2005 Projected Development, Gallery Momo, Johannesburg
2003 ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg
2002 Joint exhibition with Stephanus Rademeyer, The Art Space, Johannesburg
1998 Atlantis, Mark Coetzee Fine Art Cabinet, Cape Town
1996 Record, Art Space, Newtown Cultural Precinct, Johannesburg
Revised exhibition, Leap Gallery, Pretoria
2011 SA’ s first Annual International Land Art Event/ Plettenberg Bay
2009 Contemporary sculpture in the landscape / Nirox Foundation; Johannesburg
2008 Intervention, UNISA Art Gallery, Tswane
2008 Production Marks, Grahamstown Festival, KZNSA Gallery, The Goethe Institute
2008 Heptad, The Art Space, Johannesburg
2007 Spier Contemporary, Stellenbosch, Cape Town
2007 Positive, Sun City
2007 Aardklop 10, Potchefstroom
2004 Brett Kebble Art Awards, Cape Town
2002 Once were Painters, KKNK, Oudtshoorn.
2001 We Love our customers , Hungarian Embassy, New York
2000 Tour-guides of the inner city – URBAN FUTURES Rembrandt van Rijn Gallery, Johannesburg
2000 Hoerikwaggo , South African National Gallery, Cape Town
2000 SASOL New Signatures Revisited , Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, Oudtshoorn
2000 Emotions and Relations , Sandton civic Art Gallery, Johannesburg
1999 Channel , Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town
1998 ! Xoe – Site Specific , Nieu-Bethesda, Eastern Cape
1997 Taking Stock , Co-curated and exhibited, Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Johannesburg
1997 Cyst: Works in Paint , Good Hope Gallery, The Castle, Cape Town
1997 No. 4 , Hillbrow Fort, Johannesburg
2009 Regional Judge, ABSA L’Atelier Art Competition
2008 Judge, SASOL Wax Art Competition
2006/9 Advisor to the SASOL Art collection
2000 Part-time lecturer in Design, Parktown College for Vocational Education, Johannesburg
1999 Tutor in Design Studio for third-year Design-build project, WITS Architecture Department,
Part-time lecturer in Art History, Drawing and Design, Parktown College for Vocational Education,
1994 Five-month appointment to temporary full-time Lecturer at University of Natal
Fine Art Department. Painting lecturer to third-year, fourth-year and masters students
Artist in Residence Diocesan College, Cape Town.
Awards and Merits
2008 Nominee, Mercedes-Benz Award for Art Project in Public Spaces
2006 Beeld Plus Aartvark Award for Innovative work, Aardklop Arts Festival
2005 Final short-list of 3, Mandela bay Statue of Freedom Competition, joint-entry with Jeremy Rose
2004 Major Award, Brett Kebble Art Awards
2002 ABSA Atelier Award
Joint second place, International architecture competition, Freedom Square, Kliptown, Johannesburg (group entry with Paragon Architects and Green Inc Landscape Architects)
2001 ABSA Atelier Merit Award
Ampersand Foundation Fellowship
Ford Foundation Grant
2000 De Kat Magazine “Jakkels Award”, KKNK, Oudtshoorn
1998 Business & Arts South Africa grant
Montagu White bursary for overseas study
1992 Merit Award, New Signatures – South African Association of Arts
Santam bursary for Painting
Giovanna Millner scholarship for overseas travel
1991 Bronze Award, Rolfes Impressions National Student Art Competition
Third prize Martienssen Prize – WITS
Ashley and Radmore Prize – Fine Arts
Herbert Evans Prize for Painting
Academic Record and Residencies
1998 Two-month research tour, Italy.
1993 Six-month research tour, Europe.
1992 BA.FA. majoring in painting (with distinction), University of the Witwatersrand
Various Private Collections
Bloemfontein Art Museum.
Selected commissions, projects and public work
2011 The Fields Complex off Hilda street (Urban Being (Standing man sculpture)
2010 ABSA, ATW, Inner City, the City Within
2009 Pieter Roos Park, Hillbrow (Commissioned by the Trinity Session, on behalf of the Johannesburg Development Agency)
2009 University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park
2009 Durban International Conference Centre, Durban
2009 Tokara Wine Estate, Stellenbosch, Cape Town
2004-9 The Freedom Park: Member of professional design team, Tshwane
2008 Baragwanath Taxi Rank, Soweto (Commissioned by the Trinity Session, on behalf of the
Johannesburg Development Agency)
2008 Donald Mackay Park, Hillbrow (Commissioned by the Trinity Session, on behalf of the Johannesburg Development Agency)
2008 ABSA Capital, Sandton
2007 Anglo Gold Ashanti: Head office, Newtown, Johannesburg
ABSA: 11 Diagonal Street, Johannesburg CBD
2006 Sunday Times Heritage Project: Origins Centre, Wits University, Johannesburg
2006 Department of Science and Technology: CSIR, Tshwane
2005 University of Johannesburg Arts Centre: Auckland Park, Johannesburg
2005 Forum Homini: The Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng
2005 MTN: Head office, Fairlands, Johannesburg
2004 CTICC: Cape Town
2003 FNB Call Centre: Randburg, Johannesburg
2002 MTN: Head office, Fairlands, Johannesburg
2002 Roche Pharmaceuticals: Head office, Sebenza, Johannesburg
2002 Tristar Construction: Head office, Edenvale, Johannesburg
2001 Hollard Street Mall Upgrade: Hollard street Mall, Johannesburg CBD
2001 PIKITUP: Head office, Braamfontein, Johannesburg
2000 Rosebank African Market: Rosebank, Johannesburg
2000 MEDIA 24: Sandton, Johannesburg
1997 Faraday station Muti-Market Project: Faraday Station, Johannesburg CBD