UTA Artist Space and Carpenters Workshop Gallery are pleased to announce their collaboration on a new group exhibition, Dark Fantasy on view in Beverly Hills from October 11 - November 16, 2019. Following the success of Carpenters Workshop Gallery’s exhibition DYSFUNCTIONAL, which opened in Venice last May, this exhibition at UTA Artist Space showcases a selection of artists from the Carpenters Workshop Gallery’s influential program, curated by gallery director Ashlee Harrison. This marks the first exhibition of Carpenters Workshop Gallery in Los Angeles, as well as the LA debut of Virgil Abloh’s Acqua Alta series, a new site-specific installation by Studio Drift, a major work by Nacho Carbonell, and the premiere of Reclining Nude, 2019 by Atelier Van Lieshout.
Based on the concept of Archeofuturism, which focuses on excavating forms of the past in order to shape future narratives of design, Dark Fantasy guides the viewer through a whimsical world of the fantastic and the obscure, questioning the constraints of reality and what it means to dream. By highlighting advanced techniques, traditional master craft, and new technology, Dark Fantasy brings to life organic and telluric forms that allude to bygone eras of production. The exhibition explores over a decade of functional art from 24 artists from Carpenters Workshop Gallery’s program, creating a dialogue between space, time and contemporary archeology.
"The exhibition features over fifty pieces by Virgil Abloh, Atelier Van Lieshout, Maarten Baas, Aldo Bakker, Sebastian Brajkovic, Fernando and Humberto Campana, Nacho Carbonell, Wendell Castle, Vincenzo De Cotiis, Ingrid Donat, Vincent Dubourg, Najla El Zein, Kendell Geers, Johanna GrawunderSteven Haulenbeek, Anton Hendrik Denys, Roger Herman, Studio Job, Mathieu Lehanneur, Frederik Molenschot, Rick Owens, Random International, Robert Stadler, Studio Drift, Charles Trevelyan, and Verhoeven Twins."
Two monumental Wendell Castle bronze sculptures flank the entrance to the exhibition, followed by a forest of Nacho Carbonell’s telluric light sculptures upon arrival inside the gallery. Further inside, the viewer is immersed in a decadent installation of Studio Drift’s Fragile Future, a chapel and transcendent celestial experience. Included also is “Alaska Bench”, a sinking bronze sculpture by Virgil Abloh that suggests we are sinking into the space amongst nature and becoming one with the environment. Inspired by Venice’s surrounding water and rising sea levels, Abloh prompts us to consider the fate of Venice and our planet.
In Gallery One, the viewer is transported to a futuristic surrealism amongst amorphic ethereal works that seem to have their own intelligence and personality, like science fiction characters that come to life. Artists include Robert Stadler, Aldo Bakker, Verhoeven Twins and interactive installations by Atelier Van Lieshout, and Random International whose immersive Rain Room is in the collection of LACMA.
Traveling further through the exhibition, the viewer encounters a moment of eccentricity and iconoclasm of the NeoBaroque, exalting biomorphic, lyrical and sensual forms, made of opulent unexpected materials. Branch like structures of precious jasper jade grow into a dining table by Vincenzo DeCotiis, a performative grandfather clock by Maarten Baas, and Charles Trevelyan’s spindle like bronze console. Culminating the exhibition, one discovers in the space a jewel box of contemporary archeology, where raw materials and dark distressed patinas create a dialogue of elegant and refined textures. From the 5 million year old petrified wood Curial by Rick Owens, to the Commode Galuchat by Ingrid Donat, in dialogue the works create a timeless presence.