Flashbacks – 16. Leiko Ikemura

Light Face, 2021, cast murano glass, ca. 22,5 x 27 x 19 cm. © Leiko Ikemura and VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2022.

From December 23, 2022 to January 7, 2023, the BUILDINGBOX space will host the glass sculpture Light Face (2021) by Japanese-born naturalized Swiss artist Leiko Ikemura (Tsu, 1951).

A face with barely noticeable features emerges from the irregular surface of the glass and inhabits it with a placid, silent presence. Light details lend an echo of humanity to this recumbent head, which seems to belong to a sea creature dwelling in the mystery of the deep or to a mythological being with a floral character. The transparency of the glass allows light to penetrate, which plays with shades of color by lighting the yellow with reflections and animating the three-dimensionality of the material, which expands in space. The theme of the reclining head has belonged since the 1990s to the visual vocabulary of the artist, who has extensively investigated this subject by declining it through the expressiveness of different media and materials, including terracotta and bronze.

Made of Murano glass, this work represents a unique production that stems from the collaboration between BUILDING and the artistic glassworks Berengo Studio in Venice, which was initiated on the occasion of the cycle Dalla sabbia, opere in vetro (From the sand, works in glass) that characterized BUILDINGBOX's 2020 exhibition season.

Light Face is first shown exclusively at BUILDING on the occasion of the exhibition Leiko Ikemura. Before the Thunder, After the Dark, curated by Frank Boehm. Open to the public from September 4 to December 23, 2021, this solo exhibition presented the public with a broad overview of Ikemura's artistic research, bringing together a selection of 50 works made from the 1980s to the present.

The exhibition is part of Flashbacks, a project curated by Alice Montanini that from April 9, 2022 to January 9, 2023 will retrace in the BUILDINGBOX space the most important stages of BUILDING's artistic research and promotion activities, on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of its birth.

Flashbacks aims to pay tribute to all the artists, curators and essayists who have contributed to shaping BUILDING's soul, presenting for the first time in an organic way a selection of works from the gallery's permanent collection, accompanied by the catalogs and archival materials documenting its exhibition activity over the past five years.

Central to the reflection of Flashbacks is the moment of the exhibition understood as a medium, a mirror of the relationships and dynamics generated between the work, the artist and the gallery space, which flow into the more complex sphere of the system of critical and aesthetic categories that underlie BUILDING's curatorial line and programming.

An important focus of Flashbacks will also be the catalogs published by BUILDING to accompany each exhibition. The strongly study- and research-oriented orientation that distinguishes BUILDING, not only as a space for the promotion of contemporary art, but also as a publishing house, is also evident in the careful selection of essayists and texts featured in the various publications.

The review will allow a look back at the highlights of BUILDING's curatorial activity, while projecting into the future of its programming. Thus, looking back at its recent past with gratitude and gratitude to all those who have accompanied BUILDING to date, but also with a critical gaze, in order to delineate new coordinates with which to interrogate the present and better orient toward the future.

An open-door reinterpretation of its collection, through some representative works of the main artists promoted by the gallery and of the exhibition and publishing activity carried out so far, presented in the spaces of BUILDINGBOX at irregular intervals and visible 24/7 from the window of via Monte di Pietà 23 in Milan.

Curator: Alice Montanini



via Monte di Pietà 23
Milano 20121

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