September 20, 1997

Willy Ronis Retrospective, Galleria Carla Sozzani, Milan

WILLY RONIS - Retrospective 1926-1983
Galleria Carla Sozzani, Milan
13 September - 31 November 1997

“Geometries modulated by the heart” produced “during free excursions, with no specific goal, on the edge of chance”.

This is the story in images (149) of Willy Ronis, photographer and poet, sentimental walker from the Thirties to the Eighties, whose photographs, the product of an unconscious process, approach “automatic writing”.

Affected by events in history in his time – he was born in 1910 – and the changes and upheavals resulting from the popular front, and then war, Ronis always maintains a modest distance from man and his environment in order to find a poetry that is not immediately apparent.

He comments: “This activity involves a lot of risk, not physical risk – for I rarely cover distant places – but risk of failure.
While on some days subjects are served up to us as if on a plate, on other days we don’t see anything, not because there is nothing to see, but because we do not see what is clearly there. This is why the enterprises is rarely fun; it demands concentration, and therefore solitude, and is, at least as far as I am concerned, founded on rejection of the picturesque, the exceptional”.

A humanist photographer and a “polygraph”, as he liked to call himself, Willy Ronis worked in a variety of different areas: reporting, illustration, fashion, teaching, and was involved in many image-related professions.

In this exhibition focusing on people, he portrays a variety of subjects: Paris in the ’40s and its post-war people; nudes and public scenes; children’s games and young brides and grooms; Marie-Anne, the love of his whole life, and famous people (Sartre, Picasso, etc…). His snapshots are tender, funny or serious, expressing his bewildered search for communion with human beings. “Where does it fit in, the search, the truth? In the familiar, the universal dimension. Not in that which surprises us, but in that which moves us”.

Galleria Carla Sozzani
Corso Como 10 – 20154 Milano, Italia

September 15, 1997

Richard Serra at Dia Center for the Arts, New York

Richard Serra: "Torqued Ellipses"
Dia Center for the Arts, New York
September 25, 1997 - June 14, 1998

Dia Center for the Arts presents an exhibition of new sculpture by the American artist RICHARD SERRA. Titled "Torqued Ellipses," this exhibition will mark the debut of Dia's second exhibition building for temporary exhibitions, at 545 West 22nd Street, located directly across the street from its current facility at 548 West 22nd Street, New York City.

The Torqued Ellipses mark a new departure in Richard Serra's oeuvre, one which involves bending steel in a totally unprecedented manner. Four years ago, Serra conceived this group of approximately twenty sculptures in the form of lead models. A CATIA computer program was developed from the models to enable a rolling machine to torque the steel plates. After a protracted search, Serra finally located Beth Ship, a shipyard and rolling mill at Sparrow's Point outside Baltimore, which was willing to undertake the project. To date, four sculptures from this series have been realized, three of which will be on view at Dia this fall.

As Mark Taylor writes in his essay for the catalogue that will accompany the exhibition:
The effect of these works is extraordinary. Though made of heavy industrial materials and massive in size, they have the delicacy of finely folded ribbon or even paper twisted to form a Möbius strip that never quite reaches closure. As one moves from outside to inside by passing through the gap in these works, everything shifts. Lines that appear straight on the outside bend and buckle on the inside; arcs that seem to tilt away when viewed from without bend inward to enfold subject in object when experienced from within. As twisted space surrounds or even circulates through the perceptive body, the space and time of the work of art become utterly destabilizing and disorienting.

Born in San Francisco in 1939, RICHARD SERRA has a longstanding engagement with steel. After financing his college degree by working in steel mills, Serra adopted steel as his preferred material in the late sixties: he has continued to use it in different ways, propped, bent, forged, and rolled for over three decades.

Since his first solo show in Rome in 1966, Richard Serra has had numerous exhibitions throughout the world, including a 1986 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In addition, he has created a number of seminal site-specific sculptures in public venues in both North America and Europe. Most recently, as his contribution to the current Sculpture Projects in Münster, Germany, Serra was commissioned to make a permanent installation at one of that city's most renowned historic buildings, the Haus Rüschhaus designed by the Baroque architect J.C. Schlaun. Serra recently installed Snake, a 100-feet-long, 13-feet-high sculpture commissioned by the Guggenheim's new museum in Bilbao. In the fall of 1998, he will open an exhibition of large-scale installations at the Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Dia Center for the Arts