Luca Frei, Untitled, ink on paper, 2008
LUCA FREI (Gallery II)
6 December 2008 - 31 January 2009
Private view: Friday 5 December from 6 to 8pm
Luca Frei's work can be seen as a series of games that his audience are invited to join in, only for them to discover he has changed the rules, confounding expectations but delighting with the alternatives offered. His installations of two- and three-dimensional works may have the semblance of recognisable things - trees, shelves, benches, texts - but these are re-presented in new and unusual configurations to provide what curator Charles Esche describes as "literal space for imaginative use" (Cream 3, Phaidon, 2004).
Attempts to tie Frei's works to a single function or meaning are futile, instead they exist to provide fertile, open-ended points of engagement, animating their surroundings and sparking new ideas, and the memories or past experiences that we bring to them in our heads. This playfulness goes hand in hand with a political undertow, a quietly subversive questioning of order and convention, and an imaginative resistance to the status quo.
Frei's installation at Ingleby's smaller street-level gallery space is a play of opposites. Suspended from the ceiling, a tall sculpture made from various bolted lengths of maple plywood recalls the archaic charms of wooden school rulers, an association simultaneously undermined by their random measures and dislocated, figurative structure. On the walls two graphic works taken from study of Chinese theatre suggest a choreographed dance that could as equally be a fight. These ambiguous images and sculpture balance the linear and the fluid, the measured and the haphazard, the everyday with high culture, to suggest new possibilities for seeing and experiencing the world.
Luca Frei was born in 1976 in Lugano, Switzerland and now lives and works in Sweden. He studied at Edinburgh College of Art and Malmö Art Academy, and this installation will mark his first solo exhibition in the UK since the Italian Cultural Institute in Edinburgh in 2000. 'Watch Out', a solo show at Studio Dabbeni, Lugano opens just prior to our exhibition (until 27 December, 2008) and other projects in 2008 have included: 'A Town (Not a City)' at Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen; 'An Archaeology of Longing', at Kadist Art Foundation, Paris; 'Democracy in America: The National Campaign' with Creative Time, New York; and 'After October' at Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York.
For further information or images, please contact the Gallery on (+44) (0) 131 556 4441 or firstname.lastname@example.org