FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ALEXIS DE CHAUNAC
A DANCE WITH LIFE AND DEATH
September 16 – October 25, 2015
Wednesday, September 16, 6 – 9 PM
ART 3 PROGRAM SERIES: ARTIST TALK
Raul Zamudio in conversation with Alexis de Chaunac
Saturday, September 26, 2015, 6 – 7 PM
Brooklyn, NY, August 28, 2015 – ART 3 is proud to announce the exhibition of works on paper by Alexis de Chaunac, a rapidly rising American-Mexican-French artist. A Dance with Life and Death will be on view at ART 3 gallery, 109 Ingraham Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn, from September 16 to October 25, 2015, Wed-Sat 12-6 PM, Sun 1-6 PM. The opening will take place on Wednesday, September 16, from 6-9 PM.
The works on exhibit in A Dance with Life and Death are set against a backdrop of intuitions and insights drawn from mythology, anthropology and medical sciences. Creating syncretic works derived from his own quest for identity (with sources in New York, Mexico and Paris), Alexis de Chaunac searches out artifacts from different cultures for archetypal links between the personal and the historical. An almost archival interest reveals itself not only in his collection of medical instruments and other science-based objects – alluding to birth – but in different histories he traces across media. In the three series of new works on view at ART 3, the artist excavates the 1911 edition of the French treatise on embryology and human anatomy (originally published in 1899); recreates the naturally mummified expressions of 1833 cholera victims from Guanajuato; and translates the architectural sublimity of Pre-Columbian statuary into festive images celebrating Mexico’s sense of the sacred.
A Dance with Life and Death is haunted by a sense of being on the cusp: of the potential actuating into the real, then finally dissolving into quiescence. In Traité d’Anatomie Humaine, de Chaunac’s reworking of P. Poirier and A. Charpy’s 1911 treatise of the same name, one notes how their meticulously diagrammatic pages detailing the emergence of embryos into form transmogrifies into meditation on how the human face becomes recognizable within the womb, distinguishing itself from animalistic figurations. Composed mainly of autonomic responses internally related to the text’s scientific content, de Chaunac builds from the Traité as though its pages were bricks, respecting the intentionality of each century-old page while mimetically retracing the graduated complexity of cellular development each page describes. De Chaunac renews his interest in the origins of modern medicine, which produced new anatomic concepts that are still applied today in facial rejuvenating procedures and facelifts.
De Chaunac’s Anthropology series delves into the idea of a lost civilization, such as that of the Maya who achieved their historic peak only to suddenly disappear. Following a particular intuition of traditional iconography and how it relates to archetypal patterns of experience, the Mexican holiday known as the Day of the Dead is just one element that plays in the foreground of these celebratory works. The artist deliberately renders death in terms of joyful atmospherics, underscoring how death gifts life with its defining end without which life would lose its earthly meaning.
Similarly Polyptych – The Last Supper, de Chaunac’s reworking of the centuries-old Christian iconography, realizes something utterly contemporary that shades into the sacral. Portraying faces of the naturally mummified bodies of people who died in a cholera epidemic in 1833 in Mexican Guanajuato, Polyptych – The Last Supper shows the last breath on each visage, fixed in the final expression as the dying person approaches the threshold of oblivion for all eternity.
A Dance with Life and Death is an inquest into origins, against which the mythical provides an essential backdrop. Inspired by the fact that science can now modify what a century ago it could only describe, Alexis de Chaunac went on to include in his exhibition at ART 3 a few mixed-media objects making a reference to a cabinet of curiosities and alluding to the material conditions that bring life into the world. They reference the timeliness of the instruments that accomplish this as well as the substrate of mortality that transcends knowledge. Ultimately, de Chaunac draws out the nascence of time as though it were a topological line, a tight wire act where life locks with death in an eternal dance.
The exhibition’s three bodies of work:
Traité d’Anatomie Humaine (2013-2015)
50 watercolors on original book pages from the 1911 edition of Le Traité d’Anatomie Humaine published by P. Poirirer and A. Charpy, Paris, France. The first edition of Le Traite d’Anatomie Humaine dates from 1899.
+ 6 mixed media objects.
10 works on handmade paper and 1 on raw canvas: oil stick, acrylic, watercolor, ink
Polyptych – The Last Supper (2015)
13 oil stick works on paper
Alexis de Chaunac was born in New York, NY in 1991 and raised in Mexico City and Paris. He grew up surrounded by art and culture, drawing in the studio of his grandfather – renowned Mexican artist José Luis Cuevas. He then lived for ten years in Paris immersed in European culture only to return to the US to study at the Sarah Lawrence College, NY. Represented by ART 3 Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, this rapidly up-and-coming artist already had two museum solo exhibitions: at the Pinacoteca Diego Rivera in Xalapa (2015) and at the Museo Iconografico del Quijote in Guanajuato (2014), both in Mexico. His work was also featured in DRAW, the largest contemporary drawing exhibition at the Museo de la Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico in 2010 (curated by Erik Foss, Curse Mackey and Miguel Calderon). Alexis de Chaunac lives and works in New York City and Paris, France.
Raul Zamudio is a New York-based Independent Curator and writer. He has curated or co-curated over 100 exhibitions in the Americas, Asia, and Europe including: co-curator, Here is Where We Jump!; 2013 La Biennial, El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY; co-curator, City Without Walls, 2010 Liverpool Biennial; co-curator, Constellations: 2009 Beijing 798 Biennial; co-curator, Turn and Widen: 2008 Seoul Media Art Biennial; and co-curator, Poles, Apart, Poles Together, 2005 Venice Biennial. He has contributed to more than 70 art-related books and exhibition catalogs. More information: http://www.raulzamudio.blogspot.com/.
On Saturday, September 26, Raul Zamudio will be in conversation with Alexis de Chaunac at ART 3
Please contact ART 3 email@example.com for inquiries, images and interview requests
What: Alexis de Chaunac, A Dance with Life and Death
When: September 16 – October 25, 2015
Opening: Wednesday, September 16, 6- 9 PM
ART 3 Program Series: Artist Talk
Raul Zamudio in conversation with Alexis de Chaunac
Saturday September 26, 2015, 6 – 7 PM
Where: ART 3 gallery, 109 Ingraham Street, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Transportation: L train to Morgan Avenue; front of the train
Hours: Wed. – Sat. 12-6 PM, Sun. 1-6 PM
More information: www.art-3gallery.com