April 2 — May 7, 2016
Conduit Gallery is pleased to announce the first exhibition in Texas by New York based sculptor, Juan Fontanive.
In Reflected Yeses, Juan Fontanive investigates expanded forms of drawing that reflect his ongoing interest in the logic of nature. Elements of drawing – line, shape, color – come together in varied media; moving images, moving objects, interactive works, and still works randomize and mix to make systems of their own. Drawings take the form of: machines that combine colors randomly, a movable wall that creates lines by viewer interaction, a folding screen that mixes shapes when seen through itself; and automatic flip books that animate color imagery through time. As Fontanive states, “The freedom associated with elements of drawing, a said direct connection to nature, is echoed by the works themselves being free to create on their own and create their own imagery.”
Juan Fontanive’s work reflects a duel interest in the rhythmic pulse of the natural world and the modern era’s invention of the moving image. Fontanive created claymations while in high school, combining narrative and image, and later 16mm experimental films in college. While pursuing a Masters Degree at the Royal College of Art in London, Fontanive invented hand-tooled flip book machines described as “films without light.” Each compact stainless steel object is machined to flip through 72 double-sided images depicting birds, moths, and butterflies that often collaged, screen-printed, painted or drawn. The perpetual movement through the images create the illusion of flight while at the same time, flipping through the images at the rate of film, also gives the viewer a long gaze at the detailed illustrations.
The principles of Physics also play a role in Fontanive's creative methods and studio practice. Magnetism and air resistance may dictate the size of a work, and gravity could determine how fast it moves. Allowing these natural principles to shape the work in Fontanive’s view, effects the form so that, “the works tend to look like insects, stones, birds - or sound like them; things from nature, because they are influenced by the same principles that create nature.”
Juan Fontanive holds a BA from Syracuse University and an MFA from the Royal College of Art in London. He was the 2010 recipient of the Desmond Preston Drawing Prize at the Royal College of Art. His studio is located in Bushwick, NY. Solo exhibitions since 2010 include: Danese/Corey Gallery, NY, NY (2016);Carbono Galeria, São Paulo, Brazil (2015); Savernack Street Gallery, San Francisco, CA (2014); Riflemaker Gallery, London, UK (2014); Volta 6, Basel, Switzerland (2010).