The latest news from Studio Voltaire

Forthcoming Studio Voltaire

In February 2017 Studio Voltaire will present a major new commission by German artist Amelie von Wulffen, her first solo exhibition in the UK.

10 February – 02 April 2016
Preview: Thursday 09 February 2016, 6.30 – 8.30pm

Nostalgic and melancholic, von Wulffen’s practice is backgrounded by a sense of unease, with works often suggesting themselves as autobiographical, recording fear, sexual fantasy and emotional trauma. The artist makes distinct references to European painters of the 19th and 20th centuries, applying the brushwork and subjects of Hans von Marées, Paul Cezanne and Giorgio de Chirico, amongst others, to canvas, paper and furniture. However, she equally embraces the characterists of amateur painters and the applied arts. von Wulffen’s surreal art-historical pastiches corrupt these recognisable genres by deliberately embracing clumsy derivatives, interrupting measures of accomplished painting by purposefully adopting what is ‘bad’.

For her commission at Studio Voltaire, von Wulffen will produce new work, including paintings and an ambitious sculptural installation. Incorporating past motifs from her practice and responding to the history and architecture of Studio Voltaire’s unique vaulted gallery, this will be the first significant introduction of von Wulffen’s practice to both London and UK-wide audiences. Additionally, this exhibition will launch a new monograph surveying von Wulffen’s practice, published by Studio Voltaire and Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich.


Jamian Juliano-Villani

In September 2016 Studio Voltaire will present a major new commission by American painter Jamian Juliano-Villani, her first solo presentation in a public institution outside the US.

4 October–11 December 2016
Preview: Monday 3 October 2016, 6.30–8.30pm

Jamian Juliano-Villani’s (b. 1987, New Jersey) paintings teem with cultural references, both populist and obscure; animation, advertising and video games jostle with Reggae album artwork and delinquent characters from art history. By layering appropriated imagery she creates aberrations, with figures growing, shrinking and dissolving into one another. Her paintings often reflect a curious slippage between the prosaic and surreal, converting the familiar into the uncanny.

Juliano-Villani’s bold and graphic style has become categorised by her use of cartoon imagery, however, she has repeatedly specified it is not cartoons aesthetic but their populist nature that interests her. She is mining a shared collective memory to express intimate and subjective issues that can be read through the universal language of cartoons. The communicative potential of her work is key for Juliano-Villani, and her unrestricted use of mainstream appropriation makes it legible on a number of levels.

For her commission at Studio Voltaire Juliano-Villani will work in situ and create a new body of work in response to the idiosyncrasies of the gallery space. She will build on the developments in her more recent work, moving away from her complex, dynamic Hieronymus Bosch-esque tableaus, where chaos was the main character, and instead focus on the psychological atmosphere of her paintings in a more personal, intimate way.

There is a clear duality in Juliano-Villani’s work; it is comic but also visceral, violent, perverse and at times erotic. Her work is simultaneously appealing and yet repulsive. She examines common cultural memories via the myths derived from television and advertising, however she re-contextualises these, and as a result imbues them with new meaning, and critically new value. Her works are affective and angst ridden, filled with moral dilemmas and personal visions. Juliano-Villani’s works can all be read as self-portraits, but ones composed with a shared visual language.


This Saturday: ‘We have rather been invaded’: A public presentation

A presentation and intervention which looks at the impact and legacy of Section 28, with members of the ‘We have rather been invaded’ group, facilitated by Ed Webb-Ingall.

The ‘We have rather been invaded’ group were formed through an open-invitation for LGBTQ people to meet monthly. Since January 2016, we have gathered and interpreted various archival materials produced in support of and opposition to Section 28, a local government act that prohibited the ‘promotion of homosexuality’ and ‘pretended families’ between 1988 and 2003. We have done this in order to think through, share and make visible our relationships, as affected subjects, to this prohibitive and restrictive piece of legislation.

We have been collectively navigating past moments and archival materials that have shaped our personal histories to develop a methodology, which activates these affective experiences, in order to begin to visually manifest the complex impact of Section 28. So far we have collaborated with a graphic designer, an archivist, an artist and a filmmaker; made badges, stickers, posters and T-shirts; mapped our queer histories and conducted interviews with people who remember and were affected by Section 28. This has culminated in the production of performances, sound pieces and videos.

On June 04, we will spend the afternoon in the gallery, using it as a meeting space to reflect on the project, generating materials and ideas that will be shared at a public presentation and screening event in the evening. This will be presented alongside an excerpt from Veronica Mckenzie’s documentary ‘Under your Nose’ about the struggle to start a centre for black lesbians and gay men in 1980’s London and a work-in-progress section from ‘Rebel Dykes’, a documentary about the forgotten herstory of 1980s lesbian London. This will be followed by a discussion with the filmmakers chaired by Irene Revell.


We heart Judith Bernstein

#JudithBernstein just coz we ❤️ her

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