Galeria Toni Tàpies: 1994-2014 Dialogues of a Collection. Ann Veronica Janssens, Jana Sterbak


To mark the twentieth anniversary of the gallery, we are presenting a cycle of exhibitions featuring outstanding works from our collection. For the fourth stage of this cycle, we welcome spring with a rainbow of contrasts, in which the ice of the north melts under the sun of the south. We present a dialogue between two significant and complex pieces in the gallery’s collection, Reggae Colour, by Ann Veronica Janssens, and Narcisse, by Jana Sterbak. Both works seek to transcend the material, the magic of transformation and the search for a spiritual meaning. Furthermore, the works offer a fresh and dynamic approach, playing with colours, textures, light and temperature.

Most of the time Ann Veronica Janssens works with visual installations, transforming architectural spaces and altering the perception we have thereof, often playing with visual and light effects and intending to make the material less tangible and cumbersome. The artist is concerned with the perception of the matter, seeking to render the dominant material nature absent. Reggae Colour shown here, is a good example of this specific approach. It is an ephemeral sculpture – since it cannot be switched on permanently – which diffuses light of gradient, bright colours that connect us with the light, shades and atmosphere of the Tropics, with a relaxed lifestyle and the music of those places affording us an intense experience of space and colour.

Moreover, for the first time at the gallery, we present an installation which features a sculpture that is also ephemeral and delicate by Jana Sterbak. Entitled Narcisse, it refers to the beautiful young man in Greek mythology who, in love with his own reflection, was cursed to peer at himself for eternity. It consists of two chairs facing one another, made of stainless steel and of glass and ice respectively. This means that while one chair remains perfect forever – as if it were frozen – symbolising youth and memory, the other one gradually dissolves over the passage of time, representing reality and ageing. Resembling a performance, the chair made of ice will slowly transform before our eyes during the gallery’s opening hours until it virtually vanishes; just a few pieces of iron, a pool of water and chunks of ice scattered on the floor will remind us of the existence of this exceedingly ephemeral sculpture.

In 1994, Toni Tàpies opened a gallery space in Barcelona, inspired by his desire to work with contemporary artists as well as show high quality work of art. Over the years, Galeria Toni Tàpies became a significant venue of the Barcelona art scene, showing the work of recognized contemporary artists and of emerging young artists. The fascination for exciting, edgy and risky projects, the love for creation and the respect for the artists became the gallery signature and remained the gallery’s signature of the last twenty years.

2014.03.19 News Comments Off on Galeria Toni Tàpies: 1994-2014 Dialogues of a Collection. Ann Veronica Janssens, Jana Sterbak