Lui Shtini “The Matter of an Uncertain Future”

Van De Weghe Fine Art

poster for Lui Shtini “The Matter of an Uncertain Future”

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Van de Weghe Fine Art presents The Matter of an Uncertain Future, an exhibition of drawings by Lui Shtini. Born in Kavaje, Albania in 1978, Shtini received his BFA in 2000 from the Academy of Arts in Tirana. Since his move to New York, he has attended the prestigious Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and was the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in painting in 2010. This exhibition is the artist’s second solo show with the gallery.

The exhibition is comprised of five drawings of portrait busts of figures integral to the development of Western culture: Homer, Socrates, Augustus, Aristotle, and Nero, that are being overtaken and obscured to varying degrees by a mysterious black growth. The elegant drawings are richly and painstakingly rendered in pencil, applied thinly, layer by layer. The draftsmanship is so pristine as to give the impression that the resulting image is smoothly imprinted on the paper’s surface. Shtini’s method mimics that of sculpting marble, though in reverse, slowly adding rather than removing his medium. Likewise, his process echoes the creeping growth of a malignancy.

Shtini’s portraits are composites of images that he has culled through museum visits, books, and the internet of Classical portrait busts. His reinterpretations represent the mythic status of his subjects transmitted through history as much as they mark the reality of their accomplishments. These poets, politicians and philosophers, immortalized in stone, are in the process of being subsumed by an insidious abstraction. The dark matter that envelopes each bust is a surrogate for that which is not easily described or understood - a conglomeration of pixels, mold, atoms, or bio-engineered matter - it’s as amorphous, and persistent as the future itself.

The thinkers that Shtini has chosen are among the most iconic in the development of Western civilization and have helped to build the foundation upon which myriad ideas have flourished for millennia. The drawings address our nostalgia for and idealization of the past and the anxiety that the passage of time, with its increasing complexities, will obscure what we hold to be most essential.



from May 31, 2013 to July 31, 2013

Opening Reception on 2013-05-30 from 18:00 to 20:00


Lui Shtini

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