Juan Fontanive “Together Principle”

Y Gallery (319 Grand St.)

poster for Juan Fontanive “Together Principle”
[Image: Juan Fontanive "Reflected Yeses (detail)" (2015) Acrylic and polymer on welded aluminum. 64x 80x 7,5 in.]

This event has ended.

We are pleased to present “Together Principle,” the first solo exhibition of Juan Fontanive at Y Gallery. The artist will present a series of new works resulting from his latest explorations on the notions of flatness and three-dimensionality after observing the self-organizing mechanisms of nature in space. The title reveals the artist’s interest in conceiving the exhibition as a whole in which the different works are arranged to be viewed with and through each other.

Fontanive has been studying the efficient way nature organizes matter through space. This designing force is what models ecology – life forms interspersed throughout space. In the artist’s own words: A forest disperses its light-collecting, for instance, in high trees, mid-level bushes, grass, then low-lying moss, all to collect sun from different levels of the atmosphere - maximizing the spacial area in an efficient way. In the spirit of this designing principle, Fontanive creates seemingly flat forms or sculptures - from drawings - extended through space. The perception of these objects - thick and thin lines, black, white, and textured colors - creates a physical layout that investigates our innate way of processing visual information, ultimately related to our ability to recognize objects and movement through space. In an increasingly flat, virtual world, the exploration of our innate sensitivities to actual space and flatness— space in flatness and flatness within space—becomes vital.

Various sculptures in the show were created from previous drawings the artist has translated into a three dimensional artifact. Fontanive’s expanded drawings into objects, combined with their texture suggests a flattened yet three-dimensional plane. The drawing, the object of the drawing, and their interaction with each other, bring the imagery full circle, in order to explore the aforementioned designing force - one that is ever moving forward. Most of these works are painted in thick impasto paint (a medium historically related to painting), emphasizing their connection.

All the works are conceived as a unit of structures to be explored together. The “movement”— another key axis of Fontanive’s work— is also developed in the exhibition, since all of the works imply it in a way, even the movements of the viewer while interacting with the works, has been considered by the artist in his idea of creating a unique perceptual experience.

Juan Fontanive was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1977. In 2004 he was granted the Desmond Drawing Prize and in 2006 he received an MA in Animation from the Royal College of Art, London. In 2010 he was shortlisted for the Jerwood Painting Prize. He has exhibited at Kinetica Museum (2006), Royal Academy of Art, London (2006), The Royal College of Art London (2006), Contemporary Art Society, London (2012),The New Museum (2013), Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, New York (2013). His work is part of important collections such as the Lodevans Collection and the Francis H Williams Collection.



from February 11, 2015 to March 04, 2015

Opening Reception on 2015-02-11 from 18:00 to 21:00


Juan Fontanive

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