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Origins 8th October - 5th November 2015

Gaspare Manos

curated by Miguel Mallol First published in 2015 by Le Dame Ltd All righst reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduce, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any forms or by means electrical, mechanical or otherwise, without first seeking permission of the copyright owners and publishers. All images in this catalogue are protected by copyright and should not be reproduced without permission of the copyright holder. Details of the copyrigh to be obtained from Le Dame Ltd. Copyright ŠLe Dame Ltd

‘Origins’ It was our common friend and art collector Mausi Viladomiu in Barcelona, whose passion for art, dedication, and enigmatic whirlwind character enveloped us, and whom I thank for introducing Gaspare Manos to me in a Venetian coffee shop back in 2008 when he was preparing a large museum exhibition of his works by the name of URBIS. Manos showed me his personal sketchbook, which contained a collection of cityscapes, in which I could appreciate his quick hand, as well as the depth and space that he achieved in his drawings. This was our first encounter, followed by several others that allowed me to step into his art world. Soon, we decided to collaborate and worked together. In the time that we shared collaborating on various art projects, the first-hand experience of being Gaspare’s assistant was fulfilling. This artist has an ability to produce works that are fresh and intelligent, that enable a deep emotional dialogue with the public. Personally, he connects to others easily and directly through the confidence he transmits through his works. His autodidactic approach has been accompanied and sustained by an imposing life experience acquired during his many travels, and that are part and parcel of his continuous artistic development. A large number of collectors, critics, journalists and curators visited the studio in the centre of Venice during my apprenticeship with Gaspare. I only ever saw faces full of admiration, voices speaking nothing but praise. His production was constant day in and day out. He worked in series, ideas, subjects, always rummaging through his vital memories that are always intrinsically present in his paintings and sculptures. He was like a high-pressure bomb that bubbled into a torrent of creativity. Having kept contact since our first collaboration, I knew we would collaborate on other projects. I

encountered Manos again in 2013 at the Juris & Pearl gallery for the Art Biennale opening in Venice. He was exhibiting some of his latest works next to those of Mimmo Palladino and some Julian Schnabel’s plate paintings. We quickly restarted the conversations that would outline the path we were building together. Some time passed before I met him again, this time in Paris in February 2014. We spent several days together in his French studio, located in the Parisian countryside, visiting the places he frequents in the City of Light; we talked about life and art - it seemed that time stood still. It was in Paris for the first time that I saw the series of his ‘masks paintings’ which have become the protagonists of this ‘Origins’ exhibition in London. He told me about his collection of African masks and the influence of African culture on his work. I saw the mysticism and combination of colours, understood the logical connections between the ancient and the contemporary, a common thread in his works. A passion for masks inspired him to collect real African versions which in turn may have inspired some of these paintings. Manos has always felt a special link to his childhood roots, to the earth and colours of the African Continent where he lived and where his family have been based for the past 45 years. This artist has travelled extensively in his life and has assimilated different habits and philosophies from around the world. Some places have been particularly significant for him: Nairobi and London are definitively among these. In this ‘Origins’ Exhibition, the works invoke not only his adopted cultural roots but also his geneses as an artist. They provide a metaphor to express the moment he decided to quit his ‘masked reality’ and follow his real artistic dream. As far as I am concerned, Manos has always been an artist from the very start. He once showed me a towel that he used as a canvas when he was 14 to paint an amazing Venetian landscape. Today, his artistic talent has been recognized

Miguel Mallol by important players of the art world as varied and distant as the director of the Miro’ Foundation in Spain and the director of the Museum of Modern Art in Minsk , Bielorusia - both involved in previous exhibitions and catalogues of his work in 2008 (Urbis – Venice) and 2013 (Portraits - MOMA Minsk) respectively. Gaspare Manos, like many other artists, went through a confusing period in which he painted whilst pursuing a career as an entrepreneur in the city of London following his Ph.D at the London School of Economics. It was artists and art historians he frequented such as Lucian Freud and Alan Jones who told Gaspare to keep painting and ignore the trends and markets. Since then, it has been an explosion of ideas, projects and production that brought Manos to consider, as he states, that he has something to say every day and he chooses to express it through his art. The Origins Exhibition in London of his ‘mask series’ of paintings opens a window onto a rarely seen aspect of this artist’s production, namely his works relating to Africa and his childhood spent on the African Continent. Miguel Mallol Curator and Art Critic

Miguel Mallol is a curator and art critic based in London. After earning a degree in History of Art at the University of Valencia and at the Lancaster University, he worked at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia for the Conservation and Exhibition Departments. After this experience he worked at the Venice Biennale 2003 and in January 2004. The same year, he became director at Matteo Lo Greco’s Art Gallery, where he collaborated at the organisation of the exhibition “L’Aoristico by Matteo lo Greco” at Galleria Internazionale di Ca’ Pesaro in Venice. In 2005, he moved back to Spain where he curated several private exhibitions. Among them, he worked together in his research with curator Carlos Pérez, at the exhibition “Dos siglos de industrialización en la Comunidad Valenciana” displayed at the MUVIM in Valencia, where he also started a collaboration as writer and art critic at El Mundo newspaper. In 2007 he returned to Venice where he worked with artists such as Gaspare Manos for the solo exhibition “Urbis” at the Diocesan Museum of Venice; with Marco Tagliapietra at the installation “L’Isola dei Ciclopi” at Container Art and in 2008, at the Venice Architecture Biennale where he worked for the Spanish Pavilion. He collaborated with Mausi Viladomiu and the Fundació Ramon Llull for the Official Opening of the first Catalan Pavilion at the Visual Arts Venice Biennale 2009. He moved in London in 2011, where he worked in collaboration with several galleries. He has curated independent projects and participated curating three rooms at Artrooms2015, International Contemporary Art Fair. Since December 2014, he is Exhibition Curator at Le Dame Art Gallery at Meliá White House Hotel and works as Independent Curator collaborating with private and public institutions in UK and abroad.

Gaspare Manos Gaspare Manos is an artist who has absorbed and metabolized the diverse and contrasting experiences of the places he lived and operated in. Italian, born in Bangkok in 1968, he has studied and worked in several countries and continents: from Nairobi, Geneva and Athens to London, Paris, Brussels and Venice. Multilingual, with a PhD from the London School of Economics, Gaspare has a fresh and participatory outlook on the complex modern world. His daily practice of drawing and painting has produced a vast number of works on paper, canvas and other supports (nearly 4000 to date) that the Gaspare Foundation is in the process of cataloguing. Gaspare’s obsessive study of old masters, as well as personal contact with some of the greatest living artists, allow him to attack the canvas with authority and controlled use of materials to create a fresh, very personal and distinctive world of great depth and light. His works have echoes of classic and modern themes with a net refusal of trends. Gaspare turns his back on the abstract decorative, the obsessively repetitive and the gratuitously shocking to take the viewer along with him into a voyage of discovery into the essential underpinnings of the complex contemporary world.His works are found in private and corporate collections in the EU, Asia and the USA. The artist works, alternating, between London, Paris and Venice.

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS 2015 ArtRooms 2015 Fair, London 2013 Museum of Modern Fine Art, Minsk, Belarus. 2010 Museo della Civilta’ Dalmata, Trieste, Italy. 2009 Galerie Boulakia, Paris, France. 2008 Museo Diocesano, Venice, Italy. 2007 Palazzo della Provincia, Reggio Calabria, Italy.

Artworks The Mask Series of Paintings

MASK 1 Oil paint, pure pigments, wood on canvas 42x56cm 2012-14

MASK 2 Oil paint, pure pigments, wood on canvas 42x56cm 2012-14

MASK 3 Oil paint, pure pigments, wood, metal on canvas 42x56cm 2012-14

MASK 4 Oil paint, pure pigments, wood on canvas 33.5x41cm 2012-14

MASK 5 Oil paint, pure pigments on canvas 55x46cm 2012-14

MASK 6 Oil paint, pure pigments on canvas 55x46cm 2012-14

MASK 7 Oil paint, pure pigments on canvas, coins and metal capsule 55x46cm 2012-14

MASK 8 Oil paint, pure pigments on canvas 55x46cm 2012-14

MASK 9 Oil paint, pure pigments, wood on canvas 60x80cm 2012-14

MASK 10 Oil paint, pure pigments on canvas 61x76cm 2012-14

MASK 11 Oil paint, pure pigments, wood on canvas 150x150cm 2012-14

MASK 12 Oil paint, pure pigments, wood on canvas 150x150cm 2012-14

Le Dame Art Gallery at Meliá White House Albany ST, Regent’s Park NW1 3UP London

Back cover: Tribal wood Mask PENDE, Congo Gaspare Manos Collection previously Emil Torday (1875-1931) Collection E-mail: Tel. 0044(0)7947653530 Open Monday to Friday from 9am to 7pm Saturday and Sunday by appointment only

Origins by Gaspare Manos  

Online Catalogue Published by Le Dame Art Gallery

Origins by Gaspare Manos  

Online Catalogue Published by Le Dame Art Gallery