Open White Gallery

11–13 September Gallery Weekend
SUN OIL with Charles Laib Bitton, Tadashi Toyama, Martin Aagaard Hansen & Yi Ten Lai
co-curated by Jeffrey


SUN OIL Press release 11–13 SEPTEMBER


HALLESCHES UFER 60, 10963 Berlin

FRI 11.9, 18–22; SAT 12.9, 16–22 & SUN 13.9, 16–20

On the occasion of Art Week and Gallery Weekend Berlin, Open White Gallery presents Sun Oil–a group show with Charles Laib Bitton, Tadashi Toyama, Martin Aagaard Hansen and Yi Ten Lai, co-curated by Jeffrey Grunthaner. The exhibition will be open throughout 11–13 September. Sun Oil speaks to the abstraction of consciousness from technology, the recovery of magic from technique. Throughout the exhibition, space itself acts as a conduit for the experience of a mythic commons. Like the drawing of a sigil, the variousness of human possibility becomes apparent through an arpeggiated language of ritual and symbolism. The works on view protrude, hide and hang, showcasing the experience of meditation in its foundational state. Yi Ten Lai’s daily performance builds on emptiness. Her Materializing in sound, the air is a near perfect melding of sight and site–highlighting human presence while making audible the impossibility of non-being. Tadashi Toyama’s subjects spring from his unconscious. As though rediscovering a bygone tradition, his colorations describe the rudiments of social gatherings, where naturalistic forms blend with spirits and rituals. The works of Charles Laib Bitton are wryly personable. The digital screen cannot capture the warmth of his compositions, the materiality of his textures. Martin Aagaard Hansen’s paintings portray rooms within rooms, a folkloric dystopia where wraiths converse across multiple dimensions. The contours of his lines create a layered atmosphere, like pages torn from a grimoire. In the teeth of technique, there’s the acid light of the commons: an oil dripping from our nuclear sun, so unlike the glow of screens lighting up the darkened attic of our eyes. Traversing urban exteriors, ephemeral landscapes, and portraits, the perspective each artist takes on his or her themes foregrounds a pervasive sense of mystery. This refusal of closure is, in a sense, the moorings of art. There is no audience invoked by these works–apart from the senses of the persons experiencing them.

Text: Jeffrey Grunthaner