On Tuesday, June 30, Dittrich & Schlechtriem resume our Berliner Luft programming in the larger, first-floor gallery space, with solo shows by gallery artists presented weekly throughout this Summer. On view through Saturday, July 4, are works by Alfredo Aceto, including a series of bronze wall sculptures, framed watercolors, and a floor installation.
Aceto reflects on the car as an iconographic, highly quoted symbol and a vital element in the history of modern and contemporary sculpture. The issues of the surface raised by John McCracken or Anne Truitt can be traced back to the fetishization of the car as an object of the future/past. Its attractive form and finish strike Aceto as peculiar, and since 2012 he has been incorporating references to auto bodyworks.
In Berliner Luft, Aceto presents Punctuations, a series that samples the symmetrical shapes from interior wood accent trims, which are varied in design, depending on the make and model of the car. The forms reference mass-produced parts but are in fact hand-cast bronze, patinaed in a matte red earth tone, seeming both contemporary and ancient. Typically, representations of cars connote heteronormative expressions of masculinity and power; a red sports car, for example, exhibits a vision of sexual prowess. Aceto’s manipulations subvert these analogies and translations of the cultural values of objects to observe them from new perspectives.
Growing up in Turin, with its proximity to Switzerland, the artist has long drawn inspiration from Swiss culture. In a pair of watercolors, Aceto incorporates the shine of the Swiss landscape, flashes of lakes and mountains, in the surface reflections of car interiors of the late 2000s, drawn from memory.
On the floor, Aceto adds popcorn scattered in a circle that literally grounds the installation as a ready-made. This parallel object offsets the confused objectness of the bronze works and the hand-made gestures of the watercolors while existing as a minimal artwork itself to be considered with the architecture of the space. It expands the narrative, infusing it with spontaneity and humor, and creates space for free association on the part of the viewer.
Currently on view in the main gallery rooms and exterior windows, through August 29, is our first show with Jonas Wendelin titled ONLY, featuring an architectural installation, original raku fired ceramics, and a collaborative newspaper publication that is free for visitors. ONLY engages the public in an alternative reality, setting up a futuristic narrative of idealism and leaving the viewer with hope in dystopia.
We look forward to continuing the Berliner Luft series and welcome your visit. Our next artist will be announced on Sunday, July 5. Gallery summer hours are Mon–Sat, 11 AM–6 PM.