Gladstone Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Andro Wekua. Working in a diverse array of media, Wekua has developed a visual language grounded in the exploration of human experience through the subtle intersections of individual and collective memory, personal identity, and history. Looking to genres such as fantasy, science fiction, and horror, Wekua creates fantastical and often macabre tableaux, revealing the complex processes of reconstruction and fragmentation that continually inform the personal, social, and fictive experience of remembrance.
“Dreaming Dreaming” presents a series of new painting, sculpture, and collage, as well as Wekua’s most recent film, Never Sleep with a Strawberry in Your Mouth II. The paintings included in the exhibition mark a notable break from Wekua’s earlier work, revealing a more uniformly abstract approach to imagery. A number of these recent compositions comprise a nearly monochromatic palette, containing only glimpses of the figurative elements and collage techniques characteristic of his earlier work. Using fully saturated colors to achieve moody, immersive environments and richly layered landscapes, Wekua moves between the sincerity of self-reflection and the synthetic imagery of pop culture.
The sculptures on view include models of buildings Wekua remembers from his childhood in Sukhumi, a seaside town in Georgia that was devastated by civil war in the early 1990s. Conjuring images from memory and supplementing them with online research, Wekua creates sculptural representations of buildings, which contain blank spaces that correspond to what he refers to as “memory gaps.” Creating pictorial representations of the past to better comprehend and grapple with the present, Wekua meditates on the tenuous boundary between historical reality and the artificial construct of remembering, pointing to the inescapable fact that the past is always distorted by the subjectivity of memory.
A catalogue titled “Dreaming Dreaming” is being published in conjunction with the exhibition. The book features the text "Sebastapolis (Interview with A.)" by Mark von Schlegell, as well as images of works in the exhibition.
Andro Wekua was born in 1977 in Georgia, and studied visual arts there and in Basel, Switzerland. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at several museums including Kunsthalle Wien, Austria; Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany; Castello di Rivoli, Torino, Italy; Wiels, Brussels, Belgium, Neue Kunst Halle, St. Gallen, Switzerland; Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Switzerland; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands; Camden Arts Center, London; the De Haalen Haarlem, Netherlands; and Le Magasin, Grenoble, France. He has participated in various group shows including “ILLUMInations” at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011), “Contemplating the Void” at the Guggenheim Museum in New York (2010), “10,000 Lives,” 8th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea (2010), “Life on Mars: 55th Carnegie International“, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, and the 4th Berlin Biennial (2006).