Emalin is pleased to present Temples, a solo exhibition of new works by Latvian artist Daiga Grantina (b.1985). Grantina’s practice investigates the encounters between materials to propose a synthetic concept of the many relationships that shape our world. Operating with an openness that manifests the infinite potential of plastic form, Grantina’s sculptures are structural ideas extended from phenomenological experience. Her subtle and associative mode of making encourages an exercise of expanded vision that asks questions about what space is available for thinking about matter beyond material.
For her first exhibition with the gallery, Grantina presents a new body of work made predominantly from fabric, wood, paint and plastic. Temples takes as its subject the dialectical relationship between gesture and a shared investigation of light, colour, volume and form. By returning to previous works with new questions around how reflection and transparency materialize colour, Grantina forms hand-dyed spandex stiffened by resin into distended shapes in reds and blues. White painted blotches and swathes of deep blues structure lumpy protrusions, scaffolded and punctuated by plywood lines beneath. These controlled material gestures are disordered by the physical reflections of light that bounce across densely saturated and glossy surfaces, slice through rough-edged sheets of clear plastic, or pass along irregular lines wrapped in crinkled silver foil.
A line participates in the same system of mark-making, whether it is as the fold of a draped piece of felt; a groove drawn and traced in coloured crayon; a sawed section of wood, cut off and fixed to the wall; or an arrangement of individual feathers carefully placed, one by one, in a grid. Initially an exercise of relaxation to offset the concentrated intensity demanded by the larger-scale assemblages, the Temples introduce a dialectical tension between two kinds of sculptural ideas taking shape in the artist’s studio, proposing a shared set of enquiries from a different point of origin.
The Temples put forward the central structure and common language of the exhibition: the triangle, perfectly imperfect. A flat plane figure with three sides and three angles, the triangle opens itself up to unexpected fluidity. None of the included Temples comply with a perfect symmetry. Instead, their triangular geometries slide between and off of one another, very softly, almost imperceptibly. The absolute formal temple possibilizes a concentration of energies into the smallest possible unit – an implosion of space – and within that condensed moment makes room for gesturing that is shifting, relational and abundant.
Daiga Grantina (b. 1985, Saldus, LV) lives and works in Paris, FR. In 2012, she completed her MFA at the Academy of Fine Arts, Hamburg, following a BFA at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. Solo exhibitions have been held at New Museum (New York, US, 2020); the Latvian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale (Venice, IT, 2019); Palais de Tokyo (Paris, FR, 2018); Kunstverein Hamburg (Hamburg, DE, 2017); and kim? Contemporary Art Center (Riga, LV, 2016). Her work has been included in group exhibitions at Kunstmuseum Bern (Bern, CH, 2020); Busan Biennale, Yeongdo Museum of Contemporary Art (Busan, KR, 2020); Galerie Joseph Tang (Paris, FR, 2019); Baltic Triennial 13, Contemporary Art Center (Vilnius, LT, 2018); Musée d’Orsay (Paris, FR, 2018); Kunsthalle Mainz (Mainz, DE, 2017); and Bergen Kunsthall (Bergen, NO, 2016).
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