'ICH DIEN' is Swiss artist Martin Chramosta's first exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition brings together recent ceramic and iron works, part of which have been produced whilst in residence at Istituto Svizzero's 'Roma Calling 2021/2022' residency in Rome, IT.
Chramosta's minimal yet ornate creations are assembled from scrap metal and found objects, or modelled from plaster, wax and clay. His use of material historically considered 'poor' and inexpensive, counters top-down art practices such as high-end art production that involves top artisans/companies producing works for artists. Chramosta's practice favours bringing back DIY, handcrafted methods to alter the identity of the artist into "a humble worker".
'ICH DIEN' is the motto on the coat of arms of the Prince of Wales and translates from German meaning "I serve", creating two opposing notions; chivalry and dedication with a collectivist political agenda. Chramosta often works with references to popular visual aesthetics and the harsh, poignant public art from Southern and Eastern Europe, blended with references to history and myth. Under socialism, the artist was supposed to be a worker in service to the people, enhancing the visuality of public space and contributing to the education and conditioning of them through governmentally approved aesthetics. The title returns us to the artist's question of who the artist serves within society, and more specifically, who do they serve in capitalism and what kind of ornaments are being used to decorate its narratives?
Martin Chramosta (b. 1982 Zurich, CH) lives and works between Basel, CH and Vienna, AT. He holds a Diploma in Art and Education from HGK Basel, CH (2008) and a Master in Fine Arts from Institut Kunst, HGK Basel, CH (2011). Awards include Kunstkredit Basel (2018) and Kunstpreis Riehen (2016).
He has had international solo exhibitions at institutes and galleries including: Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel, CH; Fondation Suisse, Paris, FR; Roche Collection, Basel, CH; Stiege 13, Vienna, AT; Die Diele, Zurich, CH; Horizont Galeria, Budapest, HU; Rinomina, Paris, FR; LLLLLL, Vienna, AT; Galerie Laroche/Joncas, Montréal, CA.
He has had international group exhibitions at institutes, museums, biennales and galleries including: Kunsthalle Basel, CH; Kunsthalle Palazzo Liestal, CH; Swiss Art Awards Basel, CH; Kunstmuseum Luzern, CH; Kunsthaus Langenthal, CH; Kunsthaus Centre d'art Pasquart, Biel/Bienne, CH; La Kunsthalle, centre d'art contemporain Mulhouse, FR; Jeune Création, Paris F; Belvedere21, Vienna, AT; NCCA Kaliningrad, RU; Dak’Art 2016, Dakar, SN; Museumsquartier, Vienna, AT; Haus Wien, Vienna, AT; Cassandra Cassandra, Toronto, CA; Alpineum Produzentengalerie, Luzern, CH; Galerie Emila Filly, Ústí nad Labem, CZ; Chamber, New York, USA; Kleine Humboldt Galerie, Berlin, DE; Les Urbaines, Lausanne, CH.
Chramosta is currently in residence as part of Istituto Svizzero's 'Roma Calling 2021/2022' residency in Rome, IT. Further residencies include: Art Quarter Budapest, H (2019); Residency of Land Steiermark, Graz, AT (2016); Cité des Arts, Paris, FR (2016); Quartier21, Vienna, AT (2015); Fonderie Darling, Montréal, CA (2012).
Forthcoming exhibitions include exhibitions at MAUVE, Vienna AT (2022); Istituto Svizzero Roma, IT (2022); Wandertag, Vienna, AT (2023).
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