Blain |Southern presents“Revolt of the sage”, an exhibition featuring sixteen artists that takes its title from a work by Giorgio de Chirico painted in 1916. “The Revolt of the Sage” is an example of what the artist would call a ‘metaphysical interior’, and yet its crowded pictorial space overflows with ephemeral things: frames, measuring devices and biscuits. Objects pile up and overlap, while a strange perspective recedes into an irresolvable background. What did the artist mean by a ‘metaphysical interior’? In a letter to Apollinaire, written around the time he painted “The Revolt of the Sage“, de Chirico describes two realms: our finite condition, and its loss and longing, and a metaphysical realm where time does not exist.
Picking up on de Chirico’s vision of a ‘metaphysical interior’, “Revolt of the Sage” gathers a range of artists who use collage, juxtaposition, fragments, framing devices and layered imagery to explore ruptures in time and the alluring mysteries of the everyday. The exhibition features new and existing work by contemporary artists alongside late post-War artists such as Lynn Chadwick, Hanne Darboven and Sigmar Polke.
Curated by artist-curator Simon Moretti and Craig Burnett, Blain|Southern’s Director of Exhibitions, the exhibition emerged from their shared interest in de Chirico and the thought that “The Revolt of the Sage“ would resonate with artists whose work inhabits that chasm between the here and now and a dream of ‘the great curve of eternity’ that we might perceive in a small, measurable work of art.
On the occasion of the exhibition, Blain|Southern will publish a book that features a newly commissioned interview between art historian Ara H. Merjian and philosopher Jesse Prinz, alongside existing texts by Giorgio de Chirico, John Ashbery, Lydia Davis, Apollinaire and others.
Participating artists: Horst Ademeit, Lynn Chadwick, Hanne Darboven, Haris Epaminonda, Geoffrey Farmer, Jannis Kounellis, Mark Lewis, Goshka Macuga, Christian Marclay, Simon Moretti, David Noonan, Sigmar Polke, Erin Shirreff, Michael Simpson, John Stezaker and Paloma Varga Weisz.
- Mark Lewis, The Night Gallery, 2014, Courtesy of the artist