Last night Italian-Swedish artist Alessandro ETNIK presented a new body of work at GCA gallery in Paris which entitled “the BEAUTY of BRUTALISM” that explores the dualism between architectural and natural landscape.
“the BEAUTY of BRUTALISM” refers, as the title suggests, to the movement born in the UK in the 1950s and whose term applied to the architectural style of exposed rough concrete and large modernist block forms, which flourished in the 1960s and 1970s and which derived from the architecture of Le Corbusier. The term originated from béton brut (Fr.: ‘raw concrete’) and was given overtones of cultural significance not only by Le Corbusier’s dictum, ‘L’architecture, c’est avec des matières brutes établir des rapports émouvants’ (‘Architecture is the establishing of moving relationships with raw materials’), but also by the ART BRUT of Jean Dubuffet and others, which emphasized the material and heavily impastoed surfaces.¹
The concept behind “the BEAUTY of BRUTALISM” is the creation of an abstract view of the dualism between the cement masses and a explosion of nature that is able to regain its space, through a body of work consisting of ten paintings that express Etnik’s mastery in combining geometrical shapes together with natural elements intertwined and working on industrial supports like metal and wood.
In his work, Etnik uses bright colour palette that he sometimes deliberately reduces to a few tones in order to achieve a specific visual effect.
His compositions seem to explode over the canvases and wooden boards where, starting from the middle expand toward the edges in an explosion of colours and shapes. In this way the viewer is often confronted with the contrast between very neat and precise shapes and composition and the rougher look of the wooden canvases as well as the more expressive brushstrokes that come to underline the contrast between sharp forms and more instinctive painting.
Abstract cities and abstract floral elements seem like floating in their own contained universe adding in this last show words as part of the composition. As usual, Etnik makes us travel in a world of his own, a world where nature overcomes cities, a decorative world where everything is possible again, where nature will dominate again.
“the BEAUTY of BRUTALISM” runs through December 9 at the gallery located on 2 place Farhat Hached – 75013 – Paris.
About the artist
Etnik lives and works in Turin (Italy). Active since the early 90’s in the writing scene, Etnik has been searching new ways to push the limits of classical graffiti to a higher level of painting; he’s been painting large scale murals worldwide and organizing events to connect the best European artists. From 2001 his way to paint starts to evolve to geometrical and architectural forms, still working on the lettering with a mixture of urban landscapes. This way to represent and criticize the city, and painting the urban volumes as an abstract composition, is the way Etnik works on different media from studio painting, to murals or sculpture.
About the gallery
GCA Gallery is a contemporary urban art gallery created in June 2014 in Nice, a few steps from the National Theater and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of the City, near the port. In a very dynamic neighborhood, which has been booming for a few years, and which continues to evolve very rapidly.
Founder and editor of Urbanite. Street Art lover who after the finishing her MA thesis on the muralist movement in the 1920-50s, developed a fascination for street art and graffiti that eventually led to collaborations with different art blogs, including the creation of this one.