Affacciato | Perched
Laura Limbourg, Sofia Pashaei, Iseult Perrault, Maryam Rastghalam, Peter Simpson, Riikka Sormunen, and Pei-Hsuan Wang
July 8 - August 19, 2023
Opening July 8, 2023
July hours: Wednesday - Saturday, 4:30-9PM
August by appointment only
Piazzale Cesare Battisti 26
18038 San Remo, Italy
Ballon Rouge is pleased to present an off-site project in San Remo, Italy, this July, titled Affacciato/ Perched with works by Laura Limbourg, Sofia Pashaei, Iseult Perrault, Maryam Rastghalam, Peter Simpson, Riikka Sormunen, and Pei-Hsuan Wang.
This exhibition has a simple but foundational premise. It looks out windows - into nature, into the soul of things. It looks inward, too. Some works touch on death, and by proxy on life, too. It asks: where does our body begin and end? What are our limitations, our boundaries - be they physical, political, spiritual. It looks at our bodies and the ways that we shift, the matter that we are made of, and the true stuff that makes a person, without limits.
Iseult Perault’s, Riikka Sormunen’s, and Laura Limbourg’s works all immerse us in a natural world, colorful and abundant, with florals and/or animals. Sometimes done in fantastical colors, they are nearly impossible scenes that suddenly feel very real. They are rooted in a dream-like relationship with the natural world. Pei-Hsuan Wang’s sculptures act as funerary vessels; a duck and a rabbit adorned - a reminder that our bodies are finite and death is definite, but natural. The interior world of Sofia Pashaei’s paintings echoes an intimate solitude. We witness a distilled moment where bodies meld into their surroundings, and the outdoors suddenly becomes an interior stairwell. Peter Simpson’s painting of a window with a fortune cookie represents our hopes, the ideas of chance and revelry. Maryam Rastghalam’s works on paper depict a body made up of florals and vines and birds - a representation of the depths of a woman trapped under a regime or in an environment that strips her of her identity and wholeness, rights and equality.
The works in this exhibition have the same hidden depths that each person has, that each animal and plant holds down to a molecular level. It asks us to simply consider and look at what is perceptible and seen and also as that which is not.
Laura Limbourg (b. 1996, Belgium) is a painter and sculptor. Her work explores fetishization, colonialism, sex tourism, gender, and history. She uses symbology and nudity, both classic tropes in painting to lure the viewer into a comfort in looking, all while implicating us in the very issues she wants to raise. And, she uses animals as representational and allegorical entities in her works. She has exhibited in the United States, the Czech Republic, Taiwan, and the UK. She is based in Prague.
Sofia Pashaei (b. 1989, Sweden) is an artist and filmmaker that through the usage of paintings and animations investigates the perception of otherness and cultural belonging. Informed by memory and research her paintings are rooted in a highly composed reality with a base in narrative storytelling. Her work has been exhibited with Ballon Rouge at CAN Art Fair, Ibiza 2022 and her solo exhibition “Meaning in the off hours”. As well as a group exhibition at Fondation Boghossian in Brussels. As an animation director Pashaei has worked with clients such as The New York Times, Google, MTV, Adult Swim and her animated short films have been internationally screened at animation and film festivals. She is based in Stockholm.
Iseult Perrault (b. 1993, France) is a French artist and curator who works in Paris. She did her bachelor's degree in Switzerland at Ecal and her Master's in painting section Royal college of art in London, (UK) Her work explores the relationship we have with landscapes. Between fiction, artificiality and memory, she seeks to create fictional universes in her paintings and installations: a mixture of forms drawn from reality and its imagination. No longer able to ignore the climate emergency, it questions the evolution of our notion of nature, our sensitive links to our environments, as well as the difficulty of human beings to protect landscapes. Graduated since 2021, She has exhibited in various renowned places such as Art Basel at the Écart stand invited by John Armleder and again at the Cultural Center in Sao Paulo, during the FILE festival. More recently, she won the Don Papa Foundation prize and will go on a one-month residency in the Philippines in November 2023. She is based in Paris.
Maryam Rastghalam (b. 1981, Iran) studied in Florence and currently lives in Milan. She has exhibited in Italy, Germany, Iran, and the United States. In these body of works, her inspiration comes from the concept of Persian garden and some Renaissance’s paintings like “Primavera“ by Botticelli. The figures are anthropomorphic and they turn into gardens, they are suspended in white and pure space like a hanging garden. The suspended figures covered with flowers and drops of blood along with the black birds symbolize that we are a part of nature and we are constantly changing and growing. The bodies in her works are not just a physical object but they are also the human psyche. She is based in Milan.
Peter Simpson (b. 1989, UK) is an English artist and writer from Liverpool who studied at Wimbledon College of Art, London and currently lives and works in Brussels. His practice is mostly focused on Painting and Sculpture and he has exhibited in a number of exhibitions and participated in residencies across London, Madrid and Brussels, such as Intercambiador Acart Madrid and Generation Brussels, 2019, among others. His work is about narrative storytelling, sometimes about art-making itself, about class, about labor, about art history. He showed with Ballon Rouge in a group exhibition in 2020 and at Art Antwerp 2021 and had a solo exhibition with the gallery in 2022. Most recently he showed works in Marseille at la traverse. He recently exhibited with Nino Mier Gallery at Miart 2023. He is based in Brussels.
Riikka Sormunen (b. 1987, Finland) is a self-taught artist based in Helsinki. After a brief stint studying fashion design, she worked as an illustrator before shifting to painting full-time around 2017. Sormunen delicately stages compositions where characters, plants, and objects strike a pose for the viewer. In these scenes, a soft sensuality is mixed with a calculated artificiality. The artist plays with contrast through color, texture, and pattern, as well as the subject matter and the process. While painstakingly crafting each composition, Sormunen blindly trusts in visions born from her excessive daydreaming. Her paintings focus on escapist pleasures, solitary meltdowns, and performative femininity where an eagerness to please is in constant battle with the need for honesty. She is based in Helsinki.
Pei-Hsuan Wang (b. 1987, Taiwan) has exhibited work at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Hong-Gah Museum, Taipei, and the National Gallery of Indonesia, among others. Recent solo exhibitions include Ghost Eat Mud at Kunsthal Gent, Ghent (2022), I've Left My Body to Occupy Others at Good Weather, Chicago (2020), For Iris at Gallery 456, New York (2020), and You Are My Sunshine at Taipei Contemporary Art Center (2019). She has a forthcoming solo with Ballon Rouge in September of this year. Wang’s practice is rooted in ways of engaging with her identity. Much of this centers on her and her family's diasporic migration from Taiwan to the US. Her work also explores her relationship with the women in her life; takes inspiration from ancient Chinese and East Asian myths and folklore, and plays with the idea of shapeshifting. She has a solo booth with Ballon Rouge at Art Brussels 2023 and will have a solo exhibition with the gallery in September 2023. She is based in Gent.