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Fridericianum kicks off exhibition program with Lucas Arruda and Ron Nagle

Lucas Arruda “Deserto-Modelo”
Ron Nagle “Euphoric Recall“
June 6 to September 8, 2019

Press preview: Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 11.30 am
Opening: Wednesday, June 5, 2019, 7 pm

The exhibitions “Deserto-Modelo” by Lucas Arruda and “Euphoric Recall“ by Ron Nagle mark the beginning of the program put together by the new Fridericianum director Moritz Wesseler.

With Lucas Arruda and Ron Nagle, the Fridericianum is presenting two artists who represent very disparate aspects of current art production and who are at decidedly different phases in the development of their artistic/intellectual voices. Whereas the former’s chosen path is painting, he hails from South America and by the time he had reached his early 30s had already formulated a remarkably lucid oeuvre, one which is now starting to receive international attention, the latter is a sculptor, has his roots in North America and with a consistent oeuvre spanning six decades can be considered a master of his métier. What they have in common is a passionate and even obsessive devotion to their chosen themes and areas of work, which accounts for the singularity of the art they produce.
The presentation of the work of Arruda and Nagle will be followed, in October 2019, by a comprehensive show of the oeuvre of artist Rachel Rose, who was born in 1986 and works with time-based media and sculpture, and in February 2020 by an exhibition of the work of painter Forrest Bess, who died in 1977. It will be the largest European show on Bess’ work in over 30 years. As such, with his new program for the Fridericianum Moritz Wesseler is on the one hand focusing attention on those artists who have to date been denied a platform in Germany in the institutional context, and, on the other, offering everyone an opportunity to rediscover historical positions that were for a long time obscured, despite having great relevance for current discourse.

Lucas Arruda “Deserto-Modelo”
“Deserto-Modelo” is the title of the Fridericianum’s presentation of the first larger-scale institutional solo show by the artist Lucas Arruda, who was born in São Paulo in 1983. Arruda’s work comprises paintings, prints, light installations, slide projections and films. It reflects his intensive, dedicated examination of a wide spectrum of subjects, ranging from the conceptual framework of the genre that is painting to the existential conditions of life itself.
A particular feature of Arruda’s praxis is his portrayal of landscapes and seascapes, although his work never references specific locations. On the contrary, he is concerned with capturing those imaginary places evoked by thoughts of landscapes and seascapes, and with looking into the light conditions, atmospheres and emotions connected with them. However, many of his works are characterized by such a degree of abstraction that the reference to a landscape is only suggested by the horizon lines that are present to varying extents. Independent of the degree of their legibility, his visual formulations give rise to a moment of deceleration and concentration, which, in these increasingly fast-paced times we live in, takes us by surprise and, with its insistent yet peaceful power, raises not least the question as to which rhythms life follows in this globalized world.

Ron Nagle “Euphoric Recall“
For more than six decades now, Ron Nagle has been producing works characterized by the fact that they manifest a maximum height of 20 cm. Despite their limited heights, these works, made among other things of ceramics, plastics, glazing agents and car paint, boast a presence and an effect which could hardly be more impressive. This accounts for the unique status of Nagle’s work within the sculpture genre and results from his works’ interplay of unusual shapes, diverse colors and tactile surfaces. Accordingly, in his objects, shapes with an organic feel to them meet architectural elements, brightly gleaming colors are confronted with unobtrusive, restrained hues and rough, porous surfaces contrasted with high-gloss ones. His work is not only uncommonly fresh, soulful and sophisticated; it is also mysterious and sometimes surreal. Nagle moreover provides his work with additional levels of meaning by furnishing it with elaborate titles which are usually characterized by a great propensity for wordplay and humor.
“Euphoric Recall“ at the Fridericianum is the first solo show in Germany by Nagle, who was born in San Francisco in 1939. An artist book is being published to mark the show, which is being realized in cooperation with the Vienna Secession.