CYDONIA is pleased to announce SYBREN RENEMA’S FIRST AMERICAN SOLO SHOW: THE HARVEST OF LEISURE. THE EXHIBITION OPENS SATURDAY, APRIL 9 AND CLOSES ON SATURDAY, JUNE 4, 2016. A RECEPTION HONORING THE ARTIST WILL TAKE PLACE ON SATURDAY, APRIL 9 FROM 6 TO 8PM.
167 Payne Street | Dallas, TX 75207
In The Harvest of Leisure, Sybren Renema examines the persona of the traveling intellectual in relation to the mythos of the sublime as a perceptive fiction. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, one of the definitive wanderers in the oeuvre of Romantic British literature, exists as Renema’s partner in the development of the exhibition. Coleridge’s intoxicating and religious depictions of nature illuminate the artist’s objects, as Renema transposes Coleridge’s poetry into visual form.
The artist’s practice starts from a romantic fascination with artifacts and legends. Fastidious and obsessive in his research of history, the artist unearths how artistic objects endure and evolve through time, their relevance within contemporary culture compounded through teleological significance. The Glaswegian’s style is consistently inconsistent in the sense that each exhibition includes an idiosyncratic discovery. Renema unearths a unique, alternative view of the world as it was and how it is now, with bonus metaphorical or paradoxical implications. His areas of interests go as far back as Mesozoic era, but his artistic practice functions as a homecoming to Romanticist tropes and emblems.
An ongoing series of spliced mountain collages creates subtle scenography within the white cube. Casting imagery onto itself dislocates the ground of its landscape. Suspended, disjointed neon texts of poetry evade immediate meaning. Freed from logical understanding, the subjects become a state of non-place. The grounding of landscape is removed, revealing the Sublime as phantom projections of human visions and fantasies. A heroic floor installation comprised of 800 ceramic poppy buds cumulates into a summit within the space of the gallery. This visual reimagining of a lofty mountaintop as axis mundi is corrupted towards a problematic but likewise fantastical state of being.
The works in the exhibition are rooted in a non-committal style, founded with intricacies of canonical Western culture and early theories of the Sublime. Renema explains: “Coleridge’s position as a poet, critic, wanderer, addict and ultimately, an as intellectual underachiever make him a particularly fascinating model to work from, as his reaching for the ultimate experience was equal part ambitious and vainglorious.” While skeptical of the possibility of any true sublime experience, the artist developed The Harvest of Leisure to share encouragement to battle despair and world-weariness, if only inside one’s own head.
Sybren Renema is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Art in the Hague. The artist was the youngest MFA student to have been accepted to the Glasgow School of Art and the youngest to graduate. He earned his degree in 2011. His first book, based on David Livingstone’s mythology and relics, You Took the Part That was Once my Heart was awarded support by Creative Scotland and subsequently sold-out. His work is collected through Europe in both private and public collections. Renema has recorded several albums of experimental jazz, and he has toured with numerous bands around Europe. The artist lives and works in Glasgow.
THE HARVEST OF LEISURE BY SYBREN RENEMA OPENS ON SATURDAY, APRIL 9 AND RUNS UNTIL SATURDAY, JUNE 4, 2016.
CYDONIA is a contemporary art gallery dedicated to supporting careers of emerging artists whose practices have cultural and historical insight, conceptual rigor, or they are an original voice within their generation. CYDONIA programming unites our stable and supporters through co-operative practices that underlie an imperative towards posterity. We value art as a cultural good related to praxis and discourse. The gallery is open 11AM – 5PM Tuesday through Friday and from Noon – 5PM on Saturday.