Sep 07 – Nov 02 2019
von Bartha, Basel
Von Bartha, Basel are proud to announce a solo exhibition of new works by British glass artist Anna Dickinson, running from 7 September – 2 November 2019. In a first for the gallery, the show is guest-curated by the collector, philanthropist and design entrepreneur Catherine Walsh, affirming von Bartha’s continued dedication to challenging existing gallery models and collaborating beyond conventional art world practices.
Dickinson’s unique glass pieces experiment with innovative material combinations, often allowing the material to guide and govern the creative process. Drawing inspiration from across the art and design spheres, Dickinson’s work is particularly influenced by architecture – notably the progressive glass and steel constructions characteristic of 1990s Japan – geology and science fiction.
Science and space are important elements in Dickinson’s work, informed in part by a sense of „danger, excitement and potential” offered in the science fiction programmes of her youth. Citing geology – specifically stones and jewels – as the inspiration for much of her colour pallete, Dickinson points to a continuing fascination with her Grandmother’s Victorian Jet Jewellery collection. A recent visit to the Donald Judd Foundation in New York bears more immediate influence on many of the works at von Bartha, reviving in particular an interest in aluminium, as well as Dickinson’s decision to utilise primary colours – seen here in the artist’s works for the first time.
Throughout her work, the artist also explores how notions of gender might be played out in form, material, shape, translucence and opacity. Whilst the pieces have formed their own internal dynamics, Dickinson realises them as subconscious expressions of the varying aspects of her own identity.
Having honed her extensive expertise by working for global fashion and beauty brands, including Estee Lauder and Coty, whilst building a deep knowledge of the art and design fields through her own collecting, Walsh’s curation offers a new perspective on the presentation of Dickinson’s artworks within the gallery space. At von Bartha, the exhibition stages dramatic lighting to reveal each piece’s inherent visual complexity – thus inviting a curiosity within the viewer to engage with each work from multiple perspectives.
Speaking of Dickinson’s solo show, Catherine Walsh says: The intention was to dive deeper into Anna Dickinson’s psyche to understand how numerous and diverse influences throughout her life come together to create each individual piece. They are made of glass, yet there is nothing transparent about them; on the contrary it’s the combination of materials, not the purity of one material, that moves them away from something direct to something quite opaque. The end result is a new body of serious, architectural objects that are void of the artist’s hand yet completely hand made.