BRIAN ENO

Woodbridge, 1948



5 September - 21 November 2020

Galleria Michela Rizzo is thrilled to announce an exhibition that brings together for the first time and will establish a dialogue and conversation between two British artists of international standing, Brian Eno and David Tremlett.

Both artists have previously exhibited at Galleria Michela Rizzo, and it is thanks to these previous experiences that this extraordinary artistic union was born.
The exhibition includes both works resulting from a close dialogue between the two artists and site-specific works with rooms dedicated to each of them.

Brian Eno, considered one of the greatest contemporary artists, is an eclectic and fervent experimenter and the pioneer of ambient music. He has been investigating the world of sound and visuals for many years, often establishing a connection between the two.
Eno, through different media including Lightboxes and Lenticulars, plays with sonic and visual languages, presenting them to our eyes as though they were liquid elements.
Indeed, it is in the steady and slow observation of the ever-evolving shapes and colours in his lightboxes that immerse us in a watery atmosphere, in which time dilates and our gaze, guided by the iridescent tones, can concentrate on what we have inside, thereby guiding us through an attempt at meditation. Brian’s work is not simply the object, but rather the environment, a space in which the suffused and luminous atmospheres of the visual works accompany the sound compositions, thereby giving rise to a dimension in which to get lost.
Colour and sound amalgamate, merging continuously and without pause.
Eno’s works are observation instruments that lead us to an unexpectedly silent and muffled world through sound.
David Tremlett is an artist with an intense life experience, whose artistic practice has been strongly influenced by his numerous travels and research. He is particularly known for the large site-specific murals he has realised in different parts of world. Through his compact, dense, full-bodied colours, Tremlett recounts the concrete beauty of things: his simple shapes and flat backgrounds outline the profiles of a world observed and translated through the simplicity of signs and materials.

From works on paper to large wall drawings, Tremlett’s drawing is expressed in its essential purity, both in its aesthetics and its realisation. The pigment is spread on the wall directly with the hands, without the use of instruments, in a cross-reference to the primitive origins of the painting, also through gesture.
David Tremlett has produced many works in Italy, a country be- loved by the artist. As he says, “I can’t think of a better place in the world where to work. And I say this precisely because I have travelled and exhibited in many parts of the world”. Indeed, Tremlett’s works have marked landscapes and distinctive places of Italy in a unique and unmistakable way. From Apulia to the Langhe, many public interventions in the spaces of ancient buildings, places of worship and modern constructions have been carried out, onto which the artist has affixed his di- stinguishing mark, integrating it harmoniously into the context. David’s wall drawings change the face of existing buildings, giving them new life while respecting the place and the cultural context of which they are part, thereby creating a liaison between the present and the past.
From the impalpable and ethereal colours to the pigment dust, from the changing and vacuous shapes to the precise and abstract geometries, the strong and well-defined personalities of Brian Eno and David Tremlett find, inside the gallery’s spaces, a fertile ground where they can communicate thereby initiating a dialogue and a conversation that enhance and expand, in an enchanting and bewitching way, the work of the two artists.
As an appendix to the exhibition, the Gallery is happy to present a double installation by the two artists outside its premises, inside the new “Cosmo” space, in Campo San Cosmo, in the former Church of Saints Cosma e Damiano. An innovative professional platform for the development of artistic projects and processes, with particular reference to the musical and sound field, which was created to respond to the need for new production and fruition models on the island, with the scope of enhancing the artistic and technical professionalism of the territory, through a perimeter capable of building new bridges between existing realities, amplifying the effects of the cultural excellences that reside and cross the city.

Brian Eno is an English musician, composer, record producer and visual artist known as one of the principal innovators of ambient music and generative painting. He attended Roy Ascott’s influential and experimental ‘Groundcourse’ at Ipswich College, which sought to reinvigorate art education as a cybernetic process and where tests were designed to disrupt creative preconceptions. He joined Roxy Music as synthesiser player in 1971. Leaving in 1973 to record a number of solo albums, coining the term ‘ambient music’ to describe his work on releases such as Another Green World (1975), Discreet Music (1975), and Music for Airports (1978). He also collaborated with artists such as Robert Fripp, Cluster, Harold Budd, David Bowie on his ‘Berlin Trilogy’, and David Byrne, and produced albums by artists including John Cale, Jon Hassell, Laraaji, Talking Heads and Devo, and the no wave compilation No New York (1978). Eno has also continued to record solo albums and work with artists including U2, Laurie Anderson, Grace Jones, Slowdive, Coldplay, James Blake, and Damon Albarn.

As a visual artist he has been exhibiting regularly since the late 1970’s. His work is dedicated almost exclusively to the possibilities that the medium of light provides. In 2009, Eno was given the very rare invitation to exhibit on the iconic sails of the Sydney Opera House in Australia, achieved by using powerful projectors to throw the light across Circular Quay.

His current body of work includes light boxes, etchings and lenticular printing as well as sculptural and sound works. His light boxes seamlessly phase through infinite combinations of seductive self-generated ‘colourscapes’ using a series of interwoven LED lights. Their minimal compositions, the first of which he made at Ipswich Art School in 1966, make reference to early Russian art, Mondrian, and Suprematism in particular. Eno writes, “I’ve been trying to slow music down so it became more like painting, and to animate paintings so that they became more like music…in the hope that the two would fuse in the middle”.

Although recognised internationally for his art and music, prior to ‘Light Music’ at Paul Stolper Gallery in April 2016 described in one review as “a masterclass in the power of sound and vision”, Eno had not exhibited a gallery show in the UK since White Cube’s ‘Music for White Cube’ in 1997. Brian says of his practice "I suppose that was the time when painting started to do something that music had already been doing for millennia. Music has always been the only completely non-figurative art. Music didn’t start from attempts to imitate nature; music seems to have come from somewhere else completely, and, of course, in the early part of the 20th century, painters envied that enormously. There was that famous statement, “All art constantly aspires to the condition of music.” I think it was Walter Pater who said it. And in the early 20th century, the first abstract painting was an attempt to make something that behaved like music, in visual terms.’

Michael Bracewell in his essay for Eno’s ‘Light Music’ book, 2017, describes Eno’s art as “a space for the contemplation of individual experience”, where one is “encouraged to engage with a sensory/aesthetic experience that reflects the ever-changing moods and randomness of life itself”, and likens “the call of Eno’s art to that of, for instance, Matisse or Rothko at their most enfolding”.