HS Projects is delighted to present ‘Ensemble’, an exhibition of works by the renowned London-based Chilean artist Fernando Casasempere, most of which have not been seen in London before, including a new ‘construction’ sculpture that was completed a few days before the exhibition.
Casasempere’s work explores ideas of landscape, architecture and history but also proposes a profound sense of impending environmental collapse. Conceptually Casasempere’s use of earth and clay and his concern with nature and ecological issues connects him to artists associated with the Land or Earth Art movement, but Casasempere works out of a different cultural tradition, being profoundly inspired by the Pre-Columbian art and architecture of Latin America.
A series of sculptures made of porcelain and stoneware, evoke fragile structures on the verge of disintegration, drawing colours and glazes from unusual sources such as waste products from Chilean copper mines that Casasempere binds into clay, directly reflecting his interest in environmental responsibility and sustainable practice. These seemingly precarious configurations bear both ancient and modern references, of structures existing and connecting across long periods of time, from ruined Pre-Colombian cities to the built structures and bricks that dominate London. Clay carries human and topological associations that defy place and time and Casasempere’s dexterity and deep understanding of ceramics, enables him to move beyond its material limits, across eras and geographies.
A series of abstract ‘paintings’ in clay on felt, ‘Salares’, exploit the chance processes that create texture as the material dries and recall aerial photographs of alluvial landscapes. They are made of clay that Casasempere has imported from Chile and has subsequently layered onto large felt panels to create abstract images evocative of the landscape the materials come from.
‘Ensemble’ is at Howick Place from June 2020 to December 2020.