Experiencing sculptures is like a sensorial journey—feeling with our eyes and perceiving with our hands. But it is also a projection in which our thoughts and associations are inscribed in their forms and attempt to grasp the multilayered facets of their characteristics from a first impression. In Carmen D’Apollonio’s sculptural lamps, the latter seem to expand almost surreally at the moment they are viewed. Their bodies appear warm, supple, and elegant under their own light and convey a feeling of calm and composure—yet also an almost incomprehensible atmosphere that becomes tangible in in moments of total well-being, as on one of those comfortable, almost careless afternoons that we all too fondly remember and in which the structure of forms seems to come to life in the refractions of light, as if miraculously and almost unconsciously.
Linn Lühn is pleased to announce the second exhibition by the Swiss artist Carmen D’Apollonio (*1973) under the apt title One Lazy Afternoon. D’Apollonio grew up as the child of Italian parents outside Zurich, has been co-founder and co-designer of the Swiss fashion label Ikou Tschüss since 2006, and has lived in Los Angeles since 2014. In its alternation between design object, functional lamp, and designed sculpture, D’Apollonio’s new series also refers to a sensation whose visual equivalent is tangibly evident in the various surfaces of her works: matt and radiant as if their reclining bodies were filled with light that comes directly from within them. They also have a fine silver sheen, which dignifiedly grants their arms and legs between figuration and abstract composition the qualities of a secret logic that only seems to be visible at the moment of its fleeting appearance. The underlying bodies of D’Apollonio’s lamps are transformed in the firing as well as in the glazing process, and yet are both the result of an almost unpredictable, coincidental process as well as signs of origins that lend them almost human features. They recline gently and seem to be calmly enjoying their inherent leisure, like a companion whose presence we do not immediately feel, yet is certain to us.
With colorful canvas shades, they integrate into their surroundings and inaudibly become part of the space around them. Here it is an unconscious, almost subversive moment in whose beauty they integrate with their surreal exterior. Beyond explainable forms, they play with our perception and juxtapose their slender, rising structure with an inner architecture whose elements lean, form layers, and flow into one another as if they completely negated the complexity of their arrangement and their own weight. Once again it is an almost comical and humorous view of things with which Carmen D’Apollonio’s sculptural lamps, as if sleepwalking, balance their own bodies securely on three feet in the for and against of forms and almost ironically become aware of their own sculptural qualities alongside one another. They seem to observe us mischievously under their shades, which resemble heads, complemented by the warm colors of their covers and the subtle nuances of a character.
Spatial and formal laws are suspended and lead into a daydreaming understanding in whose poetry Carmen D’Apollonio’s works are once again transformed before our eyes. Like their forms, they resist any fixed attribution and instead ironically address their own change—always under the warm light of their own aura.
Philipp Fernandes do Brito