One of the London’s finest galleries Marlborough Contemporary is organizing an exhibition of Australian artist Narelle Jubelin entitled Flamenco Primitivo. The exhibition will be the artist’s second solo show with the gallery. Born in Australia, Jubelin has been living in Madrid, Spain since 1996. Establishing strong connections with Spain and Spanish culture and art, the artist has continued to address issues related to Australian history and culture. Her work engages with the translation of visual culture across countries, with particular reference to the legacies of international Modernists. In this process of translating the visual culture, her unique technique plays very important role, since it slows down the process of assimilating the image through the intricate work of sewing and a display that forces the spectator to engage with the intimacy of scale.
Narelle Jubelin uses truly unique technique in her art, and the visitors of the exhibition at Marlborough Contemporary will have an opportunity to see it. She is famous for her petit-point renditions of heavily charged photographs that allow her to explore historical lines that interconnect location and history. Still, it’s not only about her technique, but also a brilliant conceptual approach, particularly when it comes to the references to the legacies of international Modernists. This will be quite visible during the Flamenco Primitivo exhibition. Flamenco Primitivo adopts its title from the opening “cante” (actually unsung) performed in Madrid by the contemporary Flamenco singer Niño de Elche, breaking tradition whilst wearing a Francis Bacon t-shirt. Exploring the way objects – particularly those of cultural significance – travel through the world, Jubelin uses artistic movements as a vehicle through which to navigate such flows. The physical context of Jubelin’s work is central to the exhibition; Marlborough, and the gallery’s own relationship with seminal artists such as Bacon, almost instinctually become part of the artist’s narrative. In Flamenco Primitivo, Jubelin exhibits petit point renditions of formative regional Modernist works including Anni Albers, Lina Bo Bardi, Lee Bontecou, José Guerrero, Hannah Höch, Ree Morton, Pablo Picasso, Mira Schendel and a collaboration between Josef Albers and Harry Seidler.
A key element of her oeuvre, Jubelin’s intricate and laborious sewing works compel the spectator to engage with the intimacy of scale, whilst mobilizing the concept of needlepoint as “women’s work”. The artist employs a redemptive curatorial practice to re-exhibit these modernist touchstones, offering a critique on the complexities of canonization and the barriers inherent within art-historical precedents. The pieces reposition common disposable materials – in this grouping, collected from Granada, Madrid, São Paulo and Sydney – as quasi-Modernist, totemic sculptures. In monumentalizing objects literally made to serve other items as they circulate through the world, throwaway facilitators for things of greater value, Jubelin teases out established ideas of material and cultural worth. Left untreated after casting, the works remain in a raw state, bearing comment on the established language of sculpture, whilst bringing the artist’s creative process of collating to the fore. Also included in the exhibition are found and assembled video works which document moments of the artist’s own experience. Through the capture of intimate cultural performances these pieces consider the way in which individuals digest and record histories of creative difference – personally and politically – whilst assessing how such experiences translate between cultures.
Narelle Jubelin has been exhibited widely over the last twenty years. As we already mentioned, this is the artist’s second solo show with the gallery. Marking the second time the artist has worked with the material, the exhibition also includes five bronze works cast from packaging buffers designed for secure travel over huge distances – hinting at the geographies of her practice. You shouldn’t miss this show! Flamenco Primitivo will be on view from February 4 until March 12, 2016 at Marlborough Contemporary in London. The opening reception is scheduled for February 4, 6-8pm.
Featured Image: Narelle Jubelin - As Yet Untitled (Pablo Picasso, 1961), 2014, cotton on silk petit point, Courtesy the artist and Marlborough Contemporary, London.