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SAM FALLS

Sam Falls (1984) lives and works Los Angeles.
Solo show: CAPRI, Dusseldorf (2019), Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018), Museo d’Arte Moderna e Contemporaneo di Trento e Rovereto, Trento (2018), September Spring, The Kitchen, New York, Stati Uniti (2015); Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, Texas, Stati Uniti (2015); Fondazione Giuliani, Roma, Italia (2015); Zabludowicz Collection, Londra, Regno Unito (2014); Sam Falls: Light over Time, Public Art Fund, Brooklyn, New York, Stati Uniti (2014); Pomona College Museum of Art, Pomona, California, Stati Uniti (2014); LA><ART, Los Angeles, Stati Uniti (2013).
International show: Kunsthalle Helsinki, Helsinki, Finlandia (2016); Wasteland, Mona Bismarck American Center, Parigi, Francia (2016); Another Minimalism: Art after California Light and Space, Mead Gallery, University of Warwick (2016) e Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgo, Regno Unito (2015); Splitting Light, UB Art Gallery, University at Buffalo, New York, Stati Uniti (2015); Apparition: Frottage and Rubbings from 1985 to Now, Hammer Museum, in collaborazione con The Menil Collection, Houston, Los Angeles, Stati Uniti (2015); Per_formare una collezione#1, Museo MADRE, Napoli, Italia (2014); A different kind of Order: The ICP Triennial, International Center of Photography, New York, Stati Uniti (2013).

His work is part of important collection: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Los Angeles; The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; The Allbright Knox, Buffalo, New York; Zabludowicz Collection, Londra.

 

Untitled (Antinori) | Interview with Sam Falls

 

The seduction experienced by Californian-born artist Sam Falls (San Diego, 1983), from the paysage of cantine Antinori del Chianti Classico, isn’t curiously related to the solar element. Indeed, as the curator Ilaria Bonacossa tells us about the site-specific work “Untitled (Antinori)” part of the Antinori Art Project, Falls seems deeply involved with the nocturnal tenderness throught which he realizes his monumental plant-related frottage. In the words of Bonacossa, “Sam Falls stretches out the canvases through the vineyards and collects the (apparently) fortuitous traces of leaves, flowers and animals”.
His work appears a sort of photogenic drawing, a shadow, a trace or a spoor that make visible the indiscernible passage of an elusive entity.
Far from masculine energy of American Land Art Movement – that Falls ironically describes as “macho” – his approach to nature is feminine, ludic, ambiguous and transparent.
The way in which Falls explores the vineyards is intimately careful. Its canvases collects minimum signs and keeps records of their essence.
In this way, “flowers and vine leaves are exposed for 5 nights – and also during a storm – protecting canvases from pigments. They become a sort of burial shroud of nature”.

 

Elena Bordignon has made any questions to the artist.

 

Elena Bordignon: Your work for Antinori Art Project is intensely related to the exhibition space of cantina Antinori nel Chianti Classico. Can you tell me how the project came about? What are the main perspectives that you have considered?  

 

Sam Falls: I believe Alessia Antinori saw my work at the Hammer Museum and Ilaria Bonacossa had seen my work at Franco Noero gallery and so we met in Torino and I was invited to think about a project. I came to Tuscany and the Cantina for a site visit and it appealed to me because of the attention to nature from the area and knowing it was a very open project that I could work immersing myself in the vineyards and plants surrounding me. After the visit I decided it could be conducive to make a large piece and the winery had the space to do something like five meters long, so I started.

 

EB: The temporal influence appears fundamental in the construction of the work. For many reasons, “Untitled (Antinori)” has been realized by nature itself: the rain, the sun, the wind… Of course, you can not control these elements and their effects on the work. What is the rule of chaos in your creative process?

 

SF: My relationship to chaos in some way comes from my experience as a child growing up in Vermont and Los Angeles between a place that is very green (Vermont) and has rain in the summer and snow in winter versus Los Angeles which is a desert. I spent a lot of time as a kid, as an only child, in the woods by myself or in the desert alone and I always felt very familiar with nature. When I was doing my work with the sun, I always remembered finding clothes and things that had been lost in the woods or on rocks that were bleached by sunlight and that is how I began working with the sun, Later when I was studying photography.
And on the other hand working with the rain there is a prediction of course with meteorologists who know what will be happening with nature and then there are the pigments. I have worked enough with the pigments that I know something will happen on the canvas. If it rains a lot the pigments get kind of washed out and you get a deeper color, but if it rains just a little bit or it doesn’t rain at all and you just have moisture in the night air, like dew, then there is a sharper image. So between the two myself and nature’s hand we make the image. My relationship to nature is really based on experience and my relationship to art is also based on experience so together there is a synchronicity. I try to limit the amount of chaos to more of a predictive sense with the moisture especially, so I know when it rains too much that the image will not get washed out.

 

EB: The work of art can be considered as ”a poetic portrait of nature”, but it could also remember Land Art’s and Environmentalist’s interventions. How do you imagine your research related to this movement?

 

SF: Well I think about it a lot and my relation to Land Art is kind of articulate; that I admire it but I also think it was of a time before environmental concerns were really part of our contemporary existence. I think now we have to be much more considerate of nature… so if Land Art was like building a new town or city, my relationship to nature and art is more like going camping: when I go out to work I am in nature, I am inspired by nature, I work with it but I bring everything else back and I leave nature as it was. The rest of art is more like renting an apartment in a city, like painting in a studio, if you see what I mean. I also always felt Land Art was very masculine, very assertive, very macho and you can feel this in the works themselves and so I wanted to be more sensitive to nature, I wanted to be more holistic, not feminine necessarily, but just more natural.