press release

Vilma Gold is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Andrew Mania alongside Andrew Mania’s private collection of photographs by Carl Van Vechten.

For this exhibition Andrew Mania has transformed the gallery into a highly personalized environment in which to house his private collection. This has been achieved by using materials that include drawings, photography, wall relief, sculpture and video to create a series of shrine-like homage’s.

Carl Van Vechten’s black and white photographs dating from 1932 until death in 1964 hold great significance to Andrew Mania’s practise. Van Vechten took photographs of many the major artists and intellectuals of the first half of the 20th- century. The importance of these images is two-fold; they document a specific time and milieu in 20th-century American history that was neglected by others, and they are among some of the earliest art photography images created. While Van Vechten never created as technically complex images as some of the professional photographers of his day, a consistent artistic sensibility pervades his work. In particular, his portraits of influential African-Americans illustrate a rich artistic and intellectual era in the African-American community.

Andrew Mania is a collector of curiosities, creating assemblages and installations that include figurative drawings, curios, sculptural objects, photographs, videos and film footage. He recycles found objects and images, such as old master drawings or vintage photographs, and adds his personal obsessions - including yetis, invasive abstract motifs or bird-like swarms. Mania has a nostalgic, romantic and irreverent relationship to art history - he appropriates the status of the antique then twists it to convey new narratives in the present. His visual language reclaims and recombines images with the drive and aesthetic of a collector given to creating fantastic arrangements with intriguing tangential associations.

Andrew Mania was born in Bristol in 1974. Since graduating from Chelsea college of Art in 1999 his work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Solo exhibitions include: Chisenhale Gallery, London (2005), Jack Hanley Gallery, San Francisco (2005) and John Connelly Presents, New York (2005).

Carl Van Vechten was born in 1880 in Iowa and died in 1964. During his life he was known as a photographer, writer and critic. Van Vechten was well known for his interest in African-American culture and his efforts to promote better interracial relations.

Pressetext

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Andrew Mania / Carl van Vechten