HO HO HO at Frutta

Artists: Ditte Gantriis, Elisabetta Benassi, Enrico Benassi, Gundam Air, Holly Hendry, Jacopo Miliani, Jeremy Hutchison, Jonathan Monk, Lauren Keeley, Marco Giordano, Roberto Coda Zabetta, Ryan Gander, Sol Calero

Exhibition title: HO HO HO

Curated by: Alek O., Gabriele De Santis, Santo Tolone and Spring

Venue: Frutta, Rome, Italy

Date: November 25, 2017 – March 10, 2018

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Frutta, Rome

Frutta is pleased to announce HO HO HO, Christmas in July, a group show curated by Alek O., Gabriele De Santis, Santo Tolone and Spring. The exhibition will feature work by Ditte Gantriis, Elisabetta Benassi, Enrico Benassi, Gundam Air, Holly Hendry, Jacopo Miliani, Jonathan Monk, Jeremy Hutchison, Lauren Keeley, Marco Giordano, Roberto Coda Zabetta, Ryan Gander and Sol Calero. During the show, The artists will designate part of the gallery as a “Free Store,” where visitors are invited to bring in belongings that they wish to leave behind or take away anything that they like. The exhibition will open with a reception on Thursday, July 1 from 6-8pm and will be on view until July 31, 2010.

Anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss writes, “During both Christmas and the Saturnalia, society functions according to a double rhythm of heightened solidarity and exaggerated antagonism and these two aspects act together in balanced opposition.” The Saturnalia was an ancient Roman festival celebrated in December during which societal roles were reversed, celebrations were rich, and laws were void. Commonly theorized to be the historical basis of several traditions associated with Christmas, the Saturnalia included revelry, gift exchange, and gatherings of friends. The works in this exhibition reflect the dualities underlying the spirit of Christmas and highlight the resulting tensions between religious and secular, celebration and angst, as well as makeshift gift economy and permanent market economy.

The phrase “Christmas in July” became widely known due to Preston Sturges’ Hollywood comedy Christmas in July (1940), in which the protagonist engages in careless spending after his colleagues trick him into believing he won $25,000. “Christmas in July” quickly became a popular celebration, and is now an unofficial holiday that refers to various festivities, notably in the southern hemisphere where July is the coldest month. Most commonly, the term is used as a marketing ploy by retail stores to make up for the lack of sales opportunities in the summer. Advertisements promoting “Christmas in July” sales have been popular since the mid-twentieth century, and continue to flourish today. Celebrating Christmas during the opposite time of year further emphasizes the polarities inherent to the Saturnalia and Christmas traditions, and underscores the contradictory nature of a contemporary ritual in the making.

HO HO HO exhibition will include a wide variety of objects and fabric selected form the comprehensive design exhibition, FOR MODERN LIVING, assembled by Alek O., Gabriele De Santis, Santo Tolone and Spring for Frua. The gallery limited its selection to objects which have never before been exhibited by this gallery. The exhibition is to be on view through the Christmas season when public aention is mostly closely focused on the quality of items available for purchase. It contains approximately 100 items including children’s toys, a sewing machine, typewrites, a window ventilating fan, lamps, cooking pots and kites. Furniture has not been included in view of the fact that most of the examples shows in Rome may be seen in a number of showrooms in Italy. The installation of this show juxtaposes such objects as clippers and dog leashes to point out the one quality they have in common: their excellent design. Articles will be displayed on low table benches and open shelves backed with tracing paper through which the light is diffused from behind. Designs come from many countries as well as from the United States. Examples of glassware will be shown from Italy, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands. Other countries represented in the exhibition are Germany with a set of porcelain dinnerware, and China with traditionally simple handwoven baskets. Among many outstanding designers represented are Lauren Keeley, Holly Hendry, Jonathan Monk and Ryan Gander, in addition to a large number of unknown peasant craftsmen of Europe and the East and anonymous company designers in American factories. Items from ten-cent stores priced as low as 25 cents for a plastic egg tray are shown along with expensive items such as inlaid marble box from Italy for 150 cent to indicate the equally high standard of design of many products at all prices. The exhibition will contain a number of fabric including a print of “Trains” in fresh colours on white by Sol Calero, a linen form Scotland and a handwoven silk form Siam.The exhibition is another of the gallery’ s summaries for the public of the best available design. The fact that these items have not been shown before in the gallery’s numerous exhibitions of objects is an affirmation that an everincreasing amount of excellent design is being produced by manufacturers here and abroad for sale to the constantly expanding body of discriminating Italian consumers.

Alek O., Santo Tolone and Gabriele De Santis, Ho Ho Ho, Unlimited Editions, 2017, Pencils on Paper, 30 x 44 cm

HO HO HO, 2017-2018, exhibition virew, Frutta, Rome

HO HO HO, 2017-2018, exhibition virew, Frutta, Rome

HO HO HO, 2017-2018, exhibition virew, Frutta, Rome

HO HO HO, 2017-2018, exhibition virew, Frutta, Rome

From Left to Right: Lauren Keeley, October Leaves, 2015, Acrylic, Sapele and Linen on Board, 165 x 111 x 5.5 cm; Enrico Benassi, Sasso 1, sasso 2, sasso 3, sasso 4, sasso 5, 1982-1984, Painted Stones, Dimensions Variable

Jonathan Monk, Untitled, 2017, Acrylic and Print on Canvas, 40 x 30 x 2 cm

From Foreground to Background: Santo Tolone, Chicago di notte, 2017, Water Closet, Candle, Dimensions variable; Gundam Air, Minestrone, 2017, Vegetables on Canvas, 100 x 150 cm; Sol Calero, La Sauna Caliente, 2016, Offset Print on Cotton, Dimensions Variable

Roberto Coda Zabetta, Nextfilm, 2016, Resin Wood on Canvas, 70 x 50 x 6 cm

From Left to Right: Sol Calero, La Sauna Caliente, 2016, Offset Print on Cotton, Dimensions Variable; Marco Giordano, Cigarettesanddietcoke, 2014, Acrylic on Stone, 20 x 20 x 30 cm; Ditte Gantriis, Casual Friday, 2013, Acrylic Paint on Canvas, Birch Ply-Wood Frame, 190 x 90 x 3 cm

Marco Giordano, Cigarettesanddietcoke, 2014, Acrylic on Stone, 20 x 20 x 30 cm

Enrico Benassi, Sasso 1, sasso 2, sasso 3, sasso 4, sasso 5, 1982-194, Painted Stones, Sasso 1: 21 X 20 X 7 cm
Sasso 2: 11 x 6 x 8 cm
Sasso 3: 23 x 8 x 4 cm
Sasso 4: 16 x 17 x 4 cm
Sasso 5: 20 X 12 X 7 cm

Ryan Gander, We never had a lot of € around here, 2010, Single Metal Coin, ø 2.5 cm

Holly Hendry, Nasothek, 2017, Jesmonite, Pigment, Rose Marble, Aluminium, Paint, 15 x 33 x 8 cm

Jacopo Miliani, Shades, 2017, Framed Drawings, Tennis Balls, Dipthyc: each 45 x 32 x 5 cm

Santo Tolone, O ($, L, €), 2016, Yellow, White and Pink Gold

Outside: Jeremy Hutchison, Movables, 2017, Digital Print on Billboard Paper, 200 x 100 cm

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