Kasper Bosmans at Marc Foxx

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Artist: Kasper Bosmans

Exhibition title: Motif (Oil and Silver)

Venue: Marc Foxx, Los Angeles, US

Date: April 2 – May 7, 2016

Photography: Robert Wedemeyer, all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Marc Foxx, Los Angeles

MARC FOXX is pleased to present the first US solo exhibition by Brussels-based Kasper Bosmans.

Inventively interweaving ideas, histories and materials, Kasper Bosmans creates a kind of visual magical realism. In Motif (Oil and Silver) the artist explores the topic of communication from early Roman times to current commercial systems. Bosmans, through initial interest and research unearthed that the word Rostrum, still used today, originated from the early years of the Roman Empire. It was established as the site where news of the republic, later the empire would be publicly announced. Rostra were the “rams” of warships that were attached to the original podium/Rostrum, and confiscated after the battle of Antium in 338 BC (instrumental in establishing the Roman Republic). Later on, columns lined with warship’s rams were erected next to the Rostra to provide more space for additional bounty from other military successes and this feature would later come to function as an important classical decorative reference.

After the introduction of cannons and other long-distance weapons, the warship’s rams no longer served a purpose, however their hydrodynamic qualities were re-discovered in the nineteenth century. For this reason, large container ships nowadays have a bulbous bow, a round protrusion on the nose just below the waterline helping to stabilize the vessel and create a bow wave that increases the speed efficiency.

“Rostrum” can be interpreted as “nose/beak,” and Bosmans links the forms of a ship’s bulbous bow to the Sperm Whale in the exhibition’s tapestry. A large portion of the nose of a Sperm Whale is occupied by a sack filled with Spermaceti Oil, which serves to produce a subsonic sound by which the whale can navigate and communicate over long distances. Rostrum/Bulbous Bow (Grey), & Rostrum/ Bulbous Bow (Suspended, Flower Girl, and Silver), use abstracted imagery of the whale-like bulbous ship’s bow in 2- dimensional and 3-dimensional works.

Spermaceti oil was used to make candles renowned for their exceptionally clear flames, and their intensity was later calibrated to create the unit of luminosity called the candela. In Whale Candles, Bosmans has blended Cetyl-Esther, a synthetic exact match to whales’ Spermaceti oil, into the candles arranged on a glass disc, painted with the cross section image of a sperm whale’s nose.

In several works Bosmans looks to economies and values both political and cultural and contrasts with histories of function and decoration. Born in Lanuvium (early to receive Roman civil rights), Lucius Roscius Fabatus negotiated between Pompey and Julius Caesar, under whom he served during the Gallic Wars, the silver denarius (coin c. 1 AD) depicting Juno Sospita bears his name.

Coco Chanel made buttons referencing Roman coins and sewed chains into the lower seam of her jackets to make them fall straight. The chain with its technical purpose later became one of her crude yet elegant design motifs. In the vitrine sculpture Juno Sospita and Coco (Silver Denarius), Bosmans includes a silver denarius (coin) on top of a Chanel sweater with its own silver Chanel medallions and in Coco, Chain (She Loves Pink, Juicy Details, Guava Jelly, Starlet Pink, High Maintenance, Little Princess), the chain motif is incorporated with a fresco-like result.

Hermes, the god of speed, communication, travelers and theft, appears sculpturally in cased, cast plaster busts commissioned by the artist, as an act of cultural philanthropy, from the plaster workshop of the architecturally endangered Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels. The gods’ Hellenistic & Etruscan heads further draw together cultural histories and aesthetics.

Although a recent Graduate of the HISK, Bosmans (1990) is already included in several respected museum collections including Mu.ZEE in Oostende and the S.M.A.K. in Ghent where he will have a solo exhibition in June 2016 accompanied by a publication. Currently his solos show called “Loot, Soil and Cleanliness” is on view at CIAP in Hasselt, Belgium. Starting from July 2016 Bosmans will be part of the Wiels residency program. Other residencies include Spring Workshop in Hong Kong and Air Frida Hansens Hus in Stavanger, Norway.

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Kasper Bosmans, Juno Sospita (Numismatic Print), 2016

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Kasper Bosmans, Juno Sospita (Numismatic Print), 2016

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Kasper Bosmans, Juno Sospita (Numismatic Print), 2016

Courtesy of the artist and Marc Foxx Gallery Los Angeles Photo Robert Wedemeyer 2016

Kasper Bosmans, Hermès in Exile (Corinth, Mounted), 2016

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Kasper Bosmans, Hermès in Exile (Corinth, Mounted), 2016

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Kasper Bosmans, Juno Sospita (Numismatic Print), 2016

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Kasper Bosmans, Cachalot-Cactiers, 2016

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Kasper Bosmans, Bovine Whale, 2016

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Kasper Bosmans, Juno Sospita and Coco (Silver Denarius), 2016

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Kasper Bosmans, Juno Sospita and Coco (Silver Denarius), 2016 (detail)

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Kasper Bosmans, Juno Sospita and Coco (Silver Denarius), 2016 (detail)

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Kasper Bosmans, Rostrum/ Bulbous Bow (Suspended, Flower Girl, a…, 2016

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Kasper Bosmans, Rostrum/ Bulbous Bow (Suspended, Flower Girl, a…, 2016

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Kasper Bosmans, Columna Rostrata, 2016

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Kasper Bosmans, Columna Rostrata, 2016

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Kasper Bosmans, Legend: Motif (Oil and Silver), 2016

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Kasper Bosmans, Legend: Motif (Oil and Silver), 2016

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Kasper Bosmans, Legend: Motif (Oil and Silver), 2016

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Kasper Bosmans, Legend: Motif (Oil and Silver), 2016

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Kasper Bosmans, Legend: Motif (Oil and Silver), 2016

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Kasper Bosmans, Legend: Motif (Oil and Silver), 2016

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Kasper Bosmans, Coco, Chain (She Loves Pink, Juicy Details, Gua…, 2016

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Kasper Bosmans, Coco, Chain (She Loves Pink, Juicy Details, Gua…, 2016 (detail)

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Kasper Bosmans, Rostrum/ Bulbous Bow (Grey), 2016

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