Alan Rankle visits A Wave of Dreams Arts Lab as it marks the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landings

While she is known primarily for the lucidly evocative, large-scale but minimalist paintings launched at her 2018 exhibitions in Milan and London, Claudia de Grandi’s oeuvre extends also to performances in which her live action, calligraphic brushwork is paired in dialogue with a solo musician as part of an interactive improvisation.

Claudia De Grandi and Tymon Dogg

She has created her seminal work Visual Sounds with the American musician Joshua Tennent in a series of gallery and art fair performances in Berlin, London, Kyoto and Tokyo to much interest and critical approval.

More recently, as a part of De Grandi’s exhibition Blue Moon, which showed in the gallery until 7th July,  A Wave of Dreams Arts Lab was proud to premier a piece she made in collaboration with renowned violinist Tymon Dogg.

The full impact of De Grandi’s work must be fully appreciated both thorough her explorations within the genre of painting as performance and her work with musician collaborators, where specially composed music is combined with sequences of paintings and film presented to remarkable effect. 

As a Brazilian modernist artist who also trained as a classical musician, De Grandi uses these various media of painting, film, photography and music as intertwined  elements in her evolving creative discourse. 

A major sequence of De Grandi’s paintings are now being prepared for a large scale exhibition in 2020, when her ongoing series Waves & Horizons will be presented as part of an immersive soundscape and video installation at Fabbrica del Vapore Arts Centre in Milan.

De Grandi’s collaborator for her specially-created performance at A Wave of Dreams Arts Lab is Tymon Dogg, a virtuoso musician and songwriter known for his seminal work with various bands and performers between Liverpool, London and New York, including Nico of Andy Warhol’s Velvet Underground and his bestselling songs for The Clash and Joe Strummer’s Mescaleros.

On the evening of Saturday 6th at St Leonards’ latest dedicated arts venue, the invited guests were receptive and clearly moved by the improvised and closely woven patterns in sound and vision created by the two performers.

From the startlingly sudden launch of the composition, De Grandi worked studiously in a continuous flowing format, painting directly onto large sheets of watercolour paper, throwing a range of carefully limited colours across surfaces as she strode around the paintings.

At the opposite corner of the gallery, Tymon Dogg took a formidable musical stance, playing the electric violin with a strident yet lyrical and astonishingly emotive intensity. Dogg is a strikingly theatrical performer: the sweeping sculptural sounds he created mirrored his own extravagant physical gestures.

Meanwhile the already transfixed audience watched enthralled as De Grandi’s serpentine calligraphy swooped and coiled in increasingly intricate, overlaid  abstracted forms across the paintings.

At a perfectly judged point both sounds and images stopped abruptly and a stark silence, unusual for a gallery reception,  took centre stage. The completed paintings remained in the space.

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