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The Flavour is So Strong

 12 October – 9 November 2019

 

Larsen Warner is pleased to present The Flavour is So Strong, Anton Alvarez’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. The exhibition is the inaugural show at the galleries new space at Sturegatan 28, Ostermalm and under the gallery’s new name Larsen Warner.

In Alvarez’s objects the primordial and futuristic meet. Oscillating between expression and constraint and advancing technological innovation while also utilising traditional craftsmanship, Alvarez’s sculptural forms challenge our perception of weight and gravity and appear both of this world and utterly separate from it. The glazed coloured objects can seem like they have landed from a far-flung place, while the unglazed and dyed stoneware remind us of archaeological remnants from a more ancient time.

While the process of creation is controlled, the results are always unexpected, with Alvarez embracing the alchemy between wet clay and kiln and the uncontrollable ‘imperfections’ of the ceramic process. Resembling a large soft milk ice cream machine, Alvarez’s extruder exerts 3 tonnes of pressure, squeezing the wet clay through an array of different moulds, forcing folds and splits to occur. These then drop onto a plate that can be positioned at various heights, giving the artist a small measure of control. Alvarez continuously fine-tunes his inventions, embracing chance and accident within these engineered machines. The technology created by the artist to aid in the works creation are inextricable from the artist’s work, and even from himself. They highlight the way in which an artist can become both craftsman and engineer, and the tension between these two roles.

With an emphasis on a formal instability the works in The Flavour is So Strong present an artist in dialogue with the centuries old ceramic tradition but not defined by it. Alvarez continues to playfully push the boundaries, creating works rich in tradition and at the same time utterly unconventional to create a truly unique and surprising sculptural environment.

Anton Alvarez (b.1980) graduated from the Royal College of Art, London, UK in 2012. Recent solo exhibitions include L’Ultima Cera, Church San Bernardino alle Monache, Milan, Italy (2019); Visual Vertigo, Espace Muraille, Geneva, Switzerland (2019); To Plan the Unexpected, Christian Larsen, Stockholm, Sweden (2017); Alphabet Aerobics, National Centre for Craft and Design, UK (2016); How Long is a Piece of Thread, Xue Xue Institute, Taiwan (2016); Wrapsody, Salon 94, NY (2015). In September 2019 Alvarez will be included in the 10th Korean ceramic Biennale. Selected group shows include Ceramic Momentum: Staging the Object, Clay Keramikmuseum, Middelfart, Denmark (2019); The Most Real Thing: Contemporary Textiles and Sculpture, New Art centre, Roche Court, UK (2018); Color Your Life at Daelim Museum, Seoul, Korea and Wild Things at the Texture Museum, Belgium. Alvarez’s work is included in the public collections of the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden; Denver Art Museum, Colorado, USA and the Röhsska Museum, Gothenburg, Sweden as well as many prominent private collections. In 2015 Alvarez’s first major monograph Anton Alvarez: The Thread Wrapping Machine was published by Arvinius + Orfeus Publishing with a foreword by Richard Wentworth.