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Hauser & Wirth and Moretti Fine Art at Frieze Masters 2016

Hauser & Wirth and Moretti Fine Art invites Luis Laplace for Frieze Masters 2016 to take a unique approach to unite the works of art, by adopting the perspective of a fictional eclectic collector. Drawing on his own vast experience with artists and collectors, Laplace utilises his comprehensive understanding of the visceral attachments that people form with objects in order to harmonise Italian Old Masters with a range of modern and contemporary paintings and sculptures.

Invoking the visual language of a private collection, periods and styles combine, and alternative ways of viewing and experiencing art come to the fore. Laplace’s talent lies in his ability to synthesise art and its surroundings in such a way that both remain distinct and retain their singularity, while entering into a supplementary exchange. Diverging from traditional white-painted walls, the elegant interior of the booth complements and enhances the artworks, revealing unexpected nuances, generating new interpretations and readings, and precipitating an altogether more in-depth engagement with the pieces.

The conceptual domestic environment presented here includes the strongest collection of works in the history of Hauser & Wirth’s participation at Frieze Masters. Untethered by theme or art historical narrative, Hauser & Wirth has sourced works directly from an array of international private collections to assemble an exceptional group of works from the 20th century.

By virtue of Laplace’s sharp vision, these modern and contemporary works beautifully interplay with Moretti’s Italian masterpieces. The exceptional featured works include an unparalleled double-skull ‘Momento Mori’ by an artist of the Neopolitan School; a devotional piece by Taddeo Gaddi believed to belong to the same altarpiece as ‘Saint Julian’ in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York NY; Pietro Novelli’s highly emotive painting of the creation of man; and an incandescent depiction of the dramatic eruption of the Vesuvius by Michael Wutsky. Modern simplicity and ornate elegance are brought together in a dynamic exchange, as artwork and interior enter into a dialogue of colour and form. Chiaroscuro palettes extend from the exhibited works to the interior design, as space, light and shade are combined to offer an enriched experience for the viewer.

Describing the concept, Laplace says: ‘The Frieze Masters booth should not be seen as a literal space, I conceive this is an abstraction of a domestic interior. The furniture provides a context but is not intended to signify a replica of a room or a facsimile of a house. Rather, I envision the arrangement as posing an exploration of methods of display, where tables stand in for plinths, and the works are exhibited according to the collector’s individual taste, not categorised by date or style. While I understand that intellectual contradictions may arise, for me, the root of this presentation is the emotional, passionate relationship between the work of art and the owner, since, in my experience collectors, very rarely make selections based on rigorous intellectual programme, but are led by the heart.’

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