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Galleria Continua
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Beijing
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Roma

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LEANDRO ERLICH THE MAGICIAN





Working with Leandro Erlich means working with an all-round artist. Maybe he’s a magician, maybe he’s an artist or even an actor. If one had to find just one word as to what it means to work with him it would be “trompe-œil”, this reflects not only his artistic practise but him as a person. He pays enormous attention to the concept of entertainment, it’s an entertainment with which to surprise oneself with the reality that surrounds us. He’s an artist that works with the utmost care for the aesthetic aspect of his work. Like a true magician, he knows that his tricks only work if nothing is neglected, if the attention to detail becomes the daily practise of his work.

Erlich’s exhibitions and projects are almost festivals of scenography. His works cannot do away with the interaction of the spectator with the given space that is duly studied and chosen in order to "do the trick”. Erlich has conserved the unlimited curiosity and fantasy of a child but he has also knowingly added to this with a great intelligence and ability to understand adult man, contemporary man and his dreams. We just need to think of the clouds, the works that recreate that mental game we play when we look to the sky, trying to create meaning out of the shapes floating above us. He also makes us consider our fears and vices. For example, the works that contain doors or windows, through which one can spy through or gaze through to “the other side”. 

Playful but never banal, Erlich tries to look for points of view and suggestions that are never predictable. At the same time, the images and motifs are recognisable and typical of our everyday lives. These works at times become giant, of great visual impact, in order to divert attention to important themes. These themes are often to do with the environment, like the house that melts “Maison Fond”, or “Pulled by the Roots” - the unrooting of a house, held up by a crane. All of these are themes that, thanks to these works that focus so fully on their scenography, deliver their message clearly without the need for an explanation.

It’s difficult to define Leandro Erlich. With a background in architecture, we could call him an architect. The word magician also comes to mind, a scenographer, an actor, himself a character. All of these skills and figures reflect his extensive and magnificent study and research as well as the collaborations that come with it, including professionals that range from industrial designers to architects. All of this is in order to obtain a 360-degree approach to the care and attention in his works, before exhibiting them.

Leandro Erlich, born in 1973, lives and works in Buenos Aires and Montevideo. 
Over the past two decades, his work has been shown internationally and was subject to major solo exhibitions: KAMU, Kanazawa, Japan (2020), Voorlinden Museum, Wassenaar, Netherlands (2020), Oratorio San Felipe, Bologna, Italy (2019), MALBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2019, 2015), CAFA Museum, Beijing, China (2019), Le Bon Marché, Paris, France (2018), HOW Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2018), Neuberger Museum of Art, New York, USA (2017); Fundación Telefónica, Madrid, España (2017); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan (2017), Museo Espacio Chandon arteBA 2016 (2016), MUNTREF, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2016), ZKM, Germany (2015), 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan (2014), MMCA, Seoul, Korea (2014), Barbican Center, London (2013), P.S.1 MoMA, NY (2008), MACRO Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome, Rome, Italy (2006), Centre D’art Saint Nazaire, France (2005), Santa Monica Art Center, Barcelona, Spain (2003), El Museo del Barrio, New York (2001), among others.
Leandro Erlich was featured in collective exhibitions, such as the Setouchi Triennale, Megijima Community Area, Japan (2019), Abu Dhabi Art Commissions, Al Ain Oasis, UAE (2019), Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China (2018), The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel (2017), JUT Art Museum, Taipei City, Taiwan (2017), Bienal Sur, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2017), Spiral Garden, Tokyo, Japan, (2017), XIII Bienal de Cuenca (2016), OCA, Brazil (2015), Maison Rouge, Paris, France (2015), Montevideo 2nd Biennial, Urugay (2014), Shanghai Art Festival, Shanghai, China (2013), MOT, Tokyo, Japan (2013), Fundación PROA, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2013, 2009), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France (2011), Centquatre, Paris, France (2011), Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, UK (2008), Singapore Biennial, Singapore (2008), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Spain (2008), Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial, Japan (2006), Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2006), 51st Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2005), Nuit Blanche de Paris, France (2004), 26th Sao Paulo Biennale, Argentina (2004), Busan Biennale, Korea (2002), Shanghai Biennale (2002), Istanbul Biennale, Turkey (2001), Mercosur Biennale, Brazil (1997), Havana Biennale, Cuba (2000), among others.

His works are part of private and public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, Buenos Aires; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Tate Modern, London; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; 21st Century Museum of Art Kanazawa, Japan; MACRO, Rome; The Jerusalem Museum; FNAC, France.


Cecilia Pecorelli, Rome Gallery Manager, talks about working with Leandro Erlich in occasion of his exhibition. 



Bâtiment

2004

Installation view Nuit Blanche, Paris, France, 2004

Photo © Leandro Erlich Studio

Bâtiment. Bank

2004-2012

Installation view Izolyatsia, Donetsk, Ukrania, 2012

© Semichev  for Leandro Erlich Studio


Window and Ladder - leaning on History

2009-2017

steel, fiberglass, resin

590 x 200 x 120 cm | 232,3 x 78,7 x 47,2 inch

Installation view main entrance of West Bund Art & Design, Shanghai 


Swimming Pool

2007


masonry, swimming pool stairs, glass, water

unique work

Installation view Museum of Art of Kanazawa, Japan

Staircase. Construction of Reality

2018

metal, wood, vinyl tiles

unique work

HOW Art Museum, Shanghai, China

Photo by @elyhsium

The Cloud (Spain)

2016


ultra clear glass, ceramic ink, wood, light
199,5 x 160 x 81 cm | 78,5 x 63 x 205,7 inch

unique work

Photo Ela Bialkowska, OKNO Studio

Soprattutto by Maura Pozzati 


Soprattutto is the beautiful title that Leandro Erlich has chosen for his exhibition in the new space opened by Galleria Continua at The St. Regis Rome. Literally meaning “sopra (over) every other thing, before and more than tutto (all)”: a concept that is dear to the Argentinian artist that amplifies the meaning of a thing through experience, collective sharing and imagination. We just need to look at his clouds to realise that they are something known, archetypical but at the same time – observing them in their different immobilised and frozen forms in a wooden cabinet – something new that positions them above the conscience and that brings us to a magical beyond to do with aesthetic meaning and poetry. Sometime ago, I wrote that Leandro’s work situates itself in a place on the border between the possible and impossible, between that which we know and that which we imagine: a real threshold between what is real, or what we believe it to be, and that which it is not. In this space on the threshold, a thing can be “before and more than everything”, it can become “above all”, because the artist always exists in a parallel reality, an intermediary phase between what we know and see and what we remember and share together with others. We all have had the experience of traveling by plane, some more, some less, but the mood and what each of us emotionally invests "on" the trip itself is different. The same thing goes for the landscape: that seen from above when we’re landing in an aeroplane (in the exhibition it’ll probably be exhibited as a carpet that can be walked on) and the Roman one, with its buildings, roads and gardens that dialogue simultaneously with the clouds in the sky. Because what the artist communicates to us is that a relationship between clouds and the territory exists and that the described place is something known that we recognize as natural, that we already see, but also something strange and artificial. We find the same cloud boxed in front of us but also photographed in Rome’s sky, free to move itself within the space “over every other thing”. All of Leandro Erlich’s oeuvre fundamentally plays with the mind and with the viewer’s perception in order to redefine the spaces of daily life, to escape from the ordinary world and enter into the extraordinary one. Above and over all.

Balena

(Piazza della Rotonda)

2020

print on Hahnemühle Ultrasmooth Paper

30 x 40 cm | 11,81 x 15,78 inch

35 x 45 cm| 13,77 x 17,71 in framed

Ed. 3 + 1 AP

Baffi

(Pantheon)

2020

print on Hahnemühle Ultrasmooth Paper

30 x 40 cm | 11,81 x 15,78 inch

35 x 45 cm| 13,77 x 17,71 in framed

Ed. 3 + 1 AP

Tazza

(Ponte Fabricio)

2020

print on Hahnemühle Ultrasmooth Paper

30 x 40 cm | 11,81 x 15,78 inch

35 x 45 cm| 13,77 x 17,71 inch framed

Ed. 3 + 1 AP


El Avion

2011

metal structure, fiber glass, plasma screen

100 x 110 x 14 cm | 39,3 x 43,3 x 5,5 inch

Ed. 5 + 2 AP

Photo Emmanuelle Sion



Photo Alicia Luxem


Silver Boat

2019

stainless steel

140,5 x 52,5 x 18,5 cm

55,31 x 20,66 x 7,28 inch

Ed. 5