Galerie DUMONTEIL Shanghai is pleased to present “Synthesis”, Ugo Schildge’s second solo exhibition with the gallery, featuring 24 artworks that showcase Schildge’s most recent development on his mixed-media pictorial creations. Combined with a reflection on social reality, the artist initiated a multi-chapter cycle started with “Pollen” in Shanghai in 2018, “Nectar” in NYC in 2019, “Essence” in Paris in 2020, and now the loop closes and anticipates the “Synthesis” of his artistic research around the balance of nature.
Using the forest fire as a major vehicle, the exhibition highlights the paradox in natural phenomenons, philosophical reflections as well as the artist’s practice. The fire ravages, destroys and devours the environment and its inhabitants with great violence, yet it is also an integral part of the forest ecosystem. Long-interval, low-intensity wildfires allow the forest to breathe; it fertilizes the soil and eliminates weeds and animal parasites.
Based on a similar contradiction, Schildge contrasts the raw materials of construction sites — concrete, plaster, and wood — with generally delicate, fragile, ephemeral, or incandescent subjects. This same concrete, the accomplice of modern urbanism that hinders nature, is used to create a flower, a bird, or a tree. Just as the forest fires opened a new chapter in the ecology of the forest, Schildge's creations bring colorful and diverse forms to materials that we perceive as monotonous, rigid, or cold, sending us messages from nature.
The forest has long been a repository of life and an essential source of aesthetic inspiration for human beings. In the face of nature, humans have always been self-centered. Nevertheless, the relationship between humans and the environment has never been about dominating and being dominated. Schildge's works, most of which are 2 meters high, depict life stories through the first perspective, allowing us to look beyond the digital images and see our actual position.
To this series on fires, a few “Water Lilies” are added as a soothing conclusion. Water is, therefore, the answer to fire, restoring the equilibrium dear to the artist. Through this exhibition, Ugo Schildge gives us a "Synthesis" of the multi-faceted nature. He assumes a non-demanding ecological posture and confronts us with the deterioration of our ecosystem.