Max Jansons and Ettore Sottsass La Dolce Vita, Lefebvre et Fils Paris opens April 4th 2018

Lilac, 18x16, oil on linen
0I Sottsass Cléopâtre 01
0I Sottsass laure 000
0I Sottsass Sybilla01

La Dolce Vita –  a two person exhibition at Lefebvre et Fils,  brings together the paintings of Los Angeles based artist Max Jansons and the ceramics of Ettore Sottsass, a renowned architect, artist and designer of Italian and Austrian descent who died in 2007. Two artists deeply invested in the dynamic relationships between shape, form and color  and generating emotionally potent work that comes from a deep investment in their craft.

Between 1994 and 1996 Ettore Sottsass created  a series of fourteen exclusive vases produced by the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres,  Each  vessel was named after a famous female siren – some really existed like the Empress Josephine and Cleopatra Messaline,  others are heroines of literature like Esmeralda, the heroine of Victor Hugo’s Notre Dame de Paris, or mythology  like the goddess of the Hunt Diana. The collection was exhibited in 1994 during his retrospective at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Max Jansons whose paintings, at first glance,  place a premium on pleasure and sensorial  stimulation, use classic painting tropes, like portraiture, abstraction or a still life. In Jansons’ flower paintings for example – the viewer is seduced up close and inward  by the blooms  – like bees to honey, but all too suddenly the eye is circling  in and out of carved, painted space and engaging with the rich language and history of painting.   A vase, elegant and pared down under  Sottsass’ eye becomes a  meditation of the female form, but under Jansons’ guidance may become an abstraction, which disobeys all rules, as a blossom rotates like a Frank Stella arc, or a triangle  simultaneously becomes a nod to Ellsworth Kelly and a sailboat on the Pacific Ocean.

For Jansons and Sottsass, each frond or curve, affords the artist a colorful playground, and opportunity to embellish, decode, and reveal it’s own logic and sense of space –  both are united in transforming the way a viewer sees and observes the world around them.  La Dolce  Vita, combines paintings and ceramics to provide a slow, studied, and sensual reprieve – in an age of speed and disposable images.

This exhibition is in collaboration with  Lefebvre et Fils which continues on May 12th in Los Angeles at  Five Car Garage, combining ceramics and painting  with two female artists: sculptor Anabel Juarez from Lefebvre et Fils and minimalist painter Lies Kraal.