The Berlin-based collective, Artists Anonymous will be the the first to exhibit at the launch of the Berloni Gallery (formerly EB&Flow) in Fitzrovia. Berloni has taken over the highly regarded Margaret Street Gallery, noted for their cutting edge photography exhibitions. This is a hard act to follow, however the choice of Artists Anonymous for an opener, will ensure that Berloni is off to a good start, in terms of curation.
AA, which is based between London and Berlin, will take over the entirety of the new three-story, Margaret Street space with a surreal distortion of its interiors.
On entering the building, visitors will find themselves in an arboretum, with real trees and turf in a room whose walls are nevertheless lined with Victorian wallpaper. An unnatural ecosystem is at work here: we are in Artists Anonymous’ world of inversion and opposites, contradiction and play.
Downstairs in the basement, as though we’ve fallen down Alice in Wonderland’s rabbit hole, the sound of dripping water reminds us of the garden above, but now we are somewhere completely other. Here, between the floorboards and the foliage, we come across a visual assault course of mixed-media that questions every aspect of how we see. A key motif of Artists Anonymous’ work, the after-image is the optical illusion that continues to appear in one’s vision after one has closed one’s eyes. Images and after-images will appear throughout the installation, but will only come into focus from certain viewpoints.
Robin Mann, Director of Berloni, says: “The installation is an example of Artists Anonymous’ ongoing game of inversions and illusion with the viewer, where commonplace expectations implode from the inside out and back again”.
The juxtaposition of painted and actual surfaces, the effortless flickering between genres and periods of art history and the endless questioning of positives and negatives all contribute to the labyrinthine effect of entering Artists Anonymous’ world.
Artists Anonymous are an art group based in Berlin and London. They were founded in 2001, at Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) during the classes of Georg Baselitz and Stan Douglas. They finished studying 2006, when Douglas was forced to leave the UdK. Since 2005 they have been showing in different international Galleries such as Sommer Contemporary Art, TelaViv, Christian Ehrentraut, Berlin, Goff+Rosenthal, Berlin/NY. 2006 one of the big dyptichons from the series “Apocalyptic Warriors” was bought by Charles Saatchi. 2007 instead of collaborating with Art Galleries, they converted an old garage space in London, Vynerstreet to a showroom and ran their own gallery (AA Galleries) during this time several of their works were sold to the Deutsche Bank Collection. By the end of 2007 the opening of their second space in Berlin, Heidestrasse, followed, where one big installation (the gunslinger and other true stories) was exhibited.