There is a close connection between breathing, freedom, and movement when I work. Drawing a one- metre-long line on a wall on a five-meter-high ladder, I get the same feeling as when I play a backhand on the court. My paintings show square or rectangular forms linked through perpendicular and parallel lines. For me, the shapes are also connected to devices and to how we constantly interact with all these screens on mobile phones et cetera. In my big chaos of lines, I like to open these windows that are focal points for the eyes and allow me to introduce emotions through colour. Laurent Ajina
Painting and tennis – two great passions that French artist Laurent Ajina shares with art dealer Alexander Giese. They are now combined in an extraordinary exhibition titled “Grand Slam” in the recently expanded exhibition space of Giese und Schweiger.
In cooperation with Galerie Crone (Vienna/Berlin) a body of works on the theme of tennis especially created for this show will be shown alongside the Erste Bank Open tennis tournament.
Ajina’s long-standing enthusiasm for this sport has increasingly found its way into his works in recent years, where it reveals itself in a subtle way.
His paintings, composed from intricate linear structures and colour surfaces, are not illustrative, but refer to real surroundings: the four venues of the Grand Slam tournament.
Ajina translates the different colours, surface textures, design elements and general atmosphere of the tennis courts into his individual visual language.
The lagoon-like deep blue of the Australian Open in Melbourne, the fiery orange of Roland Garros in Paris, the garden green of Wimbledon in London and the green and blue, tinted golden by the night lighting, of the US Open in New York formed the starting point of his artistic exploration.
The four 200 x 200 cm Grand Slam paintings are each complemented by a corresponding small-format work. The show is completed by a 300 x 200 cm painting inspired by the Erste Bank Open, which takes the characteristic grey-blue of the court in the Vienna Stadthalle as its starting point and occupies the front of the exhibition space.
The surroundings are also all about tennis:from the ball-throwing machine that sends branded tennis balls through the air to the lines on the floor, we are making sure to create an atmosphere that will delight tennis and art fans alike.
In addition to the exhibition, Laurent Ajina will be creating individualized posters for all players of the Erste Bank Open in our VIP Suite at the Stadthalle on 25 October 2021, the first day of the tournament.
Born in 1970 in Paris, Ajina firsts studied at La Seine University of Architecture in Paris before dedicating himself entirely to the visual arts.
Ajina’s works have been shown in numerous international solo exhibitions in Paris, Berlin and New York. Since 2006, he has created over fifty monumental wall drawings in both public and private spaces.
Strongly inspired by his urban environment, Ajina has developed a vocabulary over the course of his career based on abstract lines, networks and rhythmical systems executed with a black marker. The resulting drawings are at the core of his artistic practice and serve as a structural grid for the construction of his works either on canvas, cardboards or directly on the walls.
Site-specific by its nature, Laurent Ajina’s practice unfolds in the form of large murals of rhizomatic lines created in public or private spaces.
Borrowing equally from cave painting, digital tracing and cartography, his line, drawn with marker or charcoal, is oriented to the medium and the space in which it exists. In the course of the last years, colour was introducedinto Ajina’s paintings, coming to full fruition in the paintings of the "Grand Slam" exhibition. Ajina lives and works between Vienna, Paris and Los Angeles.
GIESE & SCHWEIGER is a Vienna based art dealer founded in 1980, first address for 19th and 20th century Austrian painting.
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Dr. Alexander Giese
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