Nos Voyages Immobiles
April 9 – May 16, 2015
529 West 20th Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY
Skoto Gallery is proud to present Nos Voyages Immobiles, an exhibition of mixed media work by the artist Pefura. Born 1967 in Paris of Cameroonian parents, Pefura is an architect by training and an artist by profession whose primary focus over the last two decades are painting and conceptual installation. This is the artist’s third solo show at the gallery.
Pefura’s recent work continues to expand on the relationship between the body and the nature of spaces, the contrast between large collective spaces and individual compartmentalized spaces as well as notions of space as a set of destinations in which people moved between, more or less continuously. His work indicts the social and political reality around him, a reality shaped by his perspective as a leading African artist of his generation and fierce critic of mass relocation within the context of urban renewal projects in Paris, his city of birth during the years after WW II. The renowned French architect and theorist Le Corbusier (1887-1965), whose social ideas and structural design theories in urban planning had a lasting and profound influence across the globe was the forefather of the Modernist architectural style and led the International Congress of Modern Architecture in its quest for idealistic notions of social improvement in society. His utopian vision for low income housing in an industrial age has largely influenced the design of large public housing on the outskirt of Paris and seen by some as having had the effect of isolating poor communities in monolithic high-rises and breaking the social ties integral to a community's development.
Pefura’s work seeks to find an alternative aesthetics and discursive framework that is poetic, penetrative, forthright and at times humorous with distinctive visual and spatial languages. His mixed work challenges the demands of industry and the abiding concerns of architectural forms while embracing an emerging global culture that encourages us to observe, reflect and explore the urban fabrication around us as a projection of psychological space that is continuously unfolding. A dialogue of spatial tensions, of unpredictable movement, symbolic and even personal resonance evocative of memory of spaces being shared, memory of spaces being crossed as well as places that become a part of our personal luggage exists in his work. For the artist, the process of recording and translating everyday experience through his art is a spiritual act through which to study the past and envision the future.
Pefura obtained his diploma in Architecture from Ecole d’Architecture, Paris-Tolbiac in 1999 and has actively practiced as an artist since the early 1990s. . He has received numerous awards including 1999 Cite Internationale des arts, Paris and La Source – Atelier V, Gueroulde, France. A widely exhibited artist, his work is included in the travelling exhibition The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Hell, Purgatory revisited by Contemporary African Artists, curated by Simon Njami on view April 8 through August 2, 2015 at the National Museum for African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. He in several collections including the Conseil General de l’Eure, France; Fundaçao Sindika Dokolo, Luanda, Angola; Fondation Guerlain, Paris, lettera27 Foundation, Milan, Italy and the National Museum for African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. He presently divides his time between Milan, Italy and Paris, France.