Friedman Benda is pleased to announce Don’t Wake the Snake, Los Angeles based Swiss artist Carmen D’Apollonio’s first solo exhibition. Self-taught in the ceramics discipline, D’Apollonio’s Don’t Wake the Snake is a culmination of the 7 year development of her studio practice.
Through this exhibition, D’Apollonio investigates the spectrum from abstraction to figuration—realizing intuitive renditions of familiar objects and human forms. “Each lamp becomes its own character and seems like a little human. I never know what’s going to happen. One piece leads to another piece and there is no control. I just go with the flow,” she explains. Comprised of subtle gestures and expressions, every work is suggestive of an inner landscape to which D’Apollonio imparts its own personality and unique point of view. The result is an evolving cast of characters of her own creation.
With a playful sense of humor, she blends diverse influences from the modern art history canon, ancient archaeological artifacts and her observations from daily life. Marking the public debut of her recent explorations in bronze as a medium, D’Apollonio continues to find new ways to communicate through materiality with relentless energy and improvisation. Don’t Wake the Snake maps a constellation of illuminated sculptures, various vessels and object typologies, including ambitious multi-functional hybrid forms from D’Apollonio’s unique universe.
About Carmen D'Apollonio
Carmen D’Apollonio investigates the entire spectrum from abstraction to figuration through her practice. Self-taught in the ceramics discipline, D’Apollonio’s approach to her acclaimed sculptural lighting and vessels celebrates the fusion of craftsmanship with functionality. “My work is simple; it often gives way to humor. As if clay had its way of being, its own personality,” she explains.
Born in Switzerland in 1973, D’Apollonio previously worked as an art director for short films and commercials in the mid-nineties. In 1996, she began working with the artist Urs Fischer, and assisting him for over a decade. In 2006, she founded the fashion brand Ikou Tschuss (ikou means “let’s go” in Japanese and tschüss is “bye-bye” in Swiss German), which combined modern textiles with traditional artistry. D’Apollonio established her own studio in Los Angeles in 2014.
D’Apollonio’s process begins with sketching, which she then translates into clay—evolving the three-dimensional form as she goes. Her titles such as I Wish You Were Beautiful (2019) or Here Comes the Light (2019) range from the comic to the plaintive and offer narrative fragments entirely in tune with their suggestive, open-ended compositions.
She lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.