Ronchini Gallery London presents The Uncanny

The Uncanny

Featuring works by Adeline de Monseignat and Berndnaut Smilde

Curated by James Putnam

Opening 16 January 2013

Ronchini Gallery London presents The Uncanny featuring new works by two young artists, Adeline de Monseignat and Berndnaut Smilde, curated by James Putnam from 16 January – 16 February 2013. The Uncanny draws on each artist’s relationship with their materials and the ways in which they create a sense of unease for the viewer by using the familiar out of context.

The exhibition’s theme is partly inspired by Sigmund Freud’s celebrated 1919 essay of the same title. Based on the notion that the strange could not exist without the non-strange, Freud’s study pioneered the distinctive nature of the uncanny as a feeling of something not simply weird or mysterious but, more specifically, as something strangely familiar. Freud’s concept of the uncanny and his interpretation of dreams had a significant influence on the Surrealist movement and their depiction of the unnatural and strange.

Dutch-Monegasque artist de Monseignat creates sculptures and installations from organic and tactile materials such as fur, a material suspended between life and death, often encased in glass. Her works have an uncertainty as to whether they are animate or inanimate objects. She refers to her creations as ‘creaptures’ as they are somewhere in between creatures and sculptures. Her kinetic works aim to create a sense of life through movement and mimic a slow breath. The creaptures thus hold a sense of presence and their tactile qualities elicit in the spectator an unfulfilled desire to touch them.

Dutch artist, Berndnaut Smilde produces striking images of ‘real’ Nimbus clouds suspended within empty rooms. Using a fog machine, he carefully adjusts the temperature and humidity to produce clouds just long enough to be photographed. There is a unique ephemeral aspect to the work where the photograph captures a very brief moment before the cloud dissipates and disappears again as mysteriously as it was formed. His choice of lighting and viewing aspect enables him to create a representation of the cloud’s physicality. Smilde’s work looks at transience and challenges the physicality of space.

 About the artists

Adeline de Monseignat (b. 1987, Monaco) lives and works in London. She was awarded the Catlin Art Prize, Visitor Vote Prize (2012) and was long listed for The Threadneedle Prize (2012). She studied at Slade School of Fine Art, Parsons The New School, New York and City & Guilds of London Art School.

Berndnaut Smilde (b. 1978, Groningen) lives and works in Amsterdam. Smilde’s work has been exhibited at Out of Focus, Saatchi Gallery, London (2012) and Red Sky at Night, Mercer Union, Toronto (2012). Smilde holds an MA from the Frank Mohr Institute, Groningen. Awards include a starter stipend from The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture. He was a resident artist at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin in 2008.

 About the Curator

James Putnam is an independent curator and writer based in London. He founded and was curator of the British Museum’s Contemporary Arts and Cultures Programme from 1999 to 2003. He was also a former curator of the British Museum’s Department of Egyptian Antiquities. He has organized a number of critically acclaimed exhibitions for major museums juxtaposing the work of contemporary artists with their collections. Recently he was a curator for the 2010 Busan Biennale in South Korea, and the collateral events ”Distortion” and “Library” at the 53rd Venice Biennale. His book Art and Artifact: The Museum as Medium, published by Thames & Hudson, surveys the interaction between contemporary artists and the museum. He was Visiting Scholar in Museum Studies at New York University and currently lectures in Curatorial Studies at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London.

 About Ronchini Gallery

Ronchini Gallery is a contemporary art gallery founded by Lorenzo Ronchini in 1992, in Umbria, Italy, which expanded in February 2012 with a space in Mayfair, London. Its exhibitions have explored pioneering movements within Italy; the gallery aesthetic is defined by Minimalism, Spatialism, Conceptualism and Arte Povera and it retains an unblinking future-focus on progressive movements. Ronchini Gallery evolved from 20 years of private collecting. Paterfamilias Adriano Ronchini was an early supporter of artists such as Alighiero Boetti, Daniel Buren, Joseph Kosuth, Frank Stella and Michelangelo Pistoletto and collected their work throughout the seventies. Subscribing to the highest standards of curatorship and scholarship, the gallery provides a rigorous context in which its artists can be viewed. Ronchini Gallery also maintains a successful publishing arm which produces exhibition catalogues, monographs, critical texts and artist’s books.

Exhibition Facts: The Uncanny: Adeline de Monseignat and Berndnaut Smilde

Exhibition Dates: 16 January – 16 February 2013

Opening Reception: 15 January 2012

Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 10am–6pm, Saturday 10am – 5pm

Location: 22 Dering Street, London, W1S 1AN

Tel: +44 (0) 207 629 9188 Website:

For press information and images please contact:

Sophie da Gama Campos or Toby Kidd at Pelham Communications

Tel: +44 (0) 208 969 3959 Email: or



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