'The Uncanny' by Adeline de Monseignat and Berndnaut Smilde at Ronchini Gallery, London

The Uncanny
Mayfair's Ronchini Gallery presents 'The Uncanny', featuring the work of young artists Adeline de Monseignat and Berndnaut Smilde and curated by James Putman
(Image credit: Ronchini Gallery )

Jeepers creepers! Ronchini Gallery (opens in new tab) in London opens the year with ‘The Uncanny (opens in new tab)’, where curator James Putman tapped emerging artists Adeline de Monseignat (opens in new tab) and Berndnaut Smilde (opens in new tab) for the spine-tingling, hair-raising exhibition.

The artists, based in London and Amsterdam respectively, turned to Sigmund Freud (opens in new tab)’s seminal essay of the same name for inspiration. The enfant terrible of psychoanalysis pioneered the uncanny as a conflicting sense of familiarity and foreignness felt at the same time. To that end, the Dutch artists have quite appropriately taken wildly differing approaches in their examination of the Freudian concept.

De Monseignat’s works with tactile, organic materials like fur to create installations that explore the illusive fugue between life and death. Her vexing ‘creaptures’ (creatures-cum-sculptures) encased in flawless glass orbs are seemingly trapped in limbo at first. Upon an admittedly trepid approach to the objects for closer inspection, it becomes apparent they subtly expand and contract, in an eerie manner that alludes to a slow, dying breath.

Smilde centers his practice on the ephemeral and is known for his otherworldly photographs of ‘real’ clouds theatrically suspended in grand, empty rooms. What is notably unique to this show however, is his interesting application of aerogel over architectural models. Also known as frozen smoke, it consists of 99.8% air and is the lightest solid material on earth.

While undisputedly striking in their subject matter and glossy execution, the artworks ultimately failed to contribute anything new to the Surrealist vocabulary. These young guns have a promising future ahead, but for now the show provoked a sense of unease as fleeting as Smilde’s clouds.

The artists turned to Sigmund Freud seminal namesake essay for inspiration

The artists turned to Sigmund Freud seminal namesake essay for inspiration which explores the concept of a jarring sense of strange familiarity

(Image credit: Ronchini Gallery )

Nimbus Cukurcuma Hamam II

'Nimbus Cukurcuma Hamam II', by Berndnaut Smilde, 2012

(Image credit: Ronchini Gallery )

Nimbus Munnekeholm

'Nimbus Munnekeholm', by Berndnaut Smilde, 2012

(Image credit: Ronchini Gallery )

Hairy Eye Ball

'Hairy Eye Ball', by Adeline de Monseignat, 2011

(Image credit: Ronchini Gallery )

Tantal Eyes

'Tantal Eyes', by Adeline de Monseignat, 2012

(Image credit: Ronchini Gallery )

Traces of Life III

'Traces of Life III', by Adeline de Monseignat, 2011

(Image credit: Ronchini Gallery )

Nimbus NP3

'Nimbus NP3', by Berndnaut Smilde, 2012

(Image credit: Ronchini Gallery )

Nimbus NP3

'Nimbus Platform57', by Berndnaut Smilde, 2012

(Image credit: Ronchini Gallery )

Nimbus D'Aspremont

'Nimbus D'Aspremont', by Berndnaut Smilde, 2012

(Image credit: Ronchini Gallery )

De Monseignat’s works with tactile

De Monseignat’s works with tactile, organic materials like fur to create her ‘creaptures’ while Smilde uses a fog machine to create temporary clouds in empty

(Image credit: TBC)

De Monseignat's eerie sculptural interprations

Also on show were De Monseignat's eerie sculptural interprations of newborns (far left). Made of glass, she coats them in mirroring chemicals, basing their size and form on data submitted to her by real-life mothers of their babies

(Image credit: Ronchini Gallery )

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