Monumental Gravity 1 @ Alliance Française d'Ahmedabad, India

This year has started with a huge Gravity artwork called "Monumental Gravity 1"

Gaël de Kerguenec, the director of Alliance Française d'Ahmedabad, in Ahmedabad, India invited me for this fantastic project:

The artwork is 6 meter wide and 8 meter high.

I painted several days and nights on the roof top of the Alliance building to create the base layer of many beautiful greens.

Finally this first layer was finished and we moved the canvas to the 4th floor terrace to create the last layer - the Gravity part.

This layer is the most difficult part of the artwork because it needs to be painted in a few hours. Gujarat, the province where I did the artwork is very dry and therefore the colors dry very quickly.

I had prepared several buckets of Orange, Yellows and Reds as well as White to paint this part. Space was limited on the small 4th floor terrace which made the process even more difficult. Luckily I had great assistants who helped me stretch the canvas, deliver color buckets and clean my painting knifes in quick intervals.

As soon as the Gravity layer was ready, four assistants and I heaved the artwork up to let the color flow with Gravity. Since the humidity of the air was so low, the flow created a very interesting texture of hills and valleys.

The artwork needed to stay in this position for a full two days to completely dry - in a more humid area it would take up to one week.

Finally it was time to hang it onto the facade of the building. To make this process more interesting and challenging, the technical team of Alliance Française d'Ahmedabad decided to use a facade climber instead of a high ladder.

Unfortunately the wind was too strong for the wire work of the facade climber and two days later, I took it onto me to climb up the ladder and to attach the artwork properly.

Not only kids and adults from all walks of life but also dogs, monkeys and even eagles came to see the work.

The official inauguration of the artwork was set for March 2nd 2019 in presence of Mr. Othmar Hardegger, Consul General of Switzerland in Mumbai. Inside the building of Alliance Française d'Ahmedabad, 50 artworks from Gravity India and Gravity France series were displayed on various locations.

Among them the 5 trial works for the "Monumental Gravity 1":

Below some of my favorite artworks from the exhibition "Link France and India by Gravity":

"Prière d'un ange" and "Ascension de la tour Eiffel"

"Notre-Dame de Paris" and "Lumières d'intérieur"

"Farniente sur l'eau a St.Barth" and "Les ballons d'espérance"

Like with all works from the country Gravity series, all photographs were taken by myself. The French ones between 2009 and 2018 and the Indian ones during my stay in Gujarat.

The Alliance Française organized a game for it's students which consisted in finding a selection of 20 artworks and writing down their French names without mistakes - a difficult task that only few managed to achieve. The winners got a reduction on their next studies as well as postcard sets of my art.

Opening with Mr. Othmar Hardegger, Consul General of Switzerland in Mumbai, his wife Mrs Yvonne Hardegger, me - artist Antonio Wehrli, Gaël de Kerguenec, director of Alliance Française d'Ahmedabad and Pavan Bakeri, President of Alliance Française d'Ahmedabad.

To make the stay in India a complete success, director Gaël de Kerguenec organized my Solo Exhibition at the City Museum Ahmedabad, Sanskar Kendra, a world heritage site designed by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier.

The museum is in dire need of renovation, but the main exhibition hall has still its beauty with various sized floor tiles, semi-open staircase and high columns.

Flying wishes from India!

Antonio

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