Anthony Lister Confronts Picasso At Urban Spree in Berlin

After three weeks of willfully thoughtful sprawling scrawling figural historical allegorical and emotional channeling, the cannon spray of creative expression that is Lister smashed across canvasses, sculpture, media art, and the highest profile wall in the crumbling Urban Spree compound.

Anthony Lister. Urban Spree. Berlin. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Australian Street Artist/fine artist completed his residency in his own tumultuous style – and took it seriously; perhaps because he posits an action-packed new confrontation with cubism that lurches at the master, and perhaps because director Pascal Feucher has the scholarly depth and street/graffiti/urban art cred to organize an environment that contains and liberates simultaneously.

Education and experience may prepare you to contemplate Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” and “Guernica” re-addressed, but Lister brings additional friends to the party with raging erections, water ballooned bosoms, superhero costumery, Damian Hirst’s shark and of course a pregnant aboriginal transwoman playing a didgeridoo fashioned from Coca-Cola cans.

As you do.

Anthony Lister. Urban Spree. Berlin. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The surreal is an open manifestation, a lense to view the struggles and signifiers that pilot this vessel, whether it slides smoothly ashore or breaks apart on cubist jetties. No matter the angle it’s an exciting violently smashing sensual ride ripe with skullduggery, masquerade and skewed perspective.

While the early 20th century movements of cubism and surrealism have been present in his work previously, these direct references to Picasso have come to fore with force only recently, even since his New York solo show at Allouche this spring, which is a more classical “Pop” Lister with some urban references, says Feucher.

Anthony Lister. Urban Spree. Berlin. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“There is a clear transition in the last six months, and maybe this exhibition shows it for the first time, between his traditional presentation of superheroes and ballerinas and references to pop art to something that references more either idols of contemporary Art or classic painters in masters of the 20th century,” he says as we walk through this spare open gallery planted inside an urban playground for graffiti writers, rock climbers, pyromania displays, beer stein swigging and late night chain-link fence pissing.

“The need to confront oneself with Picasso is something that a lot of painters do – because you have to, I guess, strangle the master. So it has to be the right time for that. You don’t show paintings of you referencing Picasso that clearly if you’re not super confident about achieving something,” say Feucher.  “And I think he did something very important and it is very strong fight – and somehow out of the Street Art universe. There’s no self-reference here that leads into street art and that is maybe a good step forward for him as a painter.”

Anthony Lister. Urban Spree. Berlin. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Based on the numerous rawly stylized “Lister” tags on the street we witnessed over the last few days in Berlin, he’s not abandoning the street just yet. But borrowing a fire extinguisher from the 1UP crew to tag across his own works in this temporary studio and stepping across/upon multiple works spread on the floor – it’s definitely a hybrid of practices and references that coalesce.

The artist himself at times prefers the costume and the character, perhaps a clever subterfuge that protects his privacy from prying invasions, or annoying distraction. In the end as always, the work speaks for itself and these newest works are heralding a street hero fusion future we’re excited to witness as it permutates in the mind of Mr. Lister.

Anthony Lister. Urban Spree. Berlin. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anthony Lister. Urban Spree. Berlin. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anthony Lister. Urban Spree. Berlin. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anthony Lister. Urban Spree. Berlin. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anthony Lister. Urban Spree. Berlin. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anthony Lister. Urban Spree. Berlin. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anthony Lister. Urban Spree. Berlin. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anthony Lister. Urban Spree. Berlin. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anthony Lister. Urban Spree. Berlin. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 


Anthony Lister’s “Sneaky But In” at Urban Spree Gallery  in Berlin is open to the public until October 20, 2018. Click HERE for more information about this exhibition.

 

 

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