So for Week 6, there were several activities to go to London and view galleries of a specific ‘category’. We wrote down the ones that were listed on the pages that we got about the activities during Week 6, and went on adventure. This post will also be a little different; First will be my notes, (my thoughts and feelings that I noted down in my sketchbook during the time in London), and then will be the notes and information that were on handouts within the majority of the galleries. All photos are my own EXCEPT the unknown gallery of where we were not allowed to take any. Sources are will those photos.
The map (above) shocked us as we didn’t realise there were even any galleries in this area of London, let alone the high number of galleries that there were!
Above: the notes I made during the day. Apparently they’re an artwork in themselves.
Virgo Gallery, W1S 1AL
Smouldering iron on canvas? Thought it was black paint at first. Very random yet controlled. Marbled effect. Chalk/marble pieces also – slightly coloured, also comes off on your fingers. Bucket? Due to imprints.
The gouges made by the razor’s scraping, the persistent brush strokes emerging with their topographies, the canvas sanded to its grain… A piece painted once again and stopped before being undone, paused before crashing, and likewise a piece scraped once again but not primed away – bones with rotted flesh not yet baked by the sun… A painting that emerged unscathed, one that I couldn’t bring myself to undo, with a solitary hero, my avatar, contemplating the sunset, life, the sublime, Willow in Majula… Showing the different stages of these paintings exposes their histories, expands and presents the ritual of their making. Please, pause with me to take in these moments that I’ve been quietly enjoying for years, and that I’m now sharing so the paintings can be better understood.
Can you feel my touch, my negations? These paintings are more open, more tangibly what they are, how they are made. I’ve shifted their making – each new layer of color is now an entirely new painting, just as the starting place for each work is a painting. After I’ve undone the original painting with razor blade, primer, and sander, I paint on that surface with oils. Within that space I simply paint, whatever I want, free from the pressures of Painting. These works pile up around the studio, Comments and thoughts wash over them, joys emanate from them. As the paintings dry they come in and out of view wile I work on other things. Eventually they fall apart before my eyes. The urgency of their making fades. The excitement hollows out.
Fail. Undo. Start over. Try again. Repeat until satisfied. The work is a residue of unsuccessful attempts. It is the inadequacy of almost everything I paint, and the desire to keep painting despite that dissatisfaction. Maybe those paintings weren’t so bad, but they’re gone regardless, with only traces left behind. A bit of colour, the topography of a brush stroke, a series of holes in a tough to remove spot. Nothing is fully forgotten. What remains are strange ghosts and echoes…
Kadar Brock October 2016
Kadar Brock (b. 1980) is a graduate of the Cooper Union School of Art. He has exhibited internationally, with solo shows at Virgo Gallery / London, Gallery Diet / Miami, Thierry Goldberg / NYC, Almine Rech / Brussles and The Hole / NYC as well as group shows at Praz-Delavallade / Paris, Brand New Gallery / Milan, Saamlung / Hong Kong, Horton Gallery / Berlin, and Sperone Westwater / NYC. This is Brock’s fourth solo show with the gallery.
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Pieces in this show;
- demitcwdemibademipcsp, 2016. Oil, acrylic, flashe, house paint and spray paint on canvas. 182.88 x 152.4 cm. 72 x 60 inches. (V02747) $20,000.00
- Williow in Majula, 2016. Oil, acrylic, flashe, spray paint and house paint on canvas. 182.88 x 152.4 cm. 72 x 60 inches. (V02748) $20,000.00
- demivfv4, 2016. Oil, acrylic, house paint, and spray paint on canvas. 182.9 x 152.4 cm. 72 x 60 inches. (V02729) $20,000.00
- bademiyd, 2016. Oil, acrylic, flashe house paint, and spray paint on canvas. 182.88 x 121.92 cm. 72 x 48 inches. (V02744) $18,000.00
- demisdhcdemittsdemibwmfs, 2016. Oil, acrylic, flashe, house paint, and spray paint on canvas. 182.88 x 121.92 cm. 72 x 48 cm. (V02745) $18,000.00
- bademiasf, 2016. Oil, acrylic, flashe house paint, and spray paint on canvas. 182.88 x 121.92 cm. 72 x 48 inches (V02743) $18,000.00
- demivademipvdemisl(f), 2016. Oil, acrylic, flashe, spray paint, and house paint on canvas. 182.88 x 121.92 cm. 72 x 48 inches. (V02746) $18,000.00
- mystic reagents xvi, 2015. Aqua-resin, polyiso foam, fiberglass, oil paint, spray paint, pulverized paintings, aluminium. 73.7 x 53.3 x 5.1 cm. 29 x 21 x 2 inches. (V02726) $8,000.00
Hauser and Wirth, W1S 2ET, www.hauserwirth.info
Very dark gallery – things are specifically lit up. Very precise sand sculpture – blue and illuminated by blue light hanging down from ceiling. Separated. Reminds me of 2 out of 3 pyramids. Tops have been slightly distorted. Larger pieces of fabric makes it even more inclusive. Lines – all about lines. Drawings are plans for a sculpture? Sculpture room size – wire? White noise type of noise supposed to be there? Purpose? Adds kind of an eery feel.Optical illusion with the way in which the light and the string/wire works together.
Hauser & Wirth London
23 September – 19 November 2016
Opening: Thursday 22 September 2016, 6 – 8 pm
Hauser & Wirth is pleased to present an exhibition of work by Lygia Pape, the celebrated Brazilian artist central to the Neo-Concrete movement who pioneered a unique approach to abstraction. This show will focus on Pape’s early Desenhos, Tecelares and later, iconic Ttéia installations and marks the gallery’s first presentation of the artist since beginning work with Projeto Lygia Pape earlier this year.
Initially inspired by the formal geometric abstraction of Concrete art, which emerged in Brazil in the early 1950’s, Pape started out by making geometric constructions. She later tired of the severity of this prescriptive art form and moed beyond its constraints, becoming a founding member of the Neo-Concrete movement dedicated to the inclusion of art into everyday life. Pape broke away from preconceived artistic categories, and from the 1960s onwards sought to inject new expressive formulae into abstract art. The works in the exhibition span over 30 years, mapping the way in which Pape developed Concrete art’s geometric shapes into three-dimensional objects designed to transfigure in the presence of the viewer and be experienced sensorially.
In her early Desenhos, Pape’s geometric black shapes are reminiscent of musical staves – the lines, cuts, grids and ruptures are suggestive of compositions and variations, intersected by voids, which indicate moments of silence. For Pape, the positive marks and negative spaces were of equal importance in an interpretation of the work. They typify Brazilian geometric abstraction, characterised by an expressive quality and implying the engagement of the viewer in a reading of the work.
From early experimentations with printmaking, Pape developed her Tecelares principally between 1955 and 1959. These works reinterpreted the process of woodcut, casting aside the notion of the ‘multiple’ and creating individual works with an emphasis on the power of expression as opposed to premeditated modes of production. She created a harmony between the geometry of her forms on the paper and the natural grain of her wooden implements, exploiting the texture of the wood to explore the relationship between reason and nature; forging unity between artistic mechanism and the material’s own expressiveness. Guided by intuition alone, the relationship of her shapes is controlled by what Pape termed, ‘magnetisation’. ‘Magnetised space’ is the energy that emanates between forms and shapes when they are brought together in an artwork. When a person then encounters the work – wither by physically moving it around, or by engaging with it emotionally – they add another dimension to this relationship, creating a new kind of ‘mangetism’. Pape’s mirroring, doubling and negative space interplay to active the surfaces of her Teclares. In these pioneering experimentations with woodcut, Pape divorces the medium from its associations with folk art, political propaganda and figuration.
Begun as interventions at Parque Lage in 1978 and 1979 for an experiment with her students, Pape’s Ttéias are now amongst her most celebrated works, and seen as most emblematic of her wider artistic practice. Ttéias are constructed by the geometric installation of siler or gold threads in a space, either from the floor to the ceiling or across the corner of a room. The groups of thread that course through space are also staggered, and some actually intersect others, literally weaving though the air. Other groups of threads, through the effect of lighting and tricks of perspective, simply appear to intersect: the installations blend the real and the imaginary, letting the viewer discover the work through movement and inspection. In this etheral series, Pape succeeded in delineating the depth and volume of triangular space to explore spatial relationships with human presence at the centre. They plot volumes and achieve visually powerful and magical effects, charging the space with a sense of the indefinable, the immaterial. Included in the exhibition are the large-scale silver ‘Ttéia 1C’ (1976 / 2002) and ‘Ttéia n.7’ (1991).
‘Ttéia n.7’ comprises two pyramids covered with blue pigment that gently cascades to the floor. Presented in a dark space, the two blue light bulbs hanging directly above are the only source of light. The form of ‘Ttéia n.7′ is atypical of the series, but the concept of weaving still underpins the work – when the blue light concentrated at the pyramids’ summit changes into dust of the same colour. In this Ttéia there are no threads or any other paths visible to the eye, just static shaps, amtter and mutation in the speed of light. ‘Ttéia n.7’ exemplifies what Pape said about the series: ‘They are always in a permanent flux of ransformation.’
About the Artist
Lygia Pape (1927 – 2004) was born in Rio de Janeiro, Braxil. Pape’s experimental practice spanned drawing, sculpture, engraving, installation, choreography, and filmmaking as she moved between mediums to explore geometric form, positive and negative space, the intellectual and physical participation of the spectator, and above all, art’s potential to ignite social change. Many of Pape’s works were created in response to rampant political repression in Brazil in the late 1960s, and reflected the artist’s strongly critical views of the governments social and political hierarchies.
Recent solo exhibitions include the major travelling retrospective ‘Magnetized Space’ at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain (2011); Sperpentine Gallery, London, England (2011), and Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2000). Her work was also included in the 53rd Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy (2009).
Projeto Lygia Pape was founded by the artist before her death in 2004. Today it is led by her daughter, the journalist and photographer Paula Pape, and engineer Ricardo Fortes, who have worked with the artist since 1985 and continue to look after her legacy.
Pieces in this show;
- O Ovo (The Egg), 1967. Super 8 film converted to digital (colour, sound). Duration: 1:35 min.
- Ttéia n.7, 1991. Pyramid, light, pigment, cloth. Dimensions variable.
- Tecelar, 1956. Woodcut print on Japanese paper. Print: 24.1 x 24.1 cm / 9 1/2 x 9 1/2 in. Paper: 44.7 x 32.5 cm / 17 5/8 x 12 3/4 in.
- Tecelar, 1955. Woodcut print on Japanese paper. 42 x 53.5 cm / 16 1/2 x 21 1/8 in.
- Tecelar, 1958. Woodcut print on Japanese paper. Print: 50 x 25 cm / 19 5/8 x 9 7/8 in. Paper: 65.3 x 30.5 cm / 25 3/4 x 12 in.
- Tecelar, 1958. Woodcut print on Japanese paper. 29.7 x 41.9 cm / 11 3/4 x 16 1/2 in.
- Desenho (Drawing), 1961. Ink on Japanese paper. 44.8 x 33 cm / 17 5/8 x 13 in.
- Tecelar, woodcut created in 1956 / Printed in 1957. Woodcut print on Japanese paper. Print: 50 x 50 cm / 19 5/8 x 19 5/8 in. Paper: 65.8 x 89.3 xm / 25 7/8 x 35 1/8 in. (folded to 63.2 cm width.
- Tecelar, 1957. Woodcut print on Japanese paper. Print: 50 x 50 cm / 19 5/8 x 19 5/8 in. Paper: 89.5 x 65.8 cm / 35 1/4 x 25 7/8 in.
- Ttéia 1C, 2001/2016. Silver thread, wood, nails, light. Dimensions variable.
ORDOVAS, W1S 2ER
Artists and Lovers
Very simple, wide open space. Rauschenberg: cars (F) all back to front like it was done with tracing paper. Other (middle) textured – messy. 3rd – letters! A lot of letters with a lot of detail – unseen when far away. Video has no sound. Dance. Expressionist. I can imagine them dancing within the space that I was in.
Artists and Lovers traces a number of the greatest artistic partnerships of the mid-20th century to suggest how love and friendship can shape creative process. The original show has now transferred to Ordovas’ outpost gallery space in New York, a townhouse on the Upper East Side. A smaller presentation of the works by composer John Cage (1912-1992), choreographer Merce Cunningham (1919-1992), and the visual artists Cy Twombly (1928-2011), Jasper Johns (b. 1930) and Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) will remain on public display in London until 16 December 2016.
The artistic and personal relationship between Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly and Jasper Johns, and John Cage and Merce Cunningham, resulted in a number of hugely influential works that each made or collaborated on, in the 1960s, reflecting shared interests and multiple levels of engagement across the disciplines of painting, sculpture, dance and music.
In the spirit of sensory adventure, Cage liberated sound from its customary range and order, as demonstrated in the black and white film that he conceived and recorded in 1965 in collaboration with Merce Cunningham, Variations V. Twombly let his process of marking run free of external considerations of composition, format and theme. His marks in Untitled, executed in 1959, follow each other rather than some external plan.These gestures are like Cage’s sounds, a collection that has grown organically. At work in a related way, Johns broke the semiotic bond between common objects, their graphic signs, and their conventional significations including his black, mixed-media chalk work Alphabets from 1962. This work will be displayed alongside Rauschenberg’s Bryce Baby, executed in 1968.
Artists and Lovers originally opened in Savile Row, London, in mid September 2016, presenting a striking selection of sculpture, painting, photography, dance, music and film. The exhibition aims to bring fresh perspective to intriguing and significant artistic alliances, from well-known couples such as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, to more private artistic pairings, including the long friendship between Joseph Cornell and Yayoi Kusama. Highlights of the exhibition on display in New York from 4 November 2016 – 7 January 2017 include a major Frida Kahlo self-portrait, painted in 1940, and (Silver Square), painted by Jackson Pollock circa 1950, a work that was hung for many years in the New York apartment of Pollock’s wife and fellow Abstract Expressionist, Lee Krasner. Works by Kay Sage and Yves Tanguy; Max Ernst, Leonora Carrington and Dorothea Tanning; Elaine and Willem de Koonig; Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly and Jasper Johns; Merce Cunningham and John Cage and Donald Judd and Lauretta Vinciarelli will also be shown in this free, public exhibition.
Pieces in this show;
- John Cage (1912-1992) and Merce Cunningham (1919-2009), Variations V, black and white film, conceived and recorded in 1965
- Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008), Bryce Baby, solvent transfer, oil and pencil on paper, executed in 1968
- Cy Twombly (1928-2011), Untitled, oil, wax crayon and lead pencil on canvas, executed in 1959
- Jasper Johns (b. 1930), Alphabets, watercolour, chalk, magic marker and litho ink over lithographic proof, executed in 1962
Hauser and Wirth
Wow. But when looking at it, there is a much deeper meaning – China, trapped, imprisonment, no means of escape. Colour and a clash of religions, but they are all intertwined through the sculpture. Mocking? Religions represented by small sculptures, some of which are a little tacky. Coins as offerings?
Mike Kelley Framed and Frame
Organised in collaboration with the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts
Hauser & Wirth London
23 September – 19 November 2016
Opening: Thursday 22 September 2016, 6 – 8 pm
For the gallery’s first UK exhibition devoted to Mike Kelley, Hauser & Wirth London presents a single monumental installation from 1999: ‘Framed and Frame (Miniature Reproduction ‘Chinatown Wishing Well’ Built by Mike Kelley after ‘Miniature Reproduction ‘Seven Star Cavern’ Built by Prof. H.K. Lu’)’. Kelley was fascinated by Middle America’s many diverse and alternative subcultures, and through his work he became both a participant in and commentator on their cultural conventions and constructions. Taking Los Angeles’ marginalised Chinese-American community as its inspiration, ‘Framed and Frame’ explores the conceptual space between real and imagined places. Two photographic diptychs – ‘Colour and Form’ (1999) and ‘Pre and Post’ (1999) – which Kelley viewed as important accompaniments to the installation, are also on display.
‘Framed and Frame’ recreates a local landmark in the Chinatown of downtown LA and consists of two separate sculptures divided by a wall. ‘Framed’ is a ‘wishing well’ in the form of a biomorphic, concrete, grotto-like landscape, covered with spots of spray-painted colour and cheap religious statuary and tossed coins on its ledges and niches. A secret crawlspace complete with a mattress, candles and condoms is revealed at the rear of the well. The adjacent ‘Frame’ is a 9 x 15 foot enclosure compromised of a cyclone fence, faux brick walls and barbed wire, decorated to resemble a Chinese gate. The original wishing well, referred to as the ‘Seven Star Cavern’, has an unclear history. Variously attributed, the wishing well has been modified over the years by locals and visitors. The courtyard and its greenery fell into neglect sometime after the 1960s but it remains a popular tourist attraction.
For Kelley, the wishing well projects the narrative of the Chinese-American community in LA, a story of persecution and exclusion, but also of cultural resilience and exchange. The conflation of Christian and Buddhist votives andChinese-American kitsch illustrates the unique cultural collision that has evolved in the district since 19th century. Writing about ‘Framed and Frame’, Kelley makes reference to the official opening of ‘New Chinatown’ in 1938, for which Chinese dignitaries, American politicians and Chinese-American film stars attended the parade and dedication ceremonies. He said, ‘the Chinatown wishing well represents a time in recent past when cultural exoticism on the civic level could flourish unchallenged. It represents an era in Los Angeles when Anna May Wong – the Chinese American actress […] coukd plant a willow tree, donated in her honor by Paramount Studios, on the concrete lump and make it seem a proud moment.’ Laws relating to immigration, citizenship and property at this time were however still discriminatory towards the Chinese, who were socially and politically marginalised. The ‘Seven Star Cavern’ visualises this disjuncture – the well symbolises hope and collaborative spirit, whilst the surrounding fence alludes to confinement and segregation.
The wishing well also holds personal significance for Kelley due to the site’s proximity to Madame Wong’s and the Hong Kong Café – two venues at the centre of the LA punk scene in the late 1070s. The music scene brought a brief revival to Chinatown before the mid-1980s when the area became run down and crime-ridden.
In ‘Frames and Frame’ Kelley’s replica of the original ‘Seven Star Cavern’ and surrounding Chinese gate are displayed side by side as two distinct elements. By removing the framing device of the gate, the artist raises questions related to the ‘frame’ as a mechanism for instilling objects with meaning. Kelley linked the gate to the ‘frame’ of a painting, which he said, ‘focuses the attention of the viewer on the discrete forms within the painting’. The wishing well, considered separately from its frame ‘would appear to the casual viewer,’ he suggested, ‘as little more than a heap of scrap cement’; stripped of its enclosure, the monument is exposed to numerous interpretive projections. As such, ‘Framed and Frame’ is very much an extension of Kelley’s interest in exploring the conventional devices and visual tropes used to give ‘amorphous’ forms meaning, such as in his early series The Garbage Drawings (1988) and the Lump drawings (1991). ‘Pre and Post’ also belongs to this line of experimentation.
The secret crawlspace at the rear of the sculpture acts as a visual metaphor for Kelley’s interest in what he called ‘murky unspecific space’. Kelley found that the spray-paint dots haphazardly applied to the ‘Seven Star Cavern’ camouflaged the concrete form beneath, producing a confusing optical effect; the busily decorated surface added an additional layer of complexity. Kelley described this visual confusion as ‘orgasmic’, he said: ‘such space has an erotic appeal for me; it is the confused ‘nothing’ space of presexual consciousness’. In the diptych ‘Colour and Form’, Kelley explores this discordant relationship between colour and form by digitally manipulating a photograph of a coral landscape of a coral landscape shot in the Belle Isle Aquarium in Detroit MI.
To coincide with the exhibition, Hauser & Wirth London’s Book & Printed Matter Laboratory willbe devoted to Mike Kelley. The gallery’s ongoing ‘Book Lab’ programme aims to encourage a deeper understanding of, and in-depth access to, artists’ work and wider practices. The Kelley ‘Lab’ focuses on process materials relating to ‘Framed and Frame’ from the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts archive – preparatory drawings, postcards and photographs of the original ‘Seven Star Cavern’. These are presented alongside key reference books and a looped screening of ‘Memory’, the 2005 ART21 documentary including the artist.
‘Framed and Frame’ heavily informed Kelley’s acclaimed Memory Ware series. The works are named after, and emulate, the Canadian folk art tradition in which domestic items such as vases, lampshades and mirrors are embellished with small mementos and souvenirs like coins, shells and beads. The Memory Ware works continued Kelley’s investigation into the emotional value that people invest in inanimate objects and nostalgic kitsch. Hauser & Wirth New York, 69th Street is staging a concurrent exhibition devoted to this body of work, 3 November – 24 December 2016. this is accompanies by a book with reproductions and discussion of the entire Memory Ware series.
About the Artist
Mike Kelley (b. Detroit, 1954, d. Los Angeles, 2012) is widely considered one of the most influential artists of our time. Kelley received a BFA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1976) and MFA from the California Institute of the Arts (1978). he lived and worked in – and drew inspiration from – Los Angeles from 1972 to 2012.
Mike Kelley’s work has been the subject of numerous acclaimed exhibitions. Among these have been the retrospective Mike Kelley (Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 2013; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 2013; Museum of Modern Art/PS1, New York NY, 2013; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles CA, 2014); teh permanent public work and accompanying exhibition Mobile Homestead, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit MI (2013); Mike Kelley: Educational Complex Onwards: 1995 – 2008, WIELS Centre d’Art Contemporain, Brussels, Belgium (2008); Petting Zoo, Skupltur Projekte Münster, Germany (2007); Profoundeurs Vertes, Musée du Louvre, France (2006); The Uncanny, a curatorial project presented at Tate Liverpool, England and Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, Austria (2004); a 1993 retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York NY and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles CA; Documenta IX (1992) and Documenta X (1997), Kassel, Germany; and five appearances at the Whitney Biennial.
Pieces in this show;
- Framed and Frame (Miniature Reproduction “Chinatown Wishing Well” Built by Mike Kelley after “Miniature Reproduction ‘Seven Star Cavern’ Built by Prof. H.K. Lu”) 1999. 2 Parts: steel cyclone fencing, wood, electrical fixtures, paper lanterns, faux concrete, paper pulp, acryclic, statuary, spray paint, mattress, afghan, pillow, Vaseline, condoms. ‘Framed’ section: 287 x 485 x 409 cm / 113 x 191 x 161 in; ‘Frame’ section: 348 x 574 x 531 cm / 137 x 226 x 209 in. Rennie Collection, Vancouver.
- Colour and Form, 1999. 2 colour photographs. 124.5 x 213.7 cm / 49 x 84 1/8 in.
- Pre and Post, 1999. 2 colour photographs. 124.5 x 198.1 cm / 49 x 78 in each. Courtesy the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.
Stephen Friedman Gallery
Yinka Shonibare MBE
(1st Part) Copying – taking pieces from Michelangelo and Da Vinci – but then putting a face/ gender/ nationality to it. Circles were very detailed. The body parts have been swapped on the sculptures – refers back to the drawing on the floor.(2nd part) looks partially printed with black paints and large ares of bright colour on top. Paintings of specific people – lime/contour drawings – not all necessarily known figures to the wider population, but certainly to different groups of people. London stock exchange and other newspaper pieces are included in these pieces.
‘…and the wall fell away’
Private view: Tuesday 27 September 2016, 6-8pm
Frieze week West End private view: Thursday 6 October 2016, 6-8pm
Exhibition dates: 28 September – 5 November 2016
Opening for Frieze week in October 2016, Yinka Shonibare MBE presents his sixth solo exhibition at Stephen Friedman Gallery titled ‘…and the wall fell away’.
The show marks a pivotal moment in the artist’s practice with the complete absence of the Dutch wax batik textiles for which he is known. Shonibare removes the fabric altogether and uses the batik designs in new forms; mural painting, bronze sculpture, screen prints on canvas and the appropriation of classical sculpture.
Shonibare uses the patterns as a device to interrupt the canon of classical and renaissance art and Western religious iconography. He indicates his intention to challenge and dismantle the boundaries of Western understanding in the title of the show. By leaving the ‘trace’ of his trademark batik motifs, Shonibare gives a personal insight into the complexities of identity, nationality and colonial history.
The exhibition is divided into two parts: Gallery One is focused on ideas of rationality in classical art and Gallery Two, on religious hybridity.
On entering Gallery One, we are struck by the absence of sculpture. Instead, an expansive wall painting is framed by the white walls of the gallery. Unlike previous iterations of these impressive installations, here there are no sculptural elements. This work sets the tone for the show as the wax batik pattern is stripped from the fabric and painted directly onto the wall.
The intersecting circular pattern deliberately echoes the same motif used in Shonibare’s commission ‘The Family Album’ which is currently displayed on the Royal Academy’s façade on Burlington Gardens.
Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Vitruvian Man’, the wall painting in the front space of the gallery is completed by an accompanying floor drawing rendered in gold and red. These two elements form one immersive work. Da Vinci’s drawing was intended to demonstrate the humanist perspective that man is the measure of all things. Shonibare’s proposal of a new measure is a black figure, and a hybrid of both man and woman.
In the following gallery three sculptures recognisable as Venus de Milo, Discobolus of Myron (Discus Thrower) and Michelangelo’s David are hand painted with batik patterns. Much like the artist’s series of ‘Self Portraits (after Warhol)’ in which he superimposed batik patterns onto his own face, the sculptures are transformed with the patterns ‘tattooed’ directly onto the sculptures. Using sculptural archetypes of sexuality, masculinity and athleticism, Shonibare manipulates the aesthetics of these forms to challenge the accepted definition of the idealised body.
Dutch wax batik fabric was inspired by Indonesian design, mass-produced by the Dutch and British and eventually sold to the colonies in West Africa. In the 1960s the material became a new symbol of African identity and independence. Since the early 1990s, Shonibare has used it to represent the flexibility of identity as much as the implications of trade and colonialism.
The series of imposing hand pulled screen-prints on canvas in Gallery Two is Shonibare’s largest and most ambitious to date. A key feature of Shonibare’s work is its visual appeal, and these are immediately seductive in colour and beauty. Figures from Christian and African religious iconography merge into fantastical hybrids. Shonibare is able to make these works by using new technology and drawing on a large tablet. This is the first instance in which we see Shonibare’s unmistakable style of drawing on such a scale. Each canvas began with an image of a European religious figure. Shonibare dressed the faces of the saints in African masks used in religious rituals. Stock market listings from the Financial Times are then juxtaposed with Dutch Wax Batik patterns and vivid clashing colours.
“First of all [I] think about picture making itself: the history of Modernism and the aesthetic of the mask in Modernist painting. So we are going back to Picasso. And then taking that signifier of religious ritual, which is the mask, and overlapping one religious symbol with another religious symbol”. By combining powerful imagery with their respective mythologies, Shonibare creates a hybrid ideology: what he calls ‘a third myth’.
Shonibare’s presentation of new work seduces and undermines the expectations of the audience. Removing the textiles for which he is known and using the mimesis of the fabric is an important move for the artist. Shonibare sees the material as a metaphor for interdependence: complexity and ambiguity are the cornerstones of his artistic narrative. His specific concerns here; art history, the power of iconography and religion, are powerfully brought together. With each of them he interrupts familiar references by overlaying the image with the wax batik pattern. In doing so he exercises individual agency and aesthetic creativity, which are ideas that are central to humanism. This has long been present in Shonibare’s work. This exhibition should be read as a celebration of human expression, achievement, beauty and the pursuit of intellectual and religious liberty, regardless of race and time. ‘…and the wall fell away’ demonstrates an irreverent disregard for the binaries presented in Western understandings and offers a contemporary deconstruction of the classics.
Gallery hours: Tuesday to Friday, 10am – 6pm and Saturday, 11am – 5pm
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Notes to Editors:
Currently on view:
The Shonibare exhibition at Stephen Friedman Gallery coincides with a major commission titled ‘RA Family Album’ currently displayed on the Royal Academy’s façade on Burlington Gardens. The Royal Academy is an important institution and ongoing inspiration for the artist following his election as an Academician in 2013.
Concurrent with ‘…and the wall fell away’ Turner Contemporary’s Sunley Gallery, Margate, is transformed by two major works by Shonibare: ‘The British Library’ and a major new work ‘The End of Empire’ which was commissioned as part of 14-18 NOW programme of World War 1 Centenary Art.
Opening on 18 September is a survey exhibition of Shonibare’s work, ‘Paradise Beyond’ at Gemeentemuseum Helmond in the Netherlands, which is located close to the Vlisco Factory that produces Dutch wax batik fabric.
Also in September, Yale Center for British Art presents an exhibition that takes Shonibare’s interest in the British historical figure Admiral Lord Nelson as its focus.
Later in October 2016 ‘Wind Sculpture VII’ will be unveiled at the Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C.
Another of Shonibare’s imposing Wind Sculptures will be shown in a public park in Lagos as part of British Council UK/Nigeria from October to January 2017. In November there will be a public screening of three of Shonibare’s films.
‘Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle’ welcomes the public to the National Maritime Museum and Greenwich Park. It was the 2010 Fourth Plinth Commission, and is now permanently displayed at the entrance to the Royal Park in London. ‘Globe Head Ballerina’ (2012) was commissioned by the Royal Opera House and she now spins on the exterior overlooking Russell Street in Covent Garden. In Howick Place in Victoria the first ‘Wind Sculpture’ is displayed in a pedestrian street marking the new cultural quarter of Westminster.
Shonibare was a Turner prize nominee in 2004 and was also awarded the decoration of Member of the “Most Excellent Order of the British Empire” or MBE and he has added this title to his professional name. He was elected as a Royal Academician by the Royal Academy, London, England in 2013.
Recent solo and major notable museum exhibitions include:
‘Recreating the Pastoral’, VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow, Ireland (2016); ‘Wilderness into a Garden’, Daegu Art Museum, Daegu, Korea (2015); ‘Pièces de Résistance’, DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art, Montréal, Québec (2015); ‘Cannonball Paradise’, Herbert-Gerisch-Stiftung, Neumünster, Germany (2014); ‘Yinka Shonibare MBE: Magic Ladders’, The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA (2014); ‘Yinka Shonibare MBE’, Royal Museums Greenwich, London, England (2013); ‘FABRIC-ATION’, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, UK; travelled to GL Strand, Copenhagen, Denmark (2013-2014); ‘Imagined as the Truth’, San Diego Art Museum, San Diego, USA (2012); ‘Human Culture: Earth, Wind, Fire and Water’, Israel Museum, Jerusalem (2011-2010)
Recent notable group exhibitions include;
‘BODY/PLAY/POLITICS’, Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama, Japan (2016); ‘Making and Unmaking’, Curated by Duro Olowu, Camden Arts Centre, London, England (2016); ‘Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience 1950s-1990s’, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England (2015); ‘The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Hell, Purgatory revisited by Contemporary African Artists, curated by Simon Njami, Frankfurt MMK, Frankfurt, Germany; travels to Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington, USA; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; Correo Venezia, Venice; Hayward Gallery, London, England (2015); ‘Migrations: Journeys into British Art’, Tate Britain, London, England (2012)
Shonibare’s works are included in prominent collections internationally, including the Tate Collection, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome, Rome; Arts Council Collection, London; and VandenBroek Foundation, The Netherlands.
Pieces in this exhibition;
- … and the wall fell away, 2016. Instillation in two parts: Dutch wax Batik pattern hand painted directly on the wall and laser cut drawing in red and gold vinyl on the floor. Wall: 248 x 734cm (97 5/8 x 289in) Floor: 320cm diameter (126in diameter) SHO 900
- Venus de Milo (after Alexandros), 2016. Unique fibreglass sculpture, hand-painted with Dutch wax Batik pattern and bespoke hand-coloured globe. Sculpture: 138.2 x 48 x 39 cm (51 ½ x 19 x 15 1/2in) Overall with plinth: 208.2 x 113 x 99 cm (82 x 44 ½ x 39in) SHO 910
- David (after Michelangelo), 2016. Unique fibregalss sculpture, hand-painted with Dutch wax Batik pattern, bespoke hand-coloured globe and gold leaf. Sculpture: 138 x 55 x 33 cm (54 3/8 x 21 5/8 x 13in) Overall with plinth: 238 x 125 x 103cm (93 ¾ x 49 ¼ x 40 5/8in) SHO 909
- Discus Thrower (after Myron), 2016. Unique fibreglass sculpture, hand-painted with Dutch wax Batik pattern, bespoke hand-coloured globe and gold leaf. Sculpture: 131.7 x 91 x 29cm (52 x 35 7/8 x 11 1/2in) Overall with plinth: 201.7 x 169cm (79 ½ x 63 ½ x 66 1/2in) SHO 908
- African Joan of Arc, 2016. Unique seven colour screen print and digital print on canvas. 196 x 140cm (77 ¼ x 55 1/8in) SHO 903
- St. Peter, 2016. Unique seven colour screen print and digital print on canvas. 196 x 140cm (76 7/8 x 55in) SHO 906
- Voodoo Sebastian, 2016. Unique seven colour screen print and digital print on canvas. 200 x 133cm (78 ¾ x 52 1/2in) SHO 901
- Rose of Lima, 2016. Unique seven colour screen print and digital print canvas. 196 x140cm (77 ¼ x 55 1/8in) SHO 902
- St. Francis of Assisi, 2016. Unique seven colour screen prit and digital print on canvas. 186 x 140cm (73 x 55in) SHO 907
PACE London, W1S 3ET
(Night Orchids) Many different mediums – a little shocked when entering the space. Lots of line drawings and the exploration almost – reminds me of A Level/IB sketchbook with the explorations of the same thing in so many different ways. No apparent order of laying the pieces out – just placed them there and it works kind of thing. All clearly shows the orchids – no denying that. None are the same – some are alike but none are exactly the same. A lot of varying colour – done in dark rooms explains the looseness of the works?
1 – 19 November 2016
6 Burlington Gardens, London W1S 3ET
Private view: Tuesday 1 November 2016, 6–8 pm
London—Pace London is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Brian Clarke. The exhibition, featuring paintings, drawings and glass works, will be on view from 1 to 19 November 2016 at 6 Burlington Gardens.
The exhibition coincides with the release of a new monograph of Clarke’s work published by HENI Publishing. The catalogue features more than 200 works by the artist and a substantial conversation between Clarke and renowned American curator and critic Robert Storr.
In his new body of work, Clarke focuses on the imagery of night orchids, which he began in December 2013 during a trip to Thailand and later in France, and it consumed his nocturnal practice for nearly two years.
“Night Orchids, like most of my drawings, are imaginings of coloured architectural experiences.” – Brian Clarke in conversation with Robert Storr.
In keeping with the artist’s interest in a single motif such as spitfires or fleur de lys, his work with night orchids is driven by an innate curiosity. Most of the works in the exhibition were completed by Clarke in his West London studio at night—principally between 7 p.m. and midnight—and reveal the artist’s exploration of nature and beauty, particularly how the night orchid flourishes within a void of light. The paintings and works on paper adopt a variety of approaches to night orchids, yet all are united in their richly coloured and detailed impressions of the flower.
“After nearly four decades of intense production in painting, sculpture, and stained glass, Clarke is not an easy artist to absorb, let alone to classify. If there were an artist capable of synthesizing space, time, and light, ranging from his intimate “drawings in the air” on black sugar paper to his rigorous in-depth architectonic achievements, he could be none other than Brian Clarke.” Robert C. Morgan, Between Extremities catalogue, Pace Gallery NY, 2013.
In a series of drawings on black card, Clarke uses only white lines, creating an intricate outline of the flower that is subsumed in the darkness of the surface. This is Brian Clarke’s second exhibition at Pace London.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Brian Clarke (b. 1953, Oldham, Lancashire, England) is best known for radically updating and innovating the medium of stained glass, while also maintaining active practices in painting, sculpture, mosaics and tapestry. Since the early 1970s, he has collaborated with some of the world’s most prominent architects and institutions to create stained-glass proposals and installations for hundreds of projects, including the Pyramid of Peace and Accord, Kazakhstan; the Al Faisaliyah Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; the Pfizer World Headquarters, New York; the Papal Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature, London, UK; the Darmstadt Synagogue, Germany; Linköping Cathedral, Linköping, Sweden; NorteShopping, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and the Research Centre, Saudi Arabia (Zaha Hadid). Clarke also designed stage sets for the Dutch National Ballet.
Clarke’s stained-glass works and paintings have been the subject of exhibitions at international museums including the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, Netherlands; Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan; Munich Stadtmuseum, Germany; Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, Germany, the Centre International de Vitrail, Chartres, France; and the Vitro Musée, Romont, Switzerland. His work is represented in international private and public collections worldwide.
Clarke lives and works in London. This is his third exhibition at Pace.
Pace is a leading contemporary art gallery representing many of the most significant international artists and estates of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Founded by Arne Glimcher in Boston in 1960 and led by Marc Glimcher, Pace has been a constant, vital force in the art world and has introduced many renowned artists’ work to the public for the first time. Pace has mounted more than 800 exhibitions, including scholarly shows that have subsequently travelled to museums, and published over 400 exhibition catalogues. Today, Pace has nine locations worldwide: three galleries in New York; one in London; one in Palo Alto, California; one in Beijing; and spaces in Hong Kong, Paris and Menlo Park, California. In 2016, the gallery launched Pace Art + Technology, a new programme dedicated to showcasing interdisciplinary art groups, collectives and studios whose works explore the confluence of art and technology. Pace London inaugurated its flagship gallery at 6 Burlington Gardens in 2012.
Pace London is open to the public Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. www.pacegallery.com/
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Night Orchids is published 27 October by HENI Publishing
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Night Orchids is published 27 October by HENI Publishing
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Confronted with a massive LED screen showing various google image searches – sky to teeth to scars. Top screen show image becoming more clear/blurry. Theme: skinish pink. Bodies clearly presented throughout each piece but layered thickly. Silver patches on work are confusing as to how they were made (this was before we gained the information that this is paint on aluminium) – metal scrubber? pen? Gives a futuristic feel to the artworks. Always the woman underneath and looks like the same pattern on top but just in a more messy way.
Toby Ziegler: Post-Human Paradise
Simon Lee Gallery is proud to announce a solo exhibition of new work by Toby Ziegler, his fourth exhibition with the gallery.
Matisse’s Large Reclining Nude (The Pink Nude), 1936 provides the starting point for Ziegler’s new series of paintings and a new two channel video work (all 2016). Ziegler was drawn to the painting’s embodiment of a shift from figuration to abstraction. The development of Matisse’s painting between May and October 1935 was documented in a series of 22 black and white slides that illustrate the painting’s evolution from illusionistic to two dimensional space. Through this surviving documentation we can see how Matisse edited, cropped, flattened and stretched the body in its context to greater effect in the painting, retaining the human figure, whilst tightening and streamlining the motif like a piece of typography or a logo.
This analogue animation of two dimensional work and the painterly process is echoed in Ziegler’s two channel video. Looping simultaneously on two large freestanding LED screens, the first screen depicts digital images of The Pink Nude which Ziegler sourced through Google image searches. Using a digital technique of progressive pixellation, Ziegler presents a systematic degradation and abstraction of the reproduction of Matisse’s painting. The second screen shows the results of Ziegler resubmitting each modified Pink Nude image back into Google image. We witness the imaginary painted body disintegrate as perversely Google summons fleshy corporeal images such as sickly sweet pink mouths, feet, and make-up whilst the next screen fades to reveal images of Chinese currency, clouds and idyllic skies.
Ziegler homes in on our predisposition to find resonance and meaning in incongruous images and forms; the slow pace of transformation of the films’ frames enhances our ability and desire to make connections whilst simultaneously seducing, repulsing and evoking ambivalence. This is Google as Delphic Oracle, I Ching or collective unconscious, revealing the associations that a particular configuration of colour and tone provoke in the hive-mind of Google users. This transfiguration performed by Google, from image to pure data and back again, acts as an analogy for Ziegler’s process as a painter. Meticulously painting and reproducing the Pink Nude image on large scale aluminium supports, Ziegler brings art history in and out of focus, utilising analogue means to zoom in and out of the image, inverting it, tessellating it, saturating or paring back the colours to black and white, before further subjection to painting on top of the image and sanding it back with a rotary sander.
This process echoes how computers process images, losing information and data through translation of the image and recreating a facsimile that perpetuates a new visual currency for us to consume and disseminate. This homage and corrosion of the image sets up a playful surface tension that is utterly compelling and of its time.
The resultant paintings shimmer and glow, with the scale, process and layers of painting and light reflective sanding marks simultaneously recalling Roman graphics, pixels and screen resolutions – a marriage of past, present, future that situate and question the body in relation to technology, the object and the image.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Toby Ziegler was born in 1972 in London where he studied at Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design, and currently lives and works in London. Major solo institutional exhibitions include Expanded Narcissistic Envelope, Hepworth Wakefield, UK (2014) and Toby Ziegler, New Art Centre at Roche Court Sculpture Park, Salisbury, UK (2014). Other solo exhibitions include The Cripples, at Old Burlington car park, London (2012); The Alienation of Objects, Zabludowicz Collection, London, which travelled to Sarisalvo, Finland, New Art Gallery, Walsall, UK and Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, Finland (2011-2012).
Major institutional group shows include My Abstract World, me Collectors Room Berlin / Olbricht Collection, Berlin, Germany (2016); Private Utopia: Contemporary Works from the British Council Collection, Tokyo Station Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (exh. cat.), which travelled to Itami City Museum of Art, Itami, Japan, Kochi Museum of Art, Kochi, Japan, and Okayama Museum of Art, Okayama, Japan (2015); Conflict and Collisions: New Contemporary Sculpture, The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, UK (2014); The Red Queen, Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania, Australia (2013); Gold, Belvedere, Vienna, Austria (2012); The Future Demands Your Participation, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2010); Newspeak: British Art Now, The State Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia and The Saatchi Gallery, London (2009-2010); Hamsterwheel, initiated by Franz West, Malmö Konsthall, Sweden (2008); Recent Abstraction, British Art Displays 1500-2007 at Tate Britain, London (2007).
His work is part of major private and public collections including The Arts Council of England; The British Council; Tate Britain; Saatchi Gallery; François Pinault Foundation; Zabludowicz Collection; Goss-Michael Foundation; Kadist Art Foundation; British Airways Collection; Hudson Valley Centre for Contemporary Art and Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania.
THURSDAY, 6 OCTOBER, 6.30 – 8 PM: TOBY ZIEGLER IN CONVERSATION WITH LEV MANOVICH, Simon Lee Gallery, London, in collaboration with Artsy’s OnSite series
Event 6.30pm arrival for 7pm start, Simon Lee Gallery, 12 Berkeley Street, London W1J 8DT
RSVP essential: email@example.com
Dr. Lev Manovich is the author and editor of eight books including Data Drift (RIXC, 2015), Software Takes Command, (Bloomsbury Academic, 2013), Soft Cinema: Navigating the Database (The MIT Press, 2005), and The Language of New Media (The MIT Press, 2001) which was described as “the most suggestive and broad ranging media history since Marshall McLuhan.” He appeared on the list of “25 People Shaping the Future of Design” in 2013 and the list of “50 Most Interesting People Building the Future” in 2014. Manovich is a Professor of Computer Science at The Graduate Center, CUNY, and a Director of the Software Studies Lab that uses methods from computer science, media design and humanities to analyze big cultural data such as millions of Instagram images. The lab’s most recent projects were commissioned by MoMA, New Public Library, and Google. Selfiecity won Golden Award in Best Visualization Project category in the global competition in 2014; On Broadway project received Silver Award in the same category in 2015.
This event is a special collaboration with Artsy OnSite – a global series of events featuring the world’s most critically-acclaimed contemporary artists and current exhibitions. In collaboration with Artsy’s network of globally-renowned partner galleries, museums and other non-profit institutions, over thirty events have taken place since the initiative was launched in April 2015. OnSite events are conversations with artists, curator-led exhibition tours, studio visits, panel discussions, performances, film screenings, and book launches. Events have taken place in New York, Los Angeles, London, Brussels, Berlin, Munich, and Hong Kong. https://www.artsy.net/
For further press information, images and interview requests please contact Julia Kelly Kennedy: firstname.lastname@example.org / 020 7491 0100.
Pieces in this exhibition;
- Grammar of Equivalence, 2016. Modular LED screens and steel frames, in two parts. Screen one: 150 x 200 cm (59 1/8 x 78 ¾ in) Screen two: 90 x 120 cm (35 3/8 x 47 ¼ in) Overall: 240 x 200 cm (94 ½ x 78 ¾ in) Edition 1 of 3 (SLG-TZ-09293)
- Post-human paradise, 2016. Oil on aluminium 100 x 138cm (39 3/8 x 54 3/8 in) (SLG-TZ-09239)
- Charles Dawin’s deathbed, 2016. Oil aluminium 140 x 185 cm (55 1/8 x 72 7/8 in) (SLG-TZ-09238)
- Quantum suicide, 2016. Oil on aluminium 130 x 192 cm (51 1/8 x 75 5/8) (SLG-TZ-09273)
- Utopian surgery, 2016. Oil on aluminium 130 x 210 cm (51 1/8 x 82 5/8 in) (SLG-TZ-09271)
- Nociception without tears, 2016. Oil on aluminium 100 x138 cm (39 3/8 x 54 3/8in) (SLG-TZ-09272)
- Malaise in Eden, 2016. Oil on aluminium 165 x 230 cm (65 x 90 1/2in) (SLG-TZ-09270)
- Carbon chauvinism, 2016. Oil on aluminium 180 x 270 cm (70 7/8 x 106 1/4in) (SLG-TZ-09270)
- The spectre of raw nastiness, 2016. Oil on aluminium 54.5 x 59 cm (21 ½ x 23 ¼ in) (SLG-TZ-09243)
Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec
Glass in funky and different shapes – many fit together. More about interior design and the use of the space. New age of interior design. Clean cuts.
“Ruutu” one-off collection – Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec
“Ruutu” one-off collection features 14 unique vases in hand-blown glass designed by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec and made by iittalia, the renowned Finnish manufacturer of the iconic Alvar Aalto vases. The shape of the vases combined with the considerable sizes (from 35 to 62 cm high) challenged the material to its limits and unveils the highest level of glass-blowing expertise. These grand vases, produced in three different colours, fully expose the qualities, translucency and purity of such a living material.
David Zwirner, W1S 4EZ
Very detailed from afar but then get up close and it loos like a bit of a mess – there is no true detail. Select palette. Often a more mythological theme to the paintings. Larger paintings seem to have several scenes going on. One in particular, the people themselves are in proportion but don’t seem in proportion with each other. First floor. Telling a fairy tale story. Paintings very in size massively. Started using very bright colours in a couple of pieces – yellow in one, green in another. Makes them seem very apparent and bright. The ‘darker’ fairytale paintings are visually dark but the last painting in which the scene is joyful, and so are the colours, although looking at it further, it is still very much a cruel scene.
Neo Rauch Rondo
October 5 – November 12, 2016
Private view: Tuesday, October 4, 6 – 8 PM
Press preview with the artist in conversation with Martin Roth, Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London: 10 AM
David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Neo Rauch. On view at the gallery’s London location, this marks the German artist’s debut solo presentation in the UK. Widely recognized for his distinctive combination of figurative painting and surrealist abstraction, his work has been represented by David Zwirner since 2000.
Born in 1960 in Leipzig, Rauch spent his youth in the Eastern Bloc at a time when Socialist realism was the predominant aesthetic. As a reaction, he developed his own highly individual style, which came to symbolize a broader generational break with the existing canon. His enigmatic compositions employ a personal iconography of human characters, animals, and hybrids within familiar-looking but imaginary settings. They frequently incorporate references to the creative process, music, and manual labor, but ultimately eschew fixed meaning. The artist’s treatment of scale is deliberately arbitrary and non-perspectival, and often seems to allude to different time zones or planes of existence.
This exhibition brings together large and small format paintings in which figures are depicted against backdrops of suburban architecture, industrial structures, and a dimly lit interior. While Rauch develops each work instinctively without a preconceived idea of the finished result, there is visual coherence to the overall group of paintings on view, both in their similar palettes of strong, complementary colors as well as in recurring subjects, such as fire, the seamless integration of organic and non-organic forms, and dramatic, saturated skies.
The multiple storylines that characterize the large-scale works in particular, combined with their striking use of light and emphasis on the human figure, evoke Old Master painting. In Rauch’s case, however, the compositions emerge like self-contained fables, whose subjects are beyond immediate grasp. Episodes of repetition within a single work reinforce the impression of dreamlike narratives. One canvas, Der Auftakt, shows a winged man in a suit posing for an artist, while a percussionist, wearing a horned hat, appears three times; in Der Störfall, in which an immobile nude body is tended to, a boy with a torch can be seen twice. Die Forderung depicts the same modern-day building from slightly different perspectives, as several men in clothes from bygone times crowd the foreground; and numerous intersecting lines in Zustrom repeat the symbol of the cross within a sunny, pastoral setting. Defying a traditional sense of realism while retaining a degree of plausibility, these paintings create their own mythologies.
Neo Rauch lives and works in Leipzig, where he studied at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst. Since 2000, his work has been represented by David Zwirner. Previous solo exhibitions at the gallery in New York include At the Well (2014), Heilstätten (2011), Neo Rauch (2008), Renegaten (2005), Neo Rauch (2002), and Neo Rauch (2000), which marked his United States debut.
Rauch’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at prominent institutions internationally, most recently in 2013 at BOZAR – Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels. In 2010, his first major museum survey was co-hosted by the Museum der Bildenden Künste Leipzig and the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich. A version of this survey was shown at the Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw in 2011. Other venues which have presented solo exhibitions over the past decade include the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Germany (2012); Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden, Germany; Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg, Austria (both 2011); The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague (both 2007); Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany (both 2006); Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, Spain (2005); Albertina, Vienna (2004); and the Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, The Netherlands (2002).
The Grafikstiftung Neo Rauch opened in June 2012 in the artist’s hometown of Aschersleben, Germany. The foundation is dedicated to maintaining and preserving Rauch’s entire graphic oeuvre.
Museum collections which hold works by the artist include the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague; Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin; Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum der Bildenden Künste Leipzig; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.
Martin Roth has been Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum since 2011. He was formerly Director General of the Dresden State Art Collections (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden), overseeing twelve museums and galleries. From 1996 to 2001, Roth was a member of the senior management of the Expo 2000 in Hanover and Director of Thematic Exhibitions. He was President of the German Museums Association from 1995 to 2003, and a member of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Advisory Board in Berlin until his relocation to London in 2011.
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Pieces in this show;
- Das Duell, 2016. Oil on canvas. Framed: 17 3/4 x 21 5/8 x 2 inches. 45 x 55 x 5 cm. Canvas: 15 3/4 x 19 3/4 inches. 40 x 50 cm. Signed and dated lower right recto. RAUNE0413.
- Der Störfall, 2016. Oil on canvas. Framed: 101 1/4 x 120 7/8 x 2 3/4 inches. 257 x 307 x 7 cm. Canvas: 98 1/2 x 118 1/8 inches. 250 x 300 cm. RAUNE0374
- Die Kur, 2016. Oil on canvas. Framed: 101 1/4 x 81 1/2 x 2 3/4 inches. 257 x 207 x 7 cm. Canvas: 98 1/2 x 78 3/4 inches. 250 x 200 cm. Signed and dated lower right recto. RAUNE0382
- Skulpturengarten, 2016. Oil on canvas. Framed: 21 5/8 x 17 3/4 x 2 inches. 55 x 45 x 5 cm. Canvas: 19 3/4 x 15 3/4 inches. 50 x 40 cm. Signed and dated lower right recto. RAUNE0417.
- Die Zuleitung, 2016. Oil on canvas. Framed: 13 3/4 x 17 3/4 x 2 inches. 35 x 45 x 5 cm. canvas: 11 7/8 x 15 3/4 inches. 30 x 40 cm. Signed and dated lower right recto.
- Tief im Holz, 2016. Oil on canvas. Framed: 101 1/4 x 81 1/2 x 2 3/4 inches. 257 x 207 x 7 cm. Canvas: 98 1/2 x 78 3/4 inches. 250 x 200 cm. Signed and dates lower right recto. RAUNE0370.
- Das Gegenüber, 2016. Oil on canvas. Framed: 21 5/8 x 17 3/4 x 2 inches. 55 x 45 x 5 cm. Canvas: 19 3/4 x 15 3/4 inches. 50 x 40 cm. Signed and dated lower right recto. RAUNE0415
- Straßenstaub, 2016. Oil on canvas. Framed: 21 5/8 x 17 3/4 x 2 inches. 55 x 45 x 5 cm. Canvas: 19 3/4 x 15 3/4 inches. 50 x 40 cm. Signed and dated lower right recto. RAUNE0418
- Das Teermännchen, 2016. Oil on canvas. Framed: 17 3/4 x 13 3/4 x 2 inches. 45 x 35 x 5 cm. Canvas: 15 3/4 x 11 7/8 inches. 40 x 30 cm. Signed and dated lower right recto. RAUNE0416.
- Das Angebot, 2016. Oil on canvas. Framed: 101 1/4 x 81 1/2 x 2 3/4 inches. 257 x 207 x 7 cm. Canvas: 98 1/2 x 78 3/4 inches. 250 x 200 cm. Signed and dated lower right recto. RAUNE0373.
- Der Brandmeister, 2016. Oil on plywood. Framed: 17 3/4 x 17 3/4 x 2 inches. 45 x 45 x 5 cm. Canvas: 15 3/4 x 15 3/4 inches. 40 x 40 cm. Signed and dated lower right recto. RAUNE0411.
- Der Fischzug, 2016. Oil on canvas. Framed: 101 1/4 x 120 7/8 x 2 3/4 inches. 257 x 307 x 7 cm. Canvas: 98 1/2 x 118 1/8 inches. 250 x 300 cm. Signed and dated lower right recto. RAUNE0380.
- Der Auftakt, 2016. Oil on canvas. Framed: 101 1/4 x 81 1/2 x 2 3/4 inches. 257 x 207 x 7 cm. Canvas: 98 1/2 x 78 3/4 inches. 250 x 200 cm. Signed and dated recto. RAUNE0366.
- Das Privatmuseum, 2016. Oil on canvas. Framed: 17 3/4 x 41 3/8 x 2 3/4 inches. 45 x 105 x 7 cm. Canvas: 15 3/4 x 39 3/8 inches. 40 x 100 cm. Signed and dated lower right recto. RAUNE0420.
- Die Forderung, 2016. Oil on canvas. Framed: 81 1/2 x 101 1/4 x 2 3/4 inches. 207 x 257 x 7 cm. Canvas: 78 3/4 x 98 1/2 inches. 200 x 250 cm. Signed and dated lower right recto. RAUNE0372.
- Zustrom, 2016. Oil on canvas. Framed: 81 1/2 x 101 1/4 x 2 3/4 inches. 207 x 257 x 7 cm. Canvas: 78 3/4 x 98 1/2 inches. 200 x 250 cm. Signed and dated lower right recto.
Marcel Dzama & Raymond Pettibon
Lets us compare the mythologies. Very different with a lot to take in. Very free in the marks that have been produced. Some almost recognisable characters (the joker, batman, the devil, death, a dragon) – connected to evil. Looks like one massive piece of artwork that encompasses the room – in fact many different pieces curated together.
Marcel Dzama and Raymond Pettibon
Let us compare mythologies
October 5 – November 12, 2016
Private view: Tuesday, October 4, 6 – 8 PM
Press preview with Rodolphe von Hofmannsthal, Director at David Zwirner: 10:30 AM
David Zwirner is pleased to present Let us compare mythologies, an exhibition of collaborative works by Marcel Dzama and Raymond Pettibon, two artists who have both been represented by the gallery since the mid-1990s. On view at THE UPPER ROOM at the gallery’s London location, this presentation follows their show earlier this year, titled Forgetting the Hand, at David Zwirner, New York.
Dzama and Pettibon’s collaboration began in the summer of 2015 with the artists swapping the first of a series of drawings to be completed by the other. In a variation of the “exquisite corpse” method––wherein a partner is only given portions of an otherwise concealed drawing to work on––they developed each other’s compositions through improvisational illustration, collage, and writing. Following in the playful model of the Surrealists, who used this collaborative technique in the early twentieth century, the drawings on view combine the two artists’ distinct styles in a revealing and seamless manner. In several works, it is nearly impossible to determine who made what, which indicates how both strove to assimilate the other’s vision or anticipate his response.
As a continuation of the artists’ collaboration, this exhibition includes drawings originally made for the zine published by David Zwirner Books to coincide with Printed Matter’s New York Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1 (September 2015), works produced jointly for the show in New York, as well as new compositions made together for the presentation in London. Also on view will be a mural-sized work on paper, It is big big business (or We s’port…and necessitate one another, thought to brush, word to image hand in hand…for the greatest interest…of writing thou art), featuring Pettibon’s depictions of surfers engulfed in enormous waves intertwined with Dzama’s illustrations of costumed characters.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a new limited edition zine published by David Zwirner Books, marking the artists’ third collaborative publication to date. The original sold-out zine from 2015 was reprinted in 2016 as a revised and expanded edition on the occasion of Forgetting the Hand. Artist books form a significant part of both artists’ practices, and Pettibon, in particular, has been making his own zines since the late 1970s.
Marcel Dzama was born in 1974 in Winnipeg, Canada, where he received his B.F.A. in 1997 from the University of Manitoba. Since 1998, his work has been represented by David Zwirner, and he has exhibited widely both in the United States and internationally. The New York City Ballet’s The Most Incredible Thing, a performance based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale for which Dzama created the costume and stage design (choreographed by Justin Peck; music by Bryce Dessner), premiered in February 2016. In 2010, a major survey of the artist’s work was presented at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. Other recent solo exhibitions include the World Chess Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Louis (2015); Kunstmuseum Thun, Switzerland (2014); Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, Spain; Museo de Arte de Zapopan (MAZ), Zapopan, Mexico (both 2012); Gemeentemuseum, The Hague; Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany (both 2011); Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2008); Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, England (2006); and Le Magasin – Centre National d’Art Contemporain de Grenoble, France (2005). Dzama’s work is held in museum collections worldwide, including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Dallas Museum of Art; Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate Gallery, London; and the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Born in 1957 in Tucson, Arizona, and now based in New York, Raymond Pettibon graduated with a degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1977. Around the same time, he joined his brother in the punk band Black Flag and contributed artwork for their album covers, flyers, and t-shirts, as well as for their label, SST Records. His work has been exhibited widely throughout the United States and abroad. In November 2016, the Museum der Moderne Salzburg will host Homo Americanus, a major museum survey, which is accompanied by a comprehensive publication by David Zwirner Books created in close collaboration with Pettibon. The show was first on view at the Deichtorhallen Hamburg – Sammlung Falckenberg in Hamburg. Other recent venues including the Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne, Switzerland (2012); Kestnergesellschaft, Hanover (2007); Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, Spain (both 2006); Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla, California; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (both 2005). In 1998, his first American museum presentation was organized by The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago in collaboration with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and traveled to The Drawing Center, New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Pettibon’s work is held in the permanent collections of the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Tate Gallery, London; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; among others.
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Marlborough Contemporary Gallery
Thomas Dane Gallery, No. 11 Duke Street
Can be identified as a face/human but almost demented paintings which are bold – lined but faces are painted over the top in vivid colours – often the same colour as the eyes in the portrait, hands and other shapes, grabbing and dementing the portrait. Line drawing is slightly more peaceful. Seems almost troubled in her paintings and sculptures.
Marisa Merz28 Sep – 12 Nov 2016
Private View: 27 September 2016, 6-8 PM
Exhibition Dates: 28 September – 12 November, 2016
‘Art is in reality the rediscovery of stone, of wood, of gold,…’
– Il filosofo (Mario Merz)
Alchemical does not even start to describe Marisa Merz’s Art. In fact, to remain true and reverent to her jealously guarded secret, one should resist over-interpreting and over-rationalising her creations, but rather let them take us on an enchanting and poetic path.
In her realm, it is not what we know that matters, but definitely what we don’t. And in a Western World that has, since the Middle-Ages, increasingly sought explanation and structure, Marisa Merz offers us a remedy of Byzantine mystery and Animist ambiguity.
Her works seem to always answer with a question. Often undated, unlabelled or uncatalogued, they are meant to create their own history, their own chronology and their own historicity: in her hands, objects are not mere illustration or product of an artistic mind or practice, but the hushed, living proof of it. In other words, Merz does not make Art from paper, stone, clay or copper, but makes copper, clay, stone or paper ‘out of Art’.
In describing how he twice encountered the work of Marisa Merz, in the midst of otherwise bombastic, male-dominated group exhibitions, Richard Flood stressed how she and her work almost hid in the smallest spaces, the corners and the margins; and how “this woman has saved my life in two exhibitions. Twice she has taught me the meaning of silence and twice she has taught me the meaning of peace”.
Merz, in her 90s, still at work in her home in Turin, is indeed the only woman within Arte Povera, a genius label applied to the group of artists – including Marisa Merz’s formidable husband, Mario – who revolutionized Italian (and European) Art in the late Sixties and early Seventies, with their rebellious stance and use of seemingly ‘un-artistic’ materials. Arte Povera did not really glorify or solely privilege the use of impoverished or refused things, but rather made a fetish of them in order to re-position them within an either collapsed or linear (Art) history and society. Crucially, Marisa Merz’s works are only fetishistic insofar as revealing the innate powers of rituals, repetition and secrecy.
The human face is prominent: in exquisite drawings and paintings on wood, card, paper or alabaster, ex-voto busts in unfired clay and wax, on pedestals or wall-mounted, with their starry eyes – seemingly empty and yet always watching – and with their delicate, ever-shifting features. They are as much female figures, veiled madonnas, Medieval creatures and hieratic gestures, as they are animated souls. For Merz, these figures and heads are alive. Sometimes they speak and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes “they don’t have anything to say”, but could just be waiting to become alive, with the right light, and under the right gaze.
This will be Thomas Dane Gallery’s first show with Marisa Merz. Born in 1926, Merz lives and works in Turin, Italy. Among the institutions that have dedicated solo exhibitions to her work are Centre Internationale d’art et du Paysage, ÎIe de Vassivière, France; Serpentine Gallery, London; Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina, Naples, Italy; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Switzerland; and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Merz work has been included in countless group exhibitions all over the world, including:
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein; CCS Bard/Hessel Museum of Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; and the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C. Merz has participated five times in the Venice Biennale, and in her fifth showing in 2013, received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement. In 2017, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and Hammer Museum in Los Angeles will co-organise a retrospective of Marisa Merz’s oeuvre.
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Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 12pm-6pm or by appointment
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Pieces included in this show;
- Senza titolo, 2014. Mixed media on paper. 250 x 150 cm. 98 3/8 x 59 1/8 in.
- Senza titolo, 2016. Mixed media on paper. 250 x 150 cm. 98 3/8 x 59 1/8 in.
- Senza titolo. Unfired cclay, wax, gold paint and stone. 20 x 20 x 20 cm. 7 7/8 x 7 7/8 x 7 7/8 in.
- Senza titolo 2011-2012. Mixed media on wood. 38.9 x 39 cm. 15 1/4 x 15 3/8 in.
- Senza titolo 2011-2012. Mixed media on wood. 25 x 25 cm. 9 7/8 x 9 7/8 in.
- Senza titolo. Five graphite drawings on paper. 43.5 x 27 cm. 17 1/8 x 10 5/8 in.
- Senza titolo. Unfired clay, metal. 20 x 15 x 15 cm. 7 7/8 x 5 7/8 x 5 7/8 in.
These may not be the exact paintings that I saw as I could not always find the image online. The images had to be found online because I was not able to take photos in this gallery.
Walter Hunt (1911)
Édouard Cortès, Boulevard de la Madeline
Federico del Campo (1881), The Grand Canal, Venice
Bernard Jacobson Gallery
Abstract expression. The ink used is very free and seemingly uncontrolled, but then the splashes of colour brings it to life. (including grey, reds and greens). Not really sure what to make of it. Uncontrolled lines with seemingly random blocks of colours. Not complete colours – not filled in to a line / slightly transparent.
Bernard Jacobson Gallery is delighted to announce Robert Motherwell: Abstract Expressionism (16 September – 26 November 2016). The exhibition will be an opportunity to investigate the various forms of abstract expressionist art from Motherwell’s long and distinguished career through carefully selected masterpieces in painting and collage, including his great final collage, The Blue Guitar (1990-91) which references Picasso’s famous blue period painting, The Old Guitarist.
These remarkable works give witness to an era of unparalleled creative evolution, invention and energy in America, also demonstrated in the work of the Beat Poets and free jazz; a truly pivotal time in the history of 20th century art where the vanguard had moved from Europe to America as the predominant cultural force for the first time.
Arriving in New York from California in 1940 to study Art History at Columbia University, Motherwell was at the epicentre of that seismic change, and sensing the heady atmosphere of experimentation around him, had soon dropped out of academia to pursue his overwhelming interest in Modernism with a full-time career as an artist.
Although younger than the other artists, Motherwell was to become a cornerstone of the group later to become known as the Abstract Expressionists (or New York School) which also included Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning – although unlike them, Motherwell’s interest was exclusively for abstraction rather than beginning in figuration.
Motherwell’s pursuit of Abstraction was in part influenced by his early interest and study in philosophy, honed with a post-graduate degree in the subject from Harvard University and later developed through his study of the process philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. It was his discovery of the principles of Surrealist psychic automatism however, gained through his friendship with Roberto Matta, that was finally to equip him with the physical process with which to create a new kind of dynamic, abstract art.
Selected highlights of the works on display at Bernard Jacobson Gallery include:
A View Number 1 (1958) – A work which Motherwell himself considered the most Abstract Expressionist of his paintings and which has appeared in almost every major retrospective of the artist’s work.
The Studio (1987) – A painting representing a recurring theme in Motherwell’s art, which can be read both as a kind of self-portrait, as well as referencing Matisse’s Red Studio and Picasso’s The Studio, a work which Motherwell knew well from the collection of Peggy Guggenheim.
Mexican Window (1974) – A stunning work from the Open series of paintings in which the artist returns to his 1941 trip to Mexico with Matta and his discovery of the ochre walls of adobe dwellings and the heat of the desert that was to continue to influence his palette thereafter.
Bernard Jacobson is widely acknowledged as an expert on the life and work of Robert Motherwell, publishing in 2015 Robert Motherwell: The Making of an American Giant, the first biography of Robert Motherwell written by Bernard Jacobson. Over the last 10 years Bernard Jacobson Gallery has held a series of critically acclaimed exhibitions looking at different aspects of Motherwell’s multi-faceted oeuvre.
This exhibition at Bernard Jacobson Gallery will provide an opportunity for visitors to the Royal Academy’s Abstract Expressionism exhibition to look further into the art of one of the key members of the Abstract Expressionist movement. The gallery will also have a one man presentation of works by Robert Motherwell at Frieze Masters this October.
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
About Bernard Jacobson Gallery:
Bernard Jacobson Gallery’s new premises are in a converted car park in Duke Street St James’s, London, opposite the Royal Academy. Designed by Nick Gowing architects, the gallery occupies the ground and lower ground floor of an extensive, contemporary exhibition space. Bernard Jacobson Gallery was founded in 1969 as a publisher and dealer in prints. Over the last 45 years the gallery has exhibited many great British, American and European artists including: Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner, Peter Lanyon, Robert Motherwell, Bruce McLean, Ben Nicholson, Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, James Rosenquist, William Scott, Frank Stella, Pierre Soulages, William Tillyer, and Marc Vaux.
Bernard Jacobson Gallery | 28 Duke Street St James’s, London SW1Y 6AG +44 (0)20 7734 3431
Pieces in this show;
- Bastos, 1975, Lithograph on white Arjomari mould-made paper, Edition of 49, 158.4 x 101.6 cms (62.4 x 40 ins)
- Untitled, c. 1944, Gouache and ink on paper, 44.5 x 59.7 cms (17.5 x 23.5 ins)
- Black with No Way Out, 1983, Lithograph on handmade paper, Edition of 98, 38.1 x 95.5 cms (15 x 38 ins)
- Mexican Night II, 1984, Etching and aquatint in colours, Edition of 70, 44.5 x 44.5 cms (17.5 x 17.5 ins)
- Dance I, 1978, Lift-ground etching and aquatint on J.B. Green paper, Edition of 30, 49.5 x 77.5 cms (19.5 x 30.5 ins)
- Automatism Elegy (State II Buff), 1980, Lithograph, Edition of 50, 40.3 x 50.8 cms (15 7/8 x 20 ins)
- The Basque Suit: Untitled, 1971, Screenprint on J.B. Green Paper, Edition of 150, 104.1 x 71.7 cms (41 x 28.25 ins)
- The Studio, 1987, Acrylic and charcoal on canvas, 152.4 x 182.9 cms (60 x 72 ins)
- Untitled (Elegy), 1960, Tempera on Strathmore paperboard, 58.4 x 73.7 cms (23 x 29 ins)
- Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. 130, 1974-75, Acrylic on canvas, 243.8 x 306.1 cms (96 x 120.5 ins)
- Frontier, No. 12, 1958, Oil on primed board, 238.1 x 45.7 cms (15 x 18 ins)
- Beside the Sea No.3, 1962, Oil on paper, 73.7 x 57.8 cms (29 x 22.75 ins)
- Pierrot’s Hat, 1943, Watercolour, gouache, pasted papers, pasted glass button and ink on paperboard, 50.2 x 35.9 cms (19 3/4 x 14 1/8 ins)
- The Blue Guitar, 1990-91, Acrylic, pasted papers and crayon mounted on panel, 119.4 x 61 cms (47 x 24 ins)
- The Mexican Window, 1974, Acrylic and charcoal on canvas, 194.3 x 244.5 cms (76.5 x 96.25 ins)
- California, 1959, Oil and charcoal on canvas, 177.2 x 227.3 cms (69.75 x 89.5 ins)
- Two Figures No.7, 1958, Oil on paperboard mounted on board, 19.1 x 21.6 cms (7.5 x 8.5 ins)
- A View No.1, 1958, Oil on canvas, 206 x 264.2 cms 981.1 x 104 ins)
- Grey Open, 1980, Acrylic and charcoal on canvas board, 40.6 x 50.8 cms (16 x 20 ins)
Frith Street Gallery
Sky and clouds. Seems very freeing and open. On the black and white images it is as if the clouds are over a grid of a map and occasionally over the lines of fields. Shows the different cloud patterns. Some of them are the trails of planes. Occasional words on the artworks – do these mean something? What do they mean? (Video – very long! Seemed very narrative for the part that we watched) Video downstairs – dark and seemingly industrial kind of space with the pipes showing. A man smoking continuously and occasionally coughing but not particularly caring about what he was doing. Used a very old-like and noisy projector for the piece.
Frith Street Gallery, Golden Square
16 September – 5 November 2016
Frith Street Gallery is delighted to present LA Exuberance, a collection of new works related to Tacita Dean’s time spent in Los Angeles, which is being shown alongside her recent, highly-acclaimed 2015 film Event for a Stage.
LA Exuberance is the title Dean gave to a new set of lithographs she made with print publishers Gemini G.E.L. Exhilarated by being in California (and excited to be working with such an institution as Gemini), Dean set about trying to use an unfamiliar medium, colour lithography, to depict the clouds and vapour trails she found striking in Los Angeles, where she’d been invited as artist in residence at the Getty Research Institute 2014-15. The resulting prints are drawn and not photographic, and their apparent simplicity beguiles their labour.
Dean also began working on a series of slate drawings. Offered several original Victorian-era school slates, she was attracted to their patina and scuffed beauty, and began using spray chalk, gouache and white charcoal pencil to work on a series of clouds in conjunction with LA Exuberance. The slate titles are taken from A Complete Concordance to Shakespeare. She has also begun adding grids and lines to give formal structure to the amorphous nature of a cloud, but also in reference to the didactic nature of the slates and the idea of categorisation.
While in Los Angeles, Dean had the opportunity to meet the artist David Hockney and asked if she could film him smoking. Smoking is instinct to David and is embedded in his process – to remove it would be to impair the longachieved and finely balanced quality of his concentration. On show downstairs, the resulting 16mm film, Portraits is not one but five cigarettes and is compounded in its multiple portrait-ness not only by the paintings that surrounded Hockney in his studio as she filmed but by the one of her son Rufus that was still hanging on the wall behind.
Tacita Dean’s 2015 film Event for a Stage will be screened upstairs throughout the exhibition. Originally commissioned as a live performance on four consecutive nights at Carriageworks as part of the 2014 Sydney Biennial, it became Dean’s first foray into theatre and her first experience of working with an actor. What resulted was a fierce interplay between the artist and the actor Stephen Dillane as they struggled to understand and accommodate each other’s disciplines. Dean filmed each of the four nights as part of the performance with the intention of making the film. But as Blake Gopnik wrote in The Daily Pic: “But if that premise is easily grasped, the work’s actual content, and Dean’s treatment of it – both as it played out on the stage and then in her miraculous editing of the footage – are complex beyond belief… Let’s just say that the slippages between reality and fiction that all drama is built around are perfectly distilled into the 50 minutes of Dean’s film.”
Event for a Stage lasts 50 minutes and will be shown at the following screening times. However, because of the film’s complex and emotional trajectory, it is recommended to watch it from the start.
Tuesday to Friday: 11.00am, 12.15pm, 1.30pm, 2.45pm, 4.00pm, 5.15pm
Saturdays: 11.00am, 12.15pm, 1.30pm, 2.45pm, 4.00pm
Tacita Dean was born in Canterbury in 1965. She has been the recipient of various awards including the Kurt Schwitters Prize in 2009, and the Hugo Boss Prize in 2006. In 2014 she became artist in residence at the Getty Research Institute. Recent exhibitions include JG, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, Utah (2014), Hammer Museum, Los Angeles and Arcadia University Art Gallery, Pennsylvania (2013), Tacita Dean: The Measure of Things, Instituto Moreira Salles, Rio de Janeiro; Tacita Dean, De Mar en Mar, Botin Foundation, Santander, Spain; Tacita Dean: The Studio of Giorgio Morandi, Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna (all 2013). In November 2016 she will have a major solo exhibition at Museo Tamayo in Mexico City. The complete series of Hockney’s portraits: 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life are on show at the Royal Academy of Arts, London until 2 October 2016.
Event for a Stage, 2015
16mm colour film, optical sound, 50 minutes
Actor: Stephen Dillane
Director of Photography: Jamie Cairney
Camera Operator: Tom Wright
Focus Puller: Chris Connatty
Focus Puller: Cate Smierciak
Lighting Designer: Nicholas Rayment
Sound Designer: Hayley Forward
Film Technical Assistant: Emma Sullivan
Assistant: Cleo Walker
Artistic Director: Juliana Engberg
Performance Curator: Rosie Fisher
Production Manager: Josh Green
ABC RN Audio Technician: Mark Don
Stage Manager: Samantha Morrison
Make up & Wigs: Dennis Adolphe
Wigs & Dressing: Opera Australia, Lyn Heal and Stefanie Paglialonga
Equipment hire: Panavision, Paul Jackson and Brian Flexmore; Gear Head; Norwest Productions
Rushes: Neglab, Sydney; DeJonghe Film Postproduction, Kortrijk
Editor: Tacita Dean
Sound Editor: James Harrison
Neg Cut: Steve Farman
Installation: Kenneth Graham of KS Objectiv
Printed by: FotoKem, California
Originated on: Kodak Motion Picture Film
Co-commissioned by: Carriageworks and the 19th Biennale of Sydney in Association with ABC RN
With additional support of: Frith Street Gallery, London and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York/Paris
Thanks to: Katie Mitchell; Thomas Oberender; Juliana Engberg; Lisa Havilah; Marah Braye; Gina Hall; Talia Linz; Anita Tscherne; Thomas Demand; Jennifer Kuwabara; Samuel Hodge; Zan Wimberley; Werner Winkelmann; Michelle Healey/Carcanet Press; Dale McFarland, Jane Hamlyn, Rose Lord and Marian Goodman Mathew & Rufus Hale.
Special thanks to: Stephen Dillane
Original performances filmed between 1st -4th May 2014 at Carriageworks, Sydney.
Reading from ‘On the Marionette Theatre’, Heinrich von Kleist, 1810. Adapted from a translation by Idris Parry in Hand to Mouth and Other Essays, Carcanet Press, 1981.
16mm colour film, optical sound, 16 minutes
With: David Hockney
Director of Photography: Cate Smierciak
Camera Operator: Travis LaBella
Editor: Tacita Dean
Neg Cut: Steve Farman
Timing: Doug Ledin
Sound Design: James Harrison
Sound Facilitator: Steve Felton
Sound Master: John Polito, Audio Mechanics
Optical Sound Transfer: DJ Audio
Installation: Kenneth Graham of KS Objectiv
Printed by: FotoKem
Originated on: Kodak Motion Picture Film
With very special thanks to: David Hockney, and Jean-Pierre Goncalves de Lima & Jonathan Mills from David Hockney’s Studio
Special thanks to: Doug Aitken for the loan of his 16mm camera
Thanks to: Sidney Felsen & Joni Weyl, Mark Wallinger, Mark Toscano, Getty Museum and Getty Research Institute, Rani Singh, Steve Bellamy, Cleo Walker, Anna Maderlechner, Josefine Ciervo, Alan Gordon, 3Guys, Cinelab, London, and Mathew and Rufus Hale
Made with financial assistance from Frith Street Gallery, London and Marian Goodman, New York/Paris
Filmed on location in the Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles
All very much seem the same but each also seem methological in the way they have been painted and etched. Lines are often downwards and many are layered differently. Some are very contrasting with little black but then some are variations of greys and then some are almost completely black. Far away – linear, close up – blobs.
Extremes and in betweens – reminds me of the of The Martian/extraterrestrial/physics with the dimensions and size of things. Contouring has been thought through which also impacts the composition of the piece. Also makes it look quite pretty.
Gagosian is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Ed Ruscha.
In the restrained paintings that comprise “Extremes and In-betweens,” all completed in 2016, Ruscha sets in motion a dynamic interplay of words and their meanings in ascending and descending shifts of scale and tone that echo the relation of macrocosm to microcosm. Universe With Wrinkles depicts places in a diminishing progression from “Universe” to “America,” to “Tampa, Florida” to “10414 N. Newport Circle,” continuing to shrink co-ordinates to “top left dresser drawer,” becoming progressively less readable and thus less visible. In Galaxy, spatial concepts are stacked on top of one another in diminishing scale— “galaxy,” then, “earth,” “U.S.A.,” and so on—like an optical test card. The subtle, powdery backgrounds of the paintings vary between muted black and an earth-like tone that Ruscha describes as “a color that forgot it was a color.” In the process of stenciling that Ruscha employs here, the background is laid over stencils onto the primed canvas, rendering the words as negative space. Text is rendered in the now-familiar typeface of his own design, which he has referred to as “Boy Scout utility modern,” used in the renowned Mountain paintings. In Arrows directional markers oppose one another, with straight lines jarring against curvatures, indicating oppositional systems in a visual meditation on containment and coexistence.
A distinct group of four paintings take up the recurring mountain motif in Ruscha’s oeuvre, which first appeared in the 1990s. Underscoring other references to cinematic devices across Ruscha’s oeuvre, the blushing mountain peaks that appear at the center of each canvas are framed as if in a darkened cinematic aperture, and subtitled with relational word groups such as in All Some None. This verbal progression, in turn, echoes the conceptual vanishing points of the word paintings.
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In a career spanning more than five decades, Ruscha has distilled the archetypal signs and symbols of the American vernacular into typographic and cinematic codes that are as accessible as they are profound. The wry choice of words and phrases that pervade his work draws upon the moments of incidental ambiguity implicit in the interplay between language and the concept that it signifies. Although his images are undeniably rooted in the signs and symbols of American reality closely observed, his elegant and laconic art speaks to more complex and widespread issues regarding the appearance, feel, and function of the world and our tenuous and transient place within it.
Ed Ruscha was born in 1937 in Omaha, Nebraska. He graduated from the Chouinard Art Institute (now CalArts), Los Angeles, in 1960. Recent solo museum exhibitions include “Cotton Puffs, Q-Tips®, Smoke and Mirrors: The Drawings of Ed Ruscha,” Whitney Museum of American Art (2004, traveled to The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., through 2005); “Ed Ruscha,” MAXXI, Rome (2004); “Ed Ruscha: Photographer,” Jeu de Paume, Paris (2006, traveled to Kunsthaus Zürich; and Museum Ludwig, Cologne, through 2006); “Ed Ruscha: Fifty Years of Painting,” Hayward Gallery, London (2009, traveled to Haus der Kunst, Munich; and Moderna Museet, Stockholm, through 2010); “Ed Ruscha: Road Tested,” The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas (2011); “On the Road,” Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2011, traveled to Denver Art Museum, Colorado; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, through 2012); “Reading Ed Ruscha,” Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2012); “Artist Rooms on Tour: Ed Ruscha,” Tate Modern, London (2009, traveled to Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, United Kingdom; Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, United Kingdom; and The Hatton Gallery, Newcastle, United Kingdom, among other venues, through 2013); “Ed Ruscha: Standard,” Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2012, traveled to The Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Massachusetts, through 2013); “Ed Ruscha-Los Angeles Apartments,” Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland (2013); “In Focus: Ed Ruscha,” The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (2013); and “Ed Ruscha: Mixmaster,” Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, Torino (2015–16). In 2012, Ruscha curated “The Ancients Stole All Our Great Ideas,” at Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien in Austria. Ruscha represented the United States in the 51st Biennale di Venezia in 2005, and was featured in the 2015 Biennale de Lyon’s exhibition, “La Vie Moderne.”
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco opened a major solo exhibition of Ed Ruscha at the de Young Museum, which is on view from July 16, 2016 to October 9, 2016. “Ed Ruscha and the Great American West,” features more than eighty works spanning the artist’s career, exploring his attachments to the sights and scenes of the iconic landscape.
Ruscha currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
For further inquiries please contact the gallery at email@example.com or at +44.207.493.3020. All images are subject to copyright. Gallery approval must be granted prior to reproduction.
Bolton & Quinn
Contact: Erica Bolton
Contact: Sylvia Ross
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Pieces in this show;
- Ton Lb. Oz., 2016. Acrylic on museum board paper. 40 x 60 inches. 101.6 x 152.4 cm
- All Some None, 2016. Acrylic on museum board paper. 40 x 6o inches. 101.6 x 152.4 cm
- Lb. Oz., 2016. Acrylic on museum board paper. 40 x 60 inches. 101.6 x 152.4 cm
- Silence with Wrinkles, 2016. Acrylic on canvas. 72 x 124 inches. 182.9 x 315 cm
- Universe with Wrinkles, 2016. Acrylic on canvas. 72 x 124 inches. 182.9 x 315 cm
- Really Old, 2016. Acrylic on canvas. 114 x 76 inches. 289.6 x 193 cm
- Inch, Mile, 2016. Acrylic on canvas. 72 x 124 inches. 182.9 x 315 cm
- None, All, 2016. Acrylic on canvas. 62 3/8 x 72 inches. 158.4 x 182.9 cm
- Tril Bil Mil, 2016. Acrylic on canvas. 72 x 124 inches. 182.9 x 315 cm
- Bio, Biology, 2016. Acrylic on canvas. 72 x 124 inches. 182.9 x 315 cm
- Sun, Atom, 2016. Acrylic on canvas. 124 x 72 inches. 315 x 182.9 cm
- Galaxy – U.S.A. – Dot, 2016. Acrylic on canvas. 72 x 124 inches. 182.9 x 315 cm
- Arrows, 2016. Acrylic on canvas. 84 x 72 inches. 213.4 x 182.9 cm
- Years Months Weeks, 2016. Acrylic on canvas. 72 x 124 inches. 182.9 x 315 cm
- Thinks I, To Myself, 2016. Acrylic on museum board paper. 40 x 60 inches. 101.6 x 152.4 cm.
Very strong colour on each one – can obviously see she background wash/colour material. Can see most brushstrokes – details, rushed – but lots of different layers/colours are involved. Light catches the paint in different ways, as seen in the photographs. The brush that has been used is really rather big – can see the brushstrokes of each colour.
Sean Scully: Horizon, 2 November – 17 December 2016
Timothy Taylor is pleased to present Sean Scully, Horizon, an exhibition of new paintings from the Landline series; a body of work that has preoccupied Scully since 2013. These works will be exhibited alongside a selection of 26 drawn-notes from Scully’s archive, where text and image coexist – often with equal weighting – offering an insight into the articulation of the larger scale works.
For over 40 years, Scully has consistently explored his unique language of abstraction, which applies North American-influenced expression through the ocular of European art history. A richness of colour and pared down forms is fused with a gestural yet emotional abstraction. For Scully, a particular concern has consistently been the quest for expressive power within the application of a deliberately restricted repertoire of motifs. The modular forms which Scully deploys as units – abutted, inset and interlocked – succeed in developing inter-relationships within the surfaces of his paintings, generating both physical and psychological tensions. The catalyst in charging Scully’s formal rigour with emotional content is the application of liberated brushwork, which injects meaning into even the liminal spaces, where forms and colours meet. As the artist states, “at some time in the evolution of the surface, something more emotional has to happen.”
Informed by perpetual travel, and a personal connection to landscape and nature, the Landlinepaintings address a preoccupation with the horizon, which has been reduced down to its purest form without the support or resistance of the vertical. By removing one axis, the other loses its reference point and becomes capable of suggesting a sense of infinity across the unilateral plane.
“I was always looking at the horizon line, at the way the end of the sea touches the beginning of the sky, the way the sky presses down on to the sea, and the way that line (that relationship) is painted… I try to paint this, this sense of the elemental coming together side by side, stacked in horizon lines endlessly beginning and ending…” – Sean Scully.
It is hard not to read the sense of infinite space in Scully’s Landline paintings within a contemporary context, and with an echo of the endless scroll we experience through various information channels on screens. Blocks of content arranged on top of each other, sometimes with prosaic or aesthetic objectives, but often as a chance display of data. As with Scully’s employment of horizontal bands, each contingent functions in its own right, but the tensions exist through the relationships with the surrounding composition.
In our highly mediatised age, the language of abstraction seems to be entering a new space within our daily vernacular. When technology encounters a glitch, or is resting on a loading page, the image will often obscure momentarily, leaving us with an abstracted, pregnant, pause. These fault lines in technology, and the disrupted visuals that they offer, are symptomatic of a transitional moment before something significant occurs. Again, there is a parallel here with Scully’s mode of abstraction, whereby macrocosmic themes of architecture, landscape, literature and light have their essence distilled and suspended in paint. Ultimately, what we experience in these paintings is a caesura, which offers a portal through which the infinite can be contemplated.
Accompanying the exhibition is a new publication designed by Zak Group, with a recently commissioned essay by Kelly Grovier.
Sean Scully was born in Dublin in 1945, and currently lives between New York, Berlin and Barcelona. Scully was elected a Royal Academician in 2013. He has been shortlisted for the Turner Prize twice, in 1989 and in 1993.
Scully’s work is held in numerous public collections including, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The National Gallery of Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth; Tate, London; Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen K20K21, Düsseldorf; Albertina, Vienna; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; and Instituto Valencia d’Arte Modern, Valencia.
Pieces in this exhibition;
- Landline Red Veined, 2016. Oil on aluminium. 85 1/16 x 75 3/16 x 3 1/8 in. 216 x 191 x 8 cm. (T0010475).
- Landline Blood, 2016. Oil on linen. 85 x 75in. 215.9 x 190.5 cm. (T0010569)
- Landline Green Green, 2015. Oil on aluminium. 85 1/16 x 75 3/16 x 2 ¾ in. 216 x 191 x 7cm (T0010589)
- Landline Blue veined, 2016. Oil on linen. 82 5/8 x 76 3/8 x 3 9/16in. 209 x 194 x 9cm. (T0010568)
- Landline Lost-land, 2016. Oil on aluminium. 85 x 75 in. 215.9 x 190.5cm (T0010773)
- Landline Darkness, 2015. Oil on linen. 85 x 75in. 215.9 x 190.5 (T0010328)
- Inset, 1989. Pen on paper. 11 5/8 x 8 1/4in | 29.5 x 21 cm (T0010854)
- THE DIRE FIRE…, 2005. Pen on paper. 9 1/8 x 8 1/8in | 23 x 20.5cm (T0010866)
- The Wall, 2002. Pen on paper. 11 5/8 x 8 1/4in | 29.5 x 21cm (T0010861)
- What Art Is, 2004. Pen on paper. 11 5/8 x 8 ¼ | 29.5 x 21xm (T0010862)
- Drawing (Dibujar), 2005. Pen on paper. 11 x 8 1/2 in. 27.9 x 21.4 cm. (T0010856)
- Idea, 2006. Pen on paper. 9 5/8 x 8 1/4 in. 24.5 x 21 cm. (T0010850)
- Nietzsche, 2007. 11 5/8 x 8 1/4 in. 29.5 x 21 cm. (T0010855)
- Otto Mueller. Pen on paper. 11 5/8 x 8 1/4 in. 29.5 x 21 cm. (T0010865)
- Kirchner. Pen on paper. 11 5/8 x 8 1/4 in. 29.5 x 21 cm (T0010864)
- Robe, 2008. Pen on paper. 11 5/8 x 8 1/4 in. 29.5 x 21 cm. (T0010853)
- Robe Triptych, 2009. Pen on paper. 11 5/8 x 8 1/4 in. 29.5 x 21 cm. (T0010851)
- C/Joachim Costa, 2009. Pen on paper. 11 x 8 1/2 in. 27.9 x 21.4 cm. (T0010859)
- Titian’s Rose Pink,2009. Pen on paper. 11 5/8 x 8 1/4 in. 29.5 x 21 cm. (T0010858)
- Bridge, 2009. Pen on paper. 11 x 8 1/2 in. 27.9 x 21.4 cm. (T0010860)
- Long Night, 2009. Pen on paper. 11 5/8 x 8 1/4 in. 29.5 x 21 cm. (T0010863)
- Fold, 2010. Pen on paper. 11 x 8 1/2 in. 27.9 x 21.4 cm. (T0010869)
- The Border (El Borde), 2010. Pen on paper. 11 x 8 1/2 in. 27.9 x 21.4 cm (T0010857)
- On Doric, 2012. Pen on paper. 11 1/8 x 8 1/2 in. 28 x 21.5 cm. (T0010844)
- Calder, 2015. Pen on paper. 11 1/8 x 8 1/2 in. 28 x 21.5 cm. (T0010845)
- Book, 2015. Pen on paper. 11 x 8 1/2 in. 27.9 x 21.4 cm. (T0010868)
- Children, 2015. Pen on paper. 11 1/8 x 8 1/2 in. 28 x 21.5 cm. (T0010849)
- Landline, 2015. Pen on paper. 11 x 8 1/2 in. 27.9 x 21.4 cm. (T0010843)
- Backs and Fronts, 2016. Pen on paper. 11 5/8 x 8 1/4 in. 29.5 x 21 cm. (T0010852)
- Eighties, 2016. Pen on paper. 11 x 8 1/2 in. 27.9 x 21.4 cm. (T0010848)
- Giverny in Tappan, 2016. Pen on paper. 11 1/8 x 8 1/2 in. 28 x 21.5 cm. (T0010847)
- Compression, 2016. Pen on paper. 11 x 8 1/2 in. 27.9 x 21.4 cm. (T0010846)
Random but formed seamlessly. Welding? Very smooth and ‘perfect’ random shapes all together, but although random, they work incredibly well. Seems to be in some way connected to nature (coloured pieces). Yellow one reminds me of ears / pasta / intestines / fortune cookies. Green one remind me of bamboo and the red one of poisonous (Japanese(?)) fish. Use of numbers on the sculpture? Tools/whale fins. Strong contrast between the gold and the black sculptures, even though they’re in opposite corners of the room.
1 October – 5 November 2016
27 & 52 Bell Street, London
This exhibition is Tony Cragg’s fourteenth with Lisson Gallery since his first solo show in 1979. Spanning both London venues, it will feature the latest works in Cragg’s career-long pursuit of his interest in developing specific groups of sculptural themes and forms. As always, Cragg’s radical and experimental approach to making sculpture produces surprising new forms and meanings that add congruently to his already considerable oeuvre.
A process of continual enquiry infuses Cragg’s practice with a restless energy, manifest in his continuing exploration of a multitude of materials and ways of reshaping the world around us. His axiom is that “There are many more things that do not exist than things that do exist” and with this he points to a deep well of things and forms that are as yet beyond our perception. Sculpture is for Cragg a method to unlock this enormous potential not just for new forms but the new meanings, dreams and language that will become associated to them. For him it is a method for discovering the as yet unseen.
The exhibition shows several new departures, including works entitled Industrial Nature resulting from the collision and fusion of organic and artificial elements within and without contained volumes. The juxtaposition of geometries with organic forms has been a constant theme in Cragg’s earlier works and represents for him the dual nature of most things we see around us, given that our own mindset is inherently and necessarily rational, in order to build coherent forms, but is also obviously complex and subjective enough to be described as organic.
Very different approaches to related themes can be found in the monumental bronze sculptures Willow, Skull and Migrant, while white sculptures in wood and onyx entitled Sail open new lines of investigation that derive from his Versus series. A new body of glass works made in Venice and aggregate, seed-like casts of the sculptor’s own head (Identity) are exhibited next to the latest developments of three of Cragg’s larger groups of work Early Forms, Rational Beings and Manipulations. All of which have evolved far from their origins in the 1980s and surprise again in this exhibition with new twists and turns.
Cragg never forgets the path he has taken to arrive at his latest works that still find references in some of his earliest works, such as the stacks, assemblages and his figurative collages made from discarded materials. This latest body of work, however, once again affirms the contemporaneous nature of the artist’s practice.
If nothing is as it first seems in this exhibition – materials, forms and resonances fool the eye and confound the viewer – then these disorienting sensations reflect Cragg’s own conscious, dense layering of visual phenomena and historical references, one on top of another. This creation of an enhanced and extruded reality as experienced through technology and the multiple perspectives afforded to us by the pace and prisms of modern life, is further evidence of a sculptor working at the height of his powers.
The artist has recently been the subject of a major career retrospective ‘Parts of the World’ in Germany, at the Von der Heydt Museum (19 April – 14 August 2016) near his studio and sculpture park in Wuppertal. Next year Cragg is to be honoured with his largest exhibition to date in the United Kingdom at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (4 March – 3 September 2017).
About the artist
Tony Cragg is among the leading sculptors of his generation. Constantly pushing to find new relations between people and the material world, there is no limit to the materials he might use, as there are no limits to the ideas or forms he might conceive. His early, stacked works present a taxonomical understanding of the world, and he has said that he sees manmade objects as “fossilized keys to a past time which is our present”. So too, the floor and wall arrangements of objects that he started making in the 1980s blur the line between manmade and natural landscapes: they create an outline of something familiar, where the contributing parts relate to the whole. Cragg has always had, from an early age, a passionate interest in science and natural history and worked as a lab technician, an experience that is reflected in his vigorous approach to material. He has said, “I see a material or an object as having a halo of information around it” (1992). For him form and meaning are interdependent, any change in form changes the ‘balloon of information” and vice versa, so that any change in materials also changes meaning and significance. Cragg understands sculpture as a study of how material and material forms affect and form our ideas and emotions.
Tony Cragg was born in Liverpool, UK in 1949 and has lived and worked in Wuppertal, Germany since 1977. He has a BA from Wimbledon School of Art (1973) and an MA from the Royal College of Art (1977). Among many major solo shows, Cragg has exhibited at The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia and the Von der Heydt Museum in Wuppertal, Germany (2016); Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece (2015); Heydar Aliyev Centre, Baku, Azerbaijan and Musée d’art Modern de Saint-Étienne, France (2014); National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan (2013); CAFA Museum, Beijing, China (2012); the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh (2011); Tate Gallery Liverpool, UK (2000); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte, Reina Sofia, Madrid (1995); Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (1991) and Tate Britain, London (1988). Cragg represented Britain at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 1988 and was awarded the Turner Prize later that year. He taught at Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts, Paris from 1999-2009 and was Professor Kunstakademie, Dusseldorf from 2009-2014. Cragg was elected a Royal Academician in 1994, made CBE in 2003 and appointed Knight’s Bachelor in 2016 for his service to visual arts and Anglo-German relations. In 2017, he will receive the International Sculpture Center’s Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award and will be honoured with his largest exhibition to date in the United Kingdom at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, a leading international centre for modern and contemporary sculpture situated in the 500-acre, 18th-century Bretton Hall estate in West Yorkshire.
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Pieces in this show;
- Spring, 2015. Wood. 280 x 245 x 74 cm. 110 1/4 x 96 1/2 x 29 1/8 in.
- Migrant, 2015. Bronze. 220 x 150 x 147 cm. 86 5/8 x 59 x 57 7/8 in.
- Lost in Thought, 2015. Wood. 340 x 70 x 70 cm. 134 5/8 x 31 1/2 x 31 1/2 in.
- Sail, 2016. Wood. 280 x 149 x 52 cm. 110 1/4 x 58 5/8 x 20 1/2 in.
- Willow, 2014. Bronze. 78 x 75 x 60 cm. 30 3/4 x 29 1/2 x 23 5/8 in.
- Visible Man, 2016. Glass. 53 x 38 x 34 cm. 20 7/8 x 15 x 13 3/8 in.
- Visible Man, 2016. Glass. 59 x 32 x 27 cm. 23 1/4 x 12 5/8 x 10 5/8 in.
- Identity, 2016. Glass. 28 x 33 x 26 cm. 11 x 13 x 10 1/4 in.
- Spring, 2016. Bronze. 82 x 135 x 30 cm. 32 2/8 x 53 1/8 x 11 6/8 in.
- Willow, 2016. Wood. 123 x 110 x 110 cm. 48 3/8 x 43 1/4 x 43 1/4 in.
- We, 2015. Bronze. 190 x 90 x 90 cm. 74 3/4 x 35 3/8 x 35 3/8 in.
- Skull, 2016. Bronze. 97 x 75 x 40 cm. 38 21/4 x 29 1/2 x 15 3/4 in.
- Skull, 2016. Bronze. 150 x 104 x 68 cm. 59 x 41 x 26 6/8 in.
- Willow, 2014. Bronze. 225 x 232 x 251 cm. 88 5/8 x 91 3/8 x 98 7/8 in.
- Sail, 2016. Onyx. 220 x 114 x 34 cm. 86 5/8 x 44 7/8 x 13 3/8 in.
- Hedge, 2016. Steel. 103 x 100 x 60 cm. 40 1/2 x 39 3/8 x 23 5/8 in.
- Hedge, 2016. Steel. 126 x 110 x 86 cm. 49 5/8 x 43 1/4 x 33 7/8 in.
- Hedge, 2016. Steel. 88 x 102 x 91 cm. 34 5/8 x 40 1/8 x 35 7/8 in.
- Industrial Nature, 2015. Aluminium. 220 x 366 x 190 cm. 86 5/8 x 144 1/8 x 74 3/4 in.
- Parts of the World, 2015. Aluminium. 197 x 130 x 66 cm. 77 1/2 x 51 1/8 x 26 in.
- Early Form, 2014. Bronze. 72 x 64 x 62 cm. 28 3/8 x 25 1/4 x 24 3/8 in.
- Manipulations, 2015. Bronze. 142 x 120 x 130 cm. 55 7/8 x 47 1/4 x 51 1/8 in.
- Manipulations, 2015. Bronze. 110 x 115 x 120 cm. 43 1/4 x 45 1/4 x 47 1/4 in.
- Substances, 2016. Glass. 27 x 41 x 32 cm. 10 5/8 x 16 1/8 x 12 5/8 in.
- Substances, 2016. Glass. 39 x 58 x 30 cm. 15 3/8 x 22 7/8 x 11 3/4 in.
- Substances, 2016. Glass. 35 x 39 x 28 cm. 13 3/4 x 15 3/8 x 11 in.
Overall, this was a very busy day! However, I loved ever second of it – from being in London with a friend, to being able to go to so many varied galleries to view such amazing artworks, and all for free. It is definitely worth going to have a look, even if you don’t know what exhibitions the galleries are holding. Below are all of the handouts that we were given. I typed all of them out above with the corresponding photos, because these are difficult to read. Hope you enjoyed the post as much as I enjoyed the day!