During summer, I decided to go back to some of the galleries that I have previously visited in order to gain some more insight into the artists that these galleries were showing, and also the use of space within each individual gallery. All artists are linked to separate posts on my other blog – here is simply an outline of each gallery visited.
Hauser & Wirth
“‘Guston found in Nixon the perfect embodiment of world-historical perfidy, and in a satire way out of his hoplessness regarding the corrupt state of art an politics. Guston’s Nixon drawings, alternately, can serve as similar inspiration today. This is art used as a scalpel while the world is on a knife’s edge.’ – Christian Viveros-Fauné.”
My initial thoughts were that something else is going on, as though there is an extra story that Guston is not sharing. There was a heavy sense of democratic satire which was not only shown in the presentation of the pieces, but also the way in which he drawers the subjects. Nixon looks like he has been drawn to resemble a dick, while other characters highly resemble ball sacs. There is a flow between the pieces, as though he does develop some of the characters when walking around the purposefully designed space. You have to follow the story that has been created, rather than make your own. There is also an increasing number of things happening within each piece, in their own progression and procession. These pieces were individually framed, and some looking rough and rushed, rather than detailed and calm. All the pieces speak the mind of Guston at that moment in time and that he really does not like Nixon.
I was unsure, and I am still unsure about this series of works as it feels as though I have stepped into some very personal thoughts, which disturbs me a little. I found that having each piece in an individual frame was more effective than having them in one line, as it exaggerated that these were drawn at individual points of time.
Hauser & Wirth
When stepping into Applebroogs’ exhibition, I felt as though I had stepped into her personal diary, in her personal world. The characters within her pieces have continual characteristic to them to highlight who they are and makes it seem like we have entered a dream, or a biological world has been designed.
All of the works displayed are bright and colourful, including the pieces that don’t use explicit colour, but rather it is the way in which the pieces have been drawn and the technique applied. There is also a lack of care in these pieces, in a careful way – it seems as though she does not mind making mistakes or causing any harm while doing so. An element that is very noticeable within the work is lines, as though they symbolise something, like a definitive answer. The lines also make the pieces look like a child’s colouring book where she keeps cleanly in the lines.
The pieces individually, and the exhibtion as a whole, make Applebroog seem like she is somewhat obsessed with the body – either a pregnant body or things associated with that, as you can occasionally see younger, unprotected and often scared looking people. This has to be taken from the body language as there are no particular facial expressions. The pieces are also like they’re notes or memos to herself about her day, or what she needs to do.
Much like Guston’s exhibition, I felt as though I had walked in on something very private and personal and most importantly, not to be shared. There is also a simplistic beauty to her work with inks and pen, occasionally sewing too – all of these elements are soft in their own ways, coming together in a puddle.
Hauser & Wirth
“‘Psychoanalysis, the rejection of marriage and motherhood, traditional femininity, tightly scripted roles and behaviour, an upending of what had come before, all this can be seen in the paintings and drawings she created in the early 1960s: all display an unbridles will to misfit.’ – Bob Nickas.”
When walking into this exhibition space, there is a shock at how small the paintings were and created a very dramatic entrance. I did find myself a bit confused by the paintings, both individually and as a whole. At first glance, Lozano often works in browns and greens, both in a ‘dirty’ manner, almost as though a completely clean brush hasn’t been used.
Each of the paintings had its own unique frame, showing that Lozano took care of their work. The paintings themselves were that of daily objects and sights, although teeth seemed to be a recurring theme through many of the paintings. This made me question whether Lozano was obsessed with teeth, or obsessed with things entering other things.
In this exhibition, the first thing you were hit with as you walked through the door was the two photographs that were hung opposite the doorway. These, however, turned out to be paintings that were a notch out of focus, to make them seem like they were perfect to the naked eye. There were two variations of the painting there, as though there were two snapshots in time – one had what looked like blue in it which adds further depth and focus to the painting. If it were to have ‘pure’ black, this would not quite work. Looking closer, this blue haze is not blue at all, but rather the use of layers to create this effect.These were both painted on wood, creating a naturalistic feel to the piece.
Compared to previous times, the gallery itself has the same set up – two pieces on the wall and a couple of installation/sculptures down the other end of the gallery from the door. One of these sculptures has a chromatic pigment within the final layer of paint, so when the light hits, you can see a rainbow effect. Due to the curvature of the pots, you are able to see yourself in many positions, and sometimes you think that you will see yourself in the reflection, and you don’t. The other sculpture, a big marble ‘book’ was made by computer programming a laser cutter, almost as if he has taken advantage of tools that he has on hand. To me, this wan’t particularly impressive, but I did appreciate the welding on the stand.
Around the corner plays a 20 minute film of a woman, who at first glance seems religious. I was then later told that it is a women in the home town of the artist. The women in this town would sit outside their homes and just watch the world go by.
Stephen Friedman – Part 1
Within this exhibition, there was a strong sense of destructivism and constructivism, with pieces including blown up books – slow motion of a disaster. This is a recurring theme throughout the works. I was very curious, when looking closer at the book piece, whether each individual book has special significance to the piece. The fire, with everything of theirs burnt to the floor, reminds me of the remnants of war – dramatic, yet subtle violence, along with reminders of the trenches.
Another piece that quickly caught my eye in the midst of madness was the piece adorned with millions of circles. This is originally what looks like white paint on canvas, and judging by the way the canvas hung on the wall, it was never on a canvas stretcher. Unfortunately, I had preconceptions of this artwork because I knew its history, but I still found it incredibly captivating with all the detail. Some of the circles look like they took a lot of engineering to design them – more than what was perhaps originally thought.
Within this single exhibition, the contrast of light is often used to add to the effect of the artwork, while others are busy with chaos, disorganisation. There is no cross contamination of materials throughout the whole exhibition. The last piece that reminded me of my own experimentation was the knots. It was as though they were playing around with what they can do to a piece.
Stephen Friedman – Part 2
I am still unsure as to how these were created, but first thoughts was that it was crochet on canvas stretchers. I personally enjoy how it makes the piece look more 3D and breaks that fourth wall of traditional wall hangings by stretching across the wall to another canvas stretcher. These pieces all roughly connect the crochet together, but also allowing for large holes and imperfections. Through the holes, you are able to view the wooden frame, which allows it to become part of the piece instead of just a support structure. The unconventional use of the frame inspires me to do something like this.
Each of these pieces is also very bright and colourful, as if they are individual palettes of colours. I am personally interested as to whether the colour conveys meaning, especially the colours that are repeated through several pieces.
Lisson Gallery – Part 1
This exhibition came as a complete shock, as last time I visited this gallery, the whole space was available to walk around. Now, it was full of barbed wire as part of a site-specific installation. Within this single room, only one person was allowed in at a time, and you were staring at this, almost monstrosity of a sculpture alone. I don’t know whether it is because I knew the space, but this made me somewhat afraid and alone, as well as in awe.
Lisson Gallery – Part 2
Unfortunately, due to time, I was unable to visit this exhibition for long. The overall feeling of this exhibition, however, was slightly negative, because I could not understand what was going on. I believe this is due to a lack of time in the exhibition, but also due to the large juxtaposition that some of the pieces had with each other – there was a relationship that I did not get. Therefore, I did not take this exhibition in.