Selections / Almine Rech Viewing Room
Almine Rech Gallery
11 May – 22 May 2020
Almine Rech is pleased to share with you a selection of new artworks by eleven artists the gallery represents. Entitled “Selections”, the presentation takes place in our newly built ‘viewing room.’ It all began with the idea of expanding the experience of seeing art to a digital space where distance, simulation, and digitally constructed environments prevail, temporarily. These works in which body, figure and the identities’ essence are evident in the casting should have been presented for the first time this spring at Art Monaco, Art Brussels, and TEFAF New York, events which have either been postponed or canceled. Thus fostering proximity with an assembly of talents from the gallery, the ‘viewing room’ offers the possibility to encounter each work in a digital environment.
Text by Alexis Vaillant, Independent Curator and Art Critic, Former Chief-curator of CAPC – Museum of Contemporary Art of Bordeaux (France)
With works by: Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Ewa Juszkiewicz, Tom Wesselmann, Vaughn Spann, Brent Wadden, Günther Förg, Tursic & Mille, Johan Creten, Chloe Wise, Markus Lüpertz, John McAllister
Do stereotypes interact with the uncanny? That’s what Ewa Juszkiewicz tackles through her classical yet subversive Portrait of a lady (after Christopher Wilhelm Eckersberg) from 2020. Spiky, witty, and oddly natural, the bouquet that hides her head turns the social apparatus of the picture into still life.
Nathaniel Mary Quinn
Strikingly combining hyperrealistic effects to strategically devastating brush strokes, this fractured portrait of a black male by Nathaniel Mary Quinn from 2019 spectacularly catches one’s eye by implementing a brutal yet fascinating ‘painting surgery’ of a face on canvas.
Tom Wesselmann’s depiction of nudes has the fluid grace of an afternoon landscape in summer: they shine by its sensuous forms and intense colors. Intimately sized, but with larger-than-life presence, these two “Studies for Nude” from 2002 and 2004 are powerful.
Abstraction and figuration in Vaughn Spann’s striking works radiate energy. They negotiate an obliqueness mingled with certitude at the intersection where abstract folds and crevices, and otherworldly double-headed characters provide enigmatic panoramas for the viewer’s eye.
Textile is also an abstract art form. A former abstract painter, Brent Wadden makes painting through textile. His meticulously woven Untitled from 2018 combines the ascetic dimension of abstraction to the crafted and comfortable thickness of the tapestry whose imperfections reveal perfect instants of uncertainty.
Masks have something we don’t. They can simultaneously hide and reveal a face. Günther Förg’s sculptural experimentation helped in forging the complex extent of his vocabulary. Förg’s bronze Untitled (Mask) from 1990 captures the moment when a face is about to emerge from a mass of plasticine.
Tursic & Mille
Instinctive, subversive, and incontrovertibly sexy, Tursic & Mille’s Untitled painting from 2020 hums with radioactive irreverence. This playful work muffles the space by dissembling it phenomenologically, offering snapshots of a hallucinatory drowned world made toxic with the flick of a brush.
Vulva Gold from 2019 is a wall sculpture sized slightly bigger than a head. It has the shape of an internal body part as if seen from the outside, which has the capacity to absorb light as much as it is magnifying it
With an interest in the history of portraiture, Chloe Wise examines multiple channels that lead to questioning of the self. Wise’s polysemic images depict groups of young adults in poses at once sobering and comical. A carefully-studied awkwardness prevails, creating scenes of chilled delight.
Nudes and antique-looking figures demonstrate Lüpertz’s dialectical relationship between painting and sculpture. Amor and Psyche were a passionate couple in Greek Mythology. Psyche embodied beauty. Amor (Cupidon) was a cute little winged god. In 2013, Lüpertz took revenge on too much beauty.
In John McAllister’s spectral landscape paintings, happiness and decadence converge. The shimmering light depicted in Rays rought crepuscular from 2020 hints an instant where ephemerality is as seductive as magnetic attraction.