Almine Rech presents a new experiential light work by James Turrell

James Turrell

Almine Rech, Shanghai

Nov 05 — Dec 21, 2019

Almine Rech presents a new experiential light work by James Turrell, created on the occasion of his first solo show at the gallery’s Shanghai space.

Opening on November 5, 2019, the presentation will feature a work from the artist’s ongoing Wide Glass series, begun in 2004. The show marks the 11th solo exhibition of James Turrell organized by Almine Rech since 1989. Turrell’s concept of a Tall Glass or Wide Glass is a unique aperture—rectangular or elliptical, horizontal or vertical—in which the light changes slowly over the course of several hours through the use of translucent materials. In the past, Turrell’s Tall and Wide Glass works were realized in neon, but for the last 15 years the artist has turned to LED technologies, which allow for richer hues and a lower light level, offering the artist more freedom as to what shapes, transitions, and color combinations he can include within the series. The works in this series are the result of Turrell’s research, started in the mid 1960s, on light as a material that affects perception of the human eye. Combined with this is the artist’s past 10 years of research on applying computer programming to his work. This technique is an aspect that Turrell developed for light works conceived for buildings, such as the Zug train station in Switzerland or the Peugeot Design Center in France. The new work Turrell will debut at Almine Rech Shanghai builds upon his earlier Wide Glass works, further evolving the series on the occasion of his presentation with the gallery. The installation reflects the artist’s unique ability to manipulate light and space, transforming the gallery into an immersive environment that engages viewers with the limits and wonder of human perception.

Michael Williams: New Paintings

Michael Williams: New Paintings

Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zürich

12 Oct 2019 to 21 Dec 2019

Galerie Eva Presenhuber presents the gallery’s third solo exhibition with Los Angeles-based artist Michael Williams.

Michael Williams
Fantastic Man, 2019 
Inkjet on canvas
249.5 x 145 x 3 cm / 98 1/4 x 57 1/8 x 1 1/8 in
© Michael Williams. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich / New York. Photo: Marten Elder

In his exhibition, Williams shows several new paintings that further develop his oeuvre. Half of the works are large-scale inkjet paintings depicting portraits derived from photographs. To make these works, Williams first produces a small or medium-scale oil painting on canvas, which he considers a kind of study or, more aptly, something equivalent to a film photographer’s celluloid negative. These are then photographed and used as source material for the inkjet-printed paintings on view. Williams’ new works are preoccupied with the dialectic relationship between painting and photography, yet they seek to dishonor this very dialogue by stealing for themselves photography’s quality of cool detachment.

Michael Williams
How To Be A Man, 2019 
Inkjet on canvas
201.5 x 148 x 3 cm / 79 3/8 x 58 1/4 x 1 1/8 in
© Michael Williams. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich / New York. Photo: Marten Elder

Williams is jealous of the photographer’s ability to indicate meaning in a subject without first having to work through the manifold and historically charged layers, as the painter does. This feeling of envy, however, is not simply an emotional state the artist is in; it is evidence of the complex relationship between the two media. Working in this new mode, Williams has found a strategy to mediate this jealousy. Painting as the “original,” and often higher valued, medium carries with it the baggage of art history and thus delivers meaning only through the aforementioned layers. Taking photos of “real” oil on canvas portraits, Williams appropriates the advantages of photography: a clean indication of the subject matter detached from the struggle of its creation, free of physical traces of his craftsmanship, and the physicality of a corpus made of pigment and canvas.

Michael Williams
Cool Macho Man in Nature, 2019 
Inkjet on canvas
225 x 165 x 3 cm / 88 5/8 x 65 x 1 1/8 in
© Michael Williams. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich / New York. Photo: Marten Elder

In Williams’ photographed paintings all of this—the materiality, the artist’s decisions, the perceptual openness required of the viewer—is only a prerequisite, a negative of what is afterward photographed and printed. As a result, the smooth surface of the canvas, its industrial perfection frees this “negative” from its qualities as a painting—and at the same time from the historical baggage that seems to be required of a great painting. Rather than asking the viewer to parse through the medium, time, physicality, emotion, etc., the portraits are offered up fresh and clean: to be consumed, perhaps in a single bite.

Michael Williams
Southwest Computer, 2019 
Oil on canvas
287.5 x 222.5 x 3 cm / 113 1/4 x 87 5/8 x 1 1/8 in
© Michael Williams. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich / New York. Photo: Marten Elder

Another effect of this new practice is an instantaneous confusion caused by the fact that the inkjet works are installed in juxtaposition to several of Williams’ large-scale Puzzle Paintings. Using his representational drawings as appropriated images, Williams works through an analog process of drawing and collage to produce the source images for his Puzzle Paintings. The finished canvases present a discontinuous whole and summon the fragmented nature of our contemporary everyday. Many of the Puzzle Paintings share a palette and method with the photographed paintings. Williams is seemingly uninterested in the viewer’s need to determine “which is which,” however, the viewer’s desire to make this distinction is inevitable. This somewhat awkward viewing process is among Williams’ chief concerns for the show.

Michael Williams
Diagonal Composition, 2019 
Oil on canvas
249.5 x 182 x 3 cm / 98 1/4 x 71 5/8 x 1 1/8 in
© Michael Williams. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich / New York. Photo: Marten Elder

Though these works are highly conceptual, they bear a strong commitment to classical painting. Whether Williams composes his paintings on canvas or screen, they are informed by art history and pop-cultural iconography, whilst nonetheless leaving space for unexpected events to occur during the process. As a result, they emanate a sometimes ironic, sometimes funny tension that is always seductive to the eye.

Michael Williams
Perfect Painting, 2019 
Inkjet on canvas
231 x 174.5 x 3 cm / 91 x 68 5/8 x 1 1/8 in
© Michael Williams. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich / New York. Photo: Marten Elder

Michael Williams was born in 1978 in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. He has exhibited widely at venues and institutions such as: Secession, Vienna; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH; Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, TX; and the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow; The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montreal, Montreal. His first solo show with Galerie Eva Presenhuber took place in 2014.

Tillmann Severin

Karen Kilimnik

Karen Kilimnik

303 Gallery, New York

Nov 2019 to 20 Dec 2019

303 Gallery presents the twelfth solo exhibition of the work of Karen Kilimnik. Throughout the gallery, more than 70 works of painting, photography, collage, sculpture and video, are displayed in the Petersburger style.

Karen Kilimnik
the theater of the gods, 2015 
Water soluble oil color and glitter on canvas
14 1/4 x 18 inches (36.2 x 45.7 cm) Signed and dated verso
© Karen Kilimnik, courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

Included in the exhibition is a new video of excerpts from the 19th century ballets, The Awakening of Flora by Marius Petipa, Reconstruction by Sergei Vikharev, music by Riccardo Drigo, with additional excerpts (Le Talisman, Pas D’Esclave and Animated Frescoes), as performed by the graduate students of The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, on the occasion of Opening Day of the 57th Carnegie International, and the 200th anniversary of Petipa’s birth. The video, The World at War, (2018) brings together clips from color and black and white films primarily set during World War II, selected for their music and their depictions of camaraderie between troops and officers singing, seen amid battle as well as off the field.

Karen Kilimnik
the fairy ship, 2016 
Wood ship, gems, archival glue
12 1/2 x 14 x 3 inches (31.8 x 35.6 x 7.6 cm)
© Karen Kilimnik, courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

These works combine the worlds of history, architecture, art, fashion, film and television, music and ballet, animals and nature, science and literature.

Karen Kilimnik
Untitled, 2019 
Acrylic and gouache on unstretched canvas
59 1/2 x 64 inches (151.1 x 162.6 cm) Signed, dated verso
© Karen Kilimnik, courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

Recent major solo exhibitions dedicated to Karen Kilmnik’s work include Château De Malmaison, Rueil-Malmaison (2016); Le Consortium, Dijon – La Romanée Conti (2014); Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich (2012); Belvedere, Vienna (2010); Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris (2006); Serpentine Gallery, London, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami (2007); Fondazione Belvilacqua La Masa, Venice (2005); and Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2002). Major group exhibitions include the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2018); Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2015); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2008), Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, and MoMA PS1, New York (both 2006); MoMA, New York (2005, 2001, 1999); Institute of Contemporary Art, London (1997, 1992); and Secession, Vienna (1994). In 2011, Kilimnik created a stage setting for the ballet Psyché by Alexei Ratmansky, at the Opéra national de Paris. Kilimnik lives and works in Philadelphia.

Karen Kilimnik
wind and lightning at the Tower of Pisa, Daron Puzzle Inc., 2019 
Foam board with plastic, glass and Swarovski crystals
12 x 5 3/4 x 5 3/4 inches (30.5 x 14.6 x 14.6 cm)
© Karen Kilimnik, courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

Doug Aitken: Return to the Real

Doug Aitken: Return to the Real

Victoria Miro presents Return to the Real, an exhibition of new works by Doug Aitken. Conceived as a unified composition of sound, light, form and movement, the exhibition explores our rapidly changing relationships to one another and the world around us in an age dominated by technology.

From 2 Oct to 20 Dec 2019 / VICTORIA MIRO / LONDON

‘We are living in a new era, one of complete connectivity, where screen space has become seemingly equal to the physical landscape. This surreal shift in evolution brings us into uncharted waters, a new frontier, one for which we are not fully prepared. These artworks question how we navigate a world of increasing speed and transition, the direction of where we can go and how we can confront the future.’

– Doug Aitken 

A starting point for this exhibition is the idea of the contemporary individual and the ways in which humans are continuously both in and out of sync. Diametrically opposed notions of connectivity and freedom, collectivity and isolation are highlighted, reminding us how this new frontier is being shaped and is transforming our lives in real time and, in many ways, defining our generation. The exhibition creates a fragmented narrative of today’s unprecedented digital landscape, in which artworks function like signposts, inviting the viewer to pause, stop and evaluate their surroundings. Traditional sculptural forms are transformed. In the ground floor gallery, a figure, crystallised in translucent acrylic, appears resting at a wooden table, shopping bags discarded on the floor, a phone just out of reach. Caught in the midst of a silent moment, this is not a heroic figure but a candid snapshot of an individual frozen as if time had stopped. From the hollowed core of the sculpture, light emanates and pulses in shifting colours, choreographed together with an original audio composition of layered vocals which spreads throughout the space. Surrounding the figure are several large lightboxes that reveal new and synthetic landscapes, in which repetition renders unfamiliar commonplace domestic imagery, such as beds and swimming pools. In another work, the wing of a plane extends towards the horizon in a manner that is both seductive and disorienting. This is a portrait of a modern landscape in transition, suspended between the physical world and the world of the screen.

In the first-floor gallery we see a young woman paused in an introspective moment, her form carved from Zebrino marble. Upon closer inspection we notice that the figure is split in half, its interior revealing a chamber of faceted mirror that causes reflected light to flow through and beyond the body. This luminous kaleidoscopic effect responds to the interplay of a dynamic light wall situated behind the sculpture. Flickering with the speed of the external world, yet held in a moment of quiet contemplation, the figure fluctuates between motion and stillness. This is a restless exhibition where diverse mediums merge together seamlessly. Minimal in design, several sonic sculptures hang from the ceiling. Composed of reflective steel chimes, they slowly rotate, playing music when activated. Within these works is housed a finely tuned musical scale allowing each sculpture to create continuously changing arrangements, while its mirrored surface abstracts its surrounding environment. On the terrace of the waterside garden is a freestanding sculpture which also features a number of mirrored chimes, each representing a different note on the musical scale, that gradually ascend and descend in a sequence of musical patterns. A living artwork, the sculpture creates hypnotic sounds as the wind moves through it and, at other times, falls into silence. It embodies the fluidity of time by creating an evolving experience, a soundscape in which harmonies are composed and recomposed anew, unique for each visitor.

Doug Aitken is an American artist and filmmaker. Defying definitions of genre, he explores every medium, from film and installations to architectural interventions. His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions around the world, in such institutions as the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modern Art, the Vienna Secession, the Serpentine Gallery, and the Centre Georges Pompidou. He participated in both the 1997 and 2000 Whitney Biennials, and earned the International Prize at the Venice Biennale in 1999 for the installation electric earth. Aitken received the 2012 Nam June Paik Art Center Prize, and the 2013 Smithsonian Magazine American Ingenuity Award: Visual Arts. In 2016 he received the Americans for the Arts National Arts Award: Outstanding Contributions to the Arts. In 2017 Aitken became the inaugural recipient of the Frontier Art Prize, a new contemporary art award that supports an artist to pursue bold projects that challenge the boundaries of knowledge and experience to reimagine the future of humanity.  Aitken’s Sleepwalkers exhibition at MoMA in 2007 transformed an entire block of Manhattan as he covered the museum’s exterior walls with projections. In 2009, his Sonic Pavilion opened to the public in the hills of Brazil at the new cultural foundation INHOTIM. Aitken presented his large-scale film and architecture installation, Frontier, on Rome’s Isola Tiberina in 2009 and in Basel in 2010. Black Mirror featured a video installation and a live theatre performance on a uniquely designed barge floating off Athens and Hydra Island, Greece in 2011. Commissioned and produced by the LUMA Foundation in 2012, Altered Earth explored the ever-changing landscape of Arles, France through moving image, sound and architecture. Also in 2012, “SONG 1” wrapped the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC in 360-degree panoramic video projections, transforming the concrete exterior into an audiovisual spectacle. In 2013, Aitken created “MIRROR” at the Seattle Art Museum, which utilized hundreds of hours of footage changing in real time in response to the life around it, transforming the museum exterior into a living kaleidoscope.

Aitken curated Station to Station, which took place over three weeks in September 2013. A train, designed as a moving light sculpture, broadcast content to a global audience as it traveled from New York City to San Francisco making nine stops along the way for a series of happenings. A feature film and a book about the project were released in 2015. Station to Station next took over the Barbican Centre in London for 30 days in the summer of 2015, a month-long happening featuring over 100 artists, musicians, dancers, designers and other creative figures.  In September 2016, a major survey of Aitken’s work opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles. The survey exhibition subsequently traveled to The Modern, Fort Worth in May 2017. December 2016 marked the installation one of his most ambitious projects to date, a trio of Underwater Pavilions tethered to the seabed off the coast of Catalina Island, California. This project was followed in 2017 by Mirage, a site-specific sculpture that takes the form of a home completely covered in mirrors and set in the heart of the Californian desert. Mirage has subsequently been installed in Detroit, MI (2018) and is currently on view in Gstaad, Switzerland.

Launched in July 2019 New Horizon, a nomadic art installation accompanied by a series of live events and experiences, took place across the state of Massachusetts (12–28 July 2019), all centred around a mirror-surfaced hot air balloon and gondola that vividly contrasted with the natural settings of New England.Doug Aitken, Inside Out, 2019, installation view from Return to the Real at Victoria Miro, Wharf Road, London, 2 October – 20 December 2019 © Doug Aitken. Courtesy Victoria Miro

FIAC 2019 in images

FIAC 2019

in images

As seen by Alexandra Gilliams for XIBT

Beneath the glass ceiling and green steel frames of the Grand Palais, a selection of contemporary art pieces from 199 international galleries comprised the 46th edition of FIAC in Paris, France. This year the fair hosted galleries from 29 different countries, including the Ivory Coast and Iran who were represented at FIAC for the first time. Stunning pieces of all genres permeated the fair, including a decorative installation displayed by London’s Lisson Gallery by the French artist Laure Prouvost, who represented France this year at the Venice Biennale.

FIAC 2019, Lisson Gallery, Laure Prouvost. Photo Alexandra Gilliams

To the side of the gallery’s booth was a space designated only for Prouvost, which displayed a playful pink globe with flowers descending from its center, made entirely from Murano glass, entitled “Growing in Softness Chandelier”.

FIAC 2019, Lisson Gallery, Laure Prouvost. Photo Alexandra Gilliams

The installation was completed with two chairs entitled “Early Work of Grandad, found in the tunnel of history” numbered 6 and 8. Scattered throughout the fair were walls lined with Picasso’s and Picabia’s, iconic prints of flowers taken by Thomas Ruff and Robert Mapplethorpe, and a complex acrylic glass sculpture by Berta Fischer, to name a select few. And of course, no contemporary art fair would be complete without one or two of Anish Kapoor’s famous Mirrors with rows of people waiting to take photos of themselves distorted in its colorful, concave reflection.

FIAC 2019, Regen Projects, Anish Kapoor. Photo Alexandra Gilliams
FIAC 2019, Mai 36 Galerie, Thomas Ruff. Photo Alexandra Gilliams
FIAC 2019, Krinzinger Gallery, Hans Op De Beeck. Photo Alexandra Gilliams

The Palais’ glass vault bathed Hans Op de Beeck’s distinct grey sculptures at the Vienna’s Gallery Krinzinger in a soft, even lighting. Wandering throughout the fair is a sensory overload as your eyes are inundated with neon sculptures, glass, copper, wood, large scale paintings and miniatures, sketches and photographs, and installations. FIAC’s unique venue and choice in the galleries it represents distinguishes it from other international art fairs. Further, in the wake of Brexit, as more and more galleries begin to open up spaces in Paris, the city is rumored to once again become the European center for art.


Here are some of the highlights from this year’s edition of
FIAC from our correspondent Alexandra Gilliams:

FIAC 2019, Xavier Hufkens, Antony Gormley / Tracey Emin. Photo Alexandra Gilliams
FIAC 2019, Gladstone Gallery, Anicka Yi. Photo Alexandra Gilliams
FIAC 2019, Barbara Weiss Gallery, Berta Fischer. Photo Alexandra Gilliams
FIAC 2019, Barbara Weiss Gallery, Berta Fischer. Photo Alexandra Gilliams
FIAC 2019, Esther Schipper Gallery, Tomas Saraceno. Photo Alexandra Gilliams
FIAC 2019, Art Concept Gallery, Adam McEwen. Photo Alexandra Gilliams
FIAC 2019, Kukje Gallery. Photo Alexandra Gilliams
FIAC 2019, Magazzino Gallery, Gianluca Malgeri e Arina Endo. Photo Alexandra Gilliams
FIAC 2019, Perrotin, Jean-Michel Othoniel. Photo Alexandra Gilliams
FIAC 2019, Art Concept Gallery, Richard Fauguet. Photo Alexandra Gilliams
FIAC 2019, Victoria Miro Gallery, Grayson Perry. Photo Alexandra Gilliams
FIAC 2019, Victoria Miro Gallery, Grayson Perry. Photo Alexandra Gilliams
FIAC 2019, 303 Gallery, Eva Rotschild. Photo Alexandra Gilliams
FIAC 2019, Kukje Gallery, Jean-Michel Othoniel. Photo Alexandra Gilliams
FIAC 2019, Gagosian Gallery, Picasso. Photo Alexandra Gilliams
FIAC 2019, Galleria Continua, Pascale Marthine Tayou. Photo Alexandra Gilliams
FIAC 2019, Galleria Continua, Pascale Marthine Tayou. Photo Alexandra Gilliams
FIAC 2019, Kamel Mennour, Christodoulos Panayotou. Photo Alexandra Gilliams
FIAC 2019, Galerie Lelong&CO, Fabienne Verdier. Photo Alexandra Gilliams

VIENNA ART WEEK 2019 MAKING TRUTH

VIENNA ART WEEK 2019 MAKING TRUTH

November 15 – 22, 2019

Anna Jermolaewa, The Penultimate, Installation, 2017

From November 15 – 22, 2019, everything in Vienna will once again revolve around art: the VIENNA ART WEEK will focus attention on the city‘s comprehensive art scene and, together with more than 70 program partners, offer a rich program of events. Under the motto “Making Truth” the VIENNA ART WEEK 2019 sets out in search of the truth at a time when ”Fake News”, is prevalent.

On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the VIENNA ART WEEK the Open Studio Day will be extended. For the first time, it will start on a Friday. Making use of the weekend (16 – 17 November) the Open Studio Days will offer a unique opportunity to take a comprehensive look behind the scenes of artistic production. For two days, curated exhibitions will present already existing as well as newly created works in selected studios.

Sophia Süssmilch, Kokon / Galerie Krobath

Networking and exchange are the leitmotifs of the VIENNA ART WEEK, which is why the online communication will also be put on a new footing: In the future, a digital insight into the art city of Vienna will be presented in a new design, offering a platform for the Viennese art scene throughout the year. The new website and the social media channels can be accessed as before.

Josephine Pryde, Who Were You?, 2016 

This year too, the varied program of the VIENNA ART WEEK ranges from exhibitions, discussions, tours, and guided tours through the exhibitions to a high-level program with lectures and talks on this year‘s motto „Making Truth“. Openings of important exhibitions at the Leopold Museum, the mumok – Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, the Secession, Belvedere 21, and the MAK – Museum für angewandte Kunst are also part of the art week. The high-quality programs organized by the city‘s most important museums, exhibition halls, art spaces, educational institutions, and galleries provide a major contribution to the success of the Kunstwoche, which has become a fixed point in the city‘s cultural life since 2004 and, with around 35,000 guests from Austria and abroad, emphasizes Vienna‘s importance as an art city.

LEONARD COHEN: A CRACK IN EVERYTHING at Kunstforeningen GL STRAND and Nikolaj Kunsthal / Copenhagen

LEONARD COHEN: A CRACK IN EVERYTHING at Kunstforeningen GL STRAND and Nikolaj Kunsthal / Copenhagen

OCTOBER 24, 2019 – MARCH 8, 2020

A SPECTACULAR INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY ART EXHIBITION INSPIRED BY THE LIFE AND WORK OF LEONARD COHEN.

Leonard Cohen
Courtesy of Old Ideas, LLC

Some 40 international contemporary artists and musicians interpret Leonard Cohen’s life and work in a comprehensive exhibition, setting new standards for the encounter between music, literature and visual art in a contemporary art exhibition. Drawing large crowds when it opened in November 2017 in Cohen’s home town of Montréal, the exhibition invites visitors to participate in several interactive works. In this way, the exhibition develops an immersive and engaging sensory experience.

Listening to Leonard, 2017. Multimedia audio environment with sound recordings of Leonard Cohen compositions produced, arranged, and performed by a group of musicians and vocalists. Installation view of the exhibition Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything presented at the Musée d’art contemporain deMontréal, 2017-2018.
Photo: Guy L’Heureux

A Life’s Work Recounted Through Contemporary Art

International artists such as Candice Breitz, Tacita Dean, Taryn Simon, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller as well as musicians such as Moby, The National with Sufjan Stevens, Ragnar Kjartansson, Richard Reed Parry, Socalled, Feist, Julia Holter and many more contribute to the comprehensive exhibition. All works have been created exclusively for the exhibition. In their own special way, each of the artists communicate the unique manner in which the world-renowned Canadian combined text and music. Included is a large installation which highlights fifty years of Cohen concerts and a special video installation which invites spectators to experience Cohen’s reflections, thoughts and ideas close up. During the entire exhibition, there will be a wide range of events, including talks, salons, lectures, concerts and intimate shows organised by Kunstforeningen GL STRAND and Nikolaj Kunsthal.

Christophe Chassol, Cuba in Cohen, 2017. Single-screen video installation, black-and-white with sound, 15 min., 19 sec., including annotated musical scores in a display cabinet. Installation view of the exhibition Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything presented at the Musée d’art contemporain deMontréal, 2017-2018. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Richard-Max Tremblay

Developed with the Approval of Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen approved of the exhibition concept, which concentrated on artists’ reflections on his life and work. Unfortunately, he was unable to see the finished exhibition prior to his death. Three years in the making, the exhibition premiered in the fall of 2017 in Montréal, on the first anniversary of Cohen’s passing, and will travel inthe spring of 2019 to the Jewish Museum in New York. In October 2019, it will come to Kunstforeningen GL STRAND and Nikolaj Kunsthal.

Leonard Cohen
Courtesy of Old Ideas, LLC

‘We are very proud to present the exhibition Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything at Kunstforeningen
GL STRAND and Nikolaj Kunsthal in the fall of 2019. The exhibition sets an entirely new standard for contemporary art exhibitions. It is an exhibition you will want to visit again and again’, 
says Helle Behrndt, Director of Kunstforeningen GL STRAND. She continues: ‘We are very excited to able to give the Danish audience an opportunity to experience the exhibition. Whether or not you are a fan of Leonard Cohen, you have something to look forward to’.

‘This exhibition is an amazing opportunity, and we look forward to getting such an exciting and large-scale exhibition to Copenhagen. Guests can experience the exhibition at two unique locations, where the artwork is really allowed to unfold into a historical architecture. We look much forward to inviting the audience into both exhibition centers for a completely unique experience where poetry, spirituality and music play a leading role’, says Helene Nyborg, Artistic Director at Nikolaj Kunsthal.

Ari Folman, Depression Chamber, 2017. Interactive computer- animated video installation, live camera, Kinect sensor, black-and- white and colour with sound, 5 min., 10 sec., including resting platform. Installation view of the exhibition Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything presented at the Musée d’art contemporainde Montréal, 2017-2018. Courtesy of the artist.
Photo: Guy L’Heureux

The exhibition includes works by Kara Blake, Candice Breitz, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, Christophe Chassol, Daily tous les jours, Tacita Dean, Kota Ezawa, George Fok, Ari Folman, Jon Rafman, Zach Richter, The Sanchez Brothers and Taryn Simon.

Jon Rafman, Legendary Reality, 2017 (still). Video projection, colour with stereo sound, 15 min 45 s, including a sculptural set of theatre seats. Courtesy of the artist; Sprueth Magers, Los Angeles; and Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran, Montreal

International musicians have contributed to the work Listening to Leonard. They are: Aurora, Brad Barr, Basia Bulat, Douglas Dare, Melanie De Biasio, Dear Criminals, Lou Doillon, Feist, Chilly Gonzales and Jarvis Cocker with the Kaiser Quartett, Half Moon Run, Julia Holter, Li’l Andy and Joe Grass, Little Scream, Moby, Ariane Moffatt with Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, The National with Sufjan Stevens, Ragnar Kjartansson and Richard Reed Parry, Socalled, Leif Vollebekk.

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, The Poetry Machine, 2017. Interactive audio/mixed-media installation including organ, speakers, carpet, computer and electronics. All poetry written and performed by Leonard Cohen from Book of Longing, published in 2006 by McClelland & Stewart. Installation view of the exhibitionLeonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything presented at the Muséed’art contemporain de Montréal, 2017-2018. Courtesy of the artists; Luhring Augustine, New York; Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco; and Gallery Koyanagi, Tokyo.
Photo: Guy L’Heureux

Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything is organised by the Musée d’artcontemporain de Montréal (MAC) and curated by John Zeppetelli, Director and Chief Curator at the MAC, as well as Victor Shiffman, Guest Curator. The exhibition is presented in Copenhagen by Kunstforeningen GL STRAND in collaboration with Nikolaj Kunsthal. The exhibition is on display at both art galleries from October 24, 2019 to March 8, 2020.

Hoard Inaugural

Hoard Inaugural

06SEP(SEP 6)0:0011OCT(OCT 11)0:00Hoard InauguralL.A.C.A, 709 N Hill Street Suite 104/8 (upstairs) 90012

Anonymous, Autonomous Oral History Group, Kelman Duran, Arshia Haq, Nick Kochornswasdi, Halldora Miyoko Magnusdottir, Olivia Mole, Misael Oquendo, Rapterotica/Cephalerotica Index, Hande Sever, Alan Tofighi, Adam Wand

Organized by Scott Benzel

Collier Mansion, New York, NY, 1947

Hoard Inaugural is the ‘inauguration’ of a collection of works whose subjects or creators tread the line between the indexical, rationalized modality of the archive, the aestheticized art collection, and the ‘hoard’, a term that has become synonymous with irrationality and psychological dysfunction as manifested in material accumulation.  The title begs the question- can a ‘hoard’ in fact be ‘inaugurated’ or does it necessarily arise spontaneously from repressed, subconscious forces- either in the interior psychological realm, the ‘real’ or objective realm, or in the ossification of the irrational within the otherwise ‘objective’ historical origins of much of the work?

The standard cultural interpretation of hoarding roots it in dysfunction, in OCD and the legacy of Freudian anality as it collides with the material world. Hoarding is often regarded as a malady affecting the lower tiers of the class spectrum, however, when value judgments regarding specific materiality are removed, it bears remarkable similarity to some of culture’s most highly regarded activities. Activities such as the accumulation and preservation of artifacts in museums, libraries, and archives, and the acquisition of wealth or money above levels necessary for survival.

Photographs of the homes of Modernist collectors like the Arensbergs, or Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, or of Andre Breton’s atelier, or of Freud’s office, betray similarities to scenes on the television show Hoarders, with the important difference that the objects piled into the collectors’ spaces are considered ‘culturally significant’. This significance is very much a phenomenon of external cultural agreement; the value of a given collection or ‘hoard’ is based almost entirely on externalist considerations. The hoard differs from the archive perhaps only in the degree of its subjective definition of value.  Erich Fromm defined hoarding as:

…the acquisition of, and failure to discard, possessions which appear to be useless or of limited value. 

The hoard is thus often a source of private meaning or pride and public shame. Hidden, occulted, a family secret, it’s meanings and connections are known to only one or a few, perhaps to an amour fou, perhaps to a ‘nuclear’ family, perhaps to a generation or two of descendants.

Social Psychologists Randy O. Frost And Rachel C. Gross’s landmark 1993 study The Hoarding Of Possessions was a detailed attempt to get beyond Freudian analysis and OCD and to address instead the psychocultural roots of the phenomenon. Frost and Gross cite Furby’s analysis as one sociocultural precursor:

Furby concluded that central to the meaning of possession is control. Possessions are meaningful because people have use of them, or control over the use of them. People need to feel in control of their environment, and possessions allow them to do so. 

Alan Tofighi’s TPLRDR Stereographically Reprocessed I VII incorporates seemingly polar extremes of the ontological axis – hoarding and VR  – opposing the overactualized to the purely virtual. Tofighi’s photographic VR reproduction of an actual hoarder’s home suggests that the two phenomena are linked existentially and epistemically. The hoard which renders a home uninhabitable appears here tied to mounting terror around the crisis of homelessness which removes the body from the home entirely, exposing it to the ‘outside’, the violence of the street, and tying it to virtuality, the disappearance of ‘actual’ objects and enclosed space. Fullness and alienation, the fullness of terror in Freud’s ‘unheimlich’ (unhomely), and the ‘uncanny’ emptiness of VR are linked. The piece also suggests the ongoing critique of materiality in art rooted in twin exhibitions by Arman and Yves Klein, ‘Full’ and ‘The Void’, one filling, the other emptying the space of Iris Clert’s Paris gallery.

Hande Sever’s video works reveal the mechanisms of the index and collecting in the process of ‘othering’ political dissidents and immigrants, a methodology born in the 19th Century with the Hollerith tabulator, a punchcard based protocomputer for sorting populations. Günler Yürüdüğünde (As Days Started Walking) chronicles her mother’s experiences, told through vintage Turkish television footage and objects, following the aftermath of the 1980 Turkish coup d’état.

Olivia Mole’s VR and video work upsets cultural agreements on the values and meanings embodied by mainstays of popular and children’s culture. Across a wider project, Mole reinvents the figures of Bambi and the medieval unicorn as cultural fugitives who have rejected the work of cuteness and availability. Bambi Holes presents a Bambi unmoved by a barrage of casting agent pitches, in a state of emotional inertia brought on by an excess of manipulation. 

Misael Oquendo’s video Ladrón vertiginously accumulates AI and CGI imagery, obscure subcultures, and peculiar narratives, piling a story about a family’s multigenerational oyster addiction onto a narrative about an archive of samizdat maintained by a ‘master’ incel. The result is something like a hallucination of the contemporary through the skewed lenses of Reddit and 4chan, the fog of Youtube and Gab aesthetics, and outrageous but weirdly personal narratives.

Halldora Miyoko Magnusdottir’s ongoing Serendipity Pattern of Geomyths traces the global spread of myth. In collections of artifacts, artist’s books, and videos documenting her online and IRL explorations mapping tangled subterranean connections, she links disparate contemporary sites of myth to ancient global roots.

In Use By ۸۷ (Use by 87), Arshia Haq memorializes the television and advertising culture of the SWANA region (a region that she reimagines in her ongoing project Discostan) from the period of her youth, to create a catalog of personal and cultural ‘expired’ desires.

Kabbalah scholar and Walter Benjamin associate Gershom Scholem’s speech at the inauguration of the Golem Aleph, the first Israeli supercomputer, linked the retributive folk legend of the Golem and the alphanumerical mysteries of Kabbalah to the birth of technoscience. Adam Wand’s video The Golem of Rehovoth integrates Scholem’s speech, ephemera and publicity related to the unveiling of the supercomputer, and scenes from the early 20th Century Golem film subgenre.

Works by Kelman Duran, the Autonomous Oral History Group, and Nick Kochornswasdi raise questions of presentation, distribution, and facticity. Each incorporates the aesthetic and distributive elements of ‘entertainment’ to deliver information and data most often reserved for the sociological database or the activist meeting. Duran’s underground dance music and videos incorporate documentary sound and footage from the Dakota Water Protectors and other contemporary indigineous protection and liberation movements, bringing these movements into conversation with international youth culture. The Autonomous Oral History Group counterveils diverse individual’s relationships to power in the form of recorded oral histories with danceable music and indexical, gridlike videos. Nick Kochornswasdi’s online game Please come over, featuring a friendly yet disturbing avatar of the artist showing the player around his virtual home, drove Markiplier, a Youtube gamer with 24 million followers, to near insanity and in the process exposed 3.2 million viewers to the artwork.

Several works explore the vast world obscured by Nondisclosure Agreements, other forms of hidden information, and what could be characterized as the archival equivalent of Bataille’s ‘accursed share’. This type of illicit archive is well known to legal scholars and tabloid journalists and the viewing of it, sometimes the mere knowledge of it, can invoke a sense of rapturous disoccultation, of ‘scales falling from the eyes’. Alternatively, it can trigger one’s sense of ‘never being able to unsee’ unethical, specious, or fetishistic information. The Bibliotheque Nationale’s archive of the Marquis de Sade, the Vatican library’s collection of grimoires and other ‘opposition’ literature are but two examples of how the abject and tentacles of irrationality can be indexed, rationalized, and recuperated by the archive.

In their work with smuggled footage, Anonymous explore the subject of their own NDA’s, a Malibu based narcissist intent on turning her life into a reality television show. Another anonymous suppressed film tracks the descent into drug abuse and madness and the eventual demise of a pharmaceutical heiress. The Rapterotica/Cephalerotica Index catalogs the products of several fetish subcultures, in the case of Rapterotica a parodic fetish subculture with roots in the ‘real world’, in the case of Cephalerotica, a subculture with roots in Hosukai’s infamous 18th Century print The Fisherman’s Wife culminating in the ‘accursed’ Overfiend films of 1990’s Japan. 

A collection is a tricky thing. Somewhat akin to the creation of the Winchester house, with its chaos of useless spaces and deadend staircases (following a psychic’s suggestion, the owner, heiress to the Winchester armaments fortune, continuously added to the home as a means of placating the hungry ghosts of victims of gun violence), a rational, organized collection can devolve into chaos much as valuable artifacts can devolve into uselessness. More prosaic than the vaults of unseen artworks that termite the mountains surrounding Zurich are the overstocked vintage record and book stores of the San Fernando Valley, stores like Atomic Records and Ulysses’ Voyage,  with aisles rendered impassable by unexamined cardboard boxes full of unknown pleasures and their abject neighbors, prop houses and FX shops like Dapper Cadaver that overflow with polyfoam severed heads and limbs. Famous cultural institutions are similarly results of this process, the Watts Monument, the chaotic bookshelves of the Warburg Institute, or artistic and literary works, Benjamin’s Arcades project, Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas, Noah Purifoy’s 66 Signs, Harold Szeeman’s Museum of Obsessions…

Hoard Inaugural’s works function on a vector divorced from the model of the standardized, refined index or ‘complete’ artwork. They are works and collections that tarry with the hoard and sometimes succumb. The works suggest the possibility of endless conjugation and the impossibility of final categorization, they contain evidence of digging, of obsession, and in some cases unresolvable moral quandaries. If the index, the archive, and the collection are tools and signs of power, the hoard is itself a form of power, prerational, preconcious; transcending categorization, ‘information’, and knowledge; occasionally eclipsing human understanding itself.

The Fletcher Family: A Lifetime in Surf

The Fletcher Family: A Lifetime in Surf

25JUL(JUL 25)0:0030AUG(AUG 30)0:00The Fletcher Family: A Lifetime in SurfGAGOSIAN NYC, 980 Madison Avenue NY 10075 New York , USA

The practice of the artist . . . is no different than that of the surfer, who inscribes his or her self in the ocean—a bigger canvas could not be engaged, defining their humanity in the most personal way, using themselves to draw their lifelines through the massive fleeting freedom of that power. The power and majesty of the sea—Herbie shared that with me and with my family as well as his own.
—Julian Schnabel

Herbie Fletcher, Wrecktangle #12, 2014. Foam, fiberglass, acrylic paint, and steel 90 x 264 x 24 in 228.6 x 670.6 x 61 cm © Herbie Fletcher. Courtesy Fletcher Family and Gagosian

Gagosian presents an exhibition celebrating the publication of Fletcher: A Lifetime in Surf by Rizzoli in 2019. The legendary Fletcher family has been an institution and guiding presence in surf and skate culture for decades, with an influence that extends to the worlds of fashion, music, streetwear, and art. Now, Fletcher: A Lifetime in Surf, written by Dibi Fletcher—wife of Herbie and matriarch of what Esquire has called “surfing’s first family”—simultaneously traces the evolution of the Fletcher family’s life and offers an oral history of surfing’s counterculture from the 1950s to today.

Throughout the volume, the family’s intimate storyline is augmented with anecdotes from luminaries including surfing legend Gerry Lopez, Mike Diamond of the Beastie Boys, artist Julian Schnabel, eleven-time world champion pro surfer Kelly Slater, and Steve Van Doren, of the Vans skate shoe company. Dibi’s recollections begin with her childhood memories of her father, big-wave surfing pioneer Walter Hoffman. She then goes on to narrate her union with Herbie, as well as the lives of their sons Christian and Nathan, both surfers, and their grandson, Greyson, a renowned skateboarder, all of whom have erased the boundaries between surfing and skateboarding.

To commemorate the publication of the book, Gagosian will install artworks from four different series by Herbie Fletcher at 976 Madison Avenue. Fletcher’s Wrecktangles are large sculptures made from once-perfect, custom surfboards that have been ridden and broken by the greatest contemporary tube riders at the Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii. For years now, elite surfers, known as “Wave Warriors,” have saved their boards to be made into Wrecktangles. The accumulated boards tell oblique stories about the culture of surfing. The board recurs in the Wall of Disaster series, which features masses of skateboards mounted to the wall in anarchic accumulations. Similar to their surfboard counterparts, they form a cacophony of logos and images.

In his Blood Water paintings, Fletcher uses mineral-rich earth from the Waimea River, Hawaii. After the winter rains on the North Shore of Oahu have subsided, he paddles up the river with large pieces of untreated canvas on the nose of his surfboard, staining them in the iron-oxide-rich red earth washed down from volcanoes. After they are completely saturated, he paddles back to the coral sand beach and lays the canvas out to dry, creating visions reminiscent of ancient petroglyphs. Similarly, in his Connecting to the Earth paintings, Fletcher affixes found objects from the Hawaiian shores such as netting, and burlap used to carry taro, to the canvas, paying homage to native Hawaiian traditions.

Alongside these works will be an installation of ephemera—including photographs, posters, sketches, maps, surf magazines, boards, and memorabilia—accumulated from the family’s life of surfing. Gagosian Shop will also feature magazines, T-shirts, limited-edition skate decks, surfboards, and other items linked to the Fletcher family, including a Gagosian/Fletcher designed T-shirt to commemorate the exhibition.

Gagosian will also screen the film Heavy Water, released in 2019, a documentary about Nathan Fletcher, at 7pm on Monday, July 29, at Guild Hall, East Hampton, with an introduction by Julian Schnabel.

Herbie Fletcher was born in 1948 in Pasadena, California, and lives in San Clemente, California. Exhibitions include Harder. Betterer. Fasterer. Strongerer, Brucennial, New York (2012); Wrecktangles, The Hole New York (2013); Path of a Wave Warrior: Selections from the Fletcher Collection, Museum of Art & History, Lancaster, CA (2014); and Barry McGee: SB Mid Summer Intensive, Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, CA (2018). Fletcher is globally recognized as a surfing legend and a pioneering inventor who helped shape the way surfing is practiced today. He has produced and starred in numerous surfing films, and in 1976 founded Astrodeck, a company that produces equipment for surfers.

Elizabeth Murray: Flying Bye at Camden Arts Centre, London

Elizabeth Murray: Flying Bye at Camden Arts Centre, London

Elizabeth Murray: Flying Bye

5 July – 15 September 2019

Camden Arts Centre, London

This is the first UK exhibition of celebrated American painter Elizabeth Murray (1940-2007). The exhibition highlights a dramatic decade that saw Murray’s work dominate the art scene of 1980s New York. Her innovative paintings paved the way for a revival of the medium that included Julian Schnabel, David Salle and Anselm Kiefer. This landmark exhibition will focus on her vibrant, monumental, multi-panel and three-dimensional paintings and innovative works on paper from the 1980s and early 1990s. Absorbing influences from Arp to late Kandinsky, as well as her contemporaries — including Warhol and the Chicago Minimalists—Murray was part of a group of like-minded artists who rejected the hard-edged painting style of the previous generation in late 1960s New York.  On view are signature paintings including Wake Up, from 1981, featuring a shattering coffee cup across three canvases that plays between illusion and the literal. This use of domestic imagery—the focus in so many of her most celebrated works—led critics to brand her a “woman painter.” In response Murray said: “Cézanne painted cups and saucers and apples, and no one assumed he spent a lot of time in the kitchen.”

Elizabeth Murray, Wake Up, 1981, Oil on canvas (three parts), 111 1/8 x 105 5/8 x 3 3/4 in. (281.94 x 267.97 x 9.5 cm), Collection of the Murray-Holman Family Trust, courtesy Pace Gallery, New York. © The Murray-Holman Family Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS 2019
.

The exhibition also includes Sandpaper Fate, from 1993, a wild, towering, and expressive work that combines figuration and abstraction. Neither works have been exhibited in Europe.

Timely and revealing this exhibition is a unique opportunity to see and reassess the exhilarating three-dimensional paintings from this influential but previously undervalued, artist.

Elizabeth Murray (b. 1940, Chicago; d. 2007, Washington County, New York) earned a BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago (1962) and an MFA from Mills College in Oakland (1964). Her work is held in over sixty public collections in the United States and has been the subject of over eighty solo exhibitions worldwide. Her retrospective, Elizabeth Murray: Paintings and Drawings, jointly organized by the Dallas Museum of Art, the Albert and Vera List Visual Arts Center, MIT, Cambridge, and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, opened in 1987, and travelled to The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Des Moines Art Center; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, closing at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, in 1988. In 2005, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, organized a retrospective that travelled to Institut Valencià d’Art Modern in Spain. Her work was featured at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007.

Murray was the recipient of numerous academic and institutional honours, including an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York (1984), to which she was elected as a member in 1992. She was awarded the Skowhegan Medal for Painting, New York (1986), and was named a MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (1999).


PUBLICATION LISTED IN THE ITALIAN PRESS REGISTER BY THE SASSARI COURT OF LAW WITH REGISTRATION NUMBER 447/2017.
EDITOR IN CHIEF: ALICE ZUCCA

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