BROADCAST / Alternate Meanings in Film: Chapter Three

BROADCAST / Alternate Meanings in Film: Chapter Three

Gagosian Online

June 30 – July 20, 2020


You’re only as young as the last time you changed your mind.
—Timothy Leary

Broadcast: Alternate Meanings in Film and Video employs the innate immediacy of time-based art to spark reflection on the here and now. Looking to the late 1960s—a historical moment marked by deep uncertainty, social unrest, and radical transformation—this online exhibition loosely adopts famed psychologist and countercultural icon Timothy Leary’s mantra “turn on, tune in, drop out” as a guide for negotiating our present moment.
The third chapter presents five films and videos by artists who adopt experimental approaches to explore the unique potential of their respective mediums.

William Forsythe - Alignigung II (still), 2017; Single channel video; 16 min. 30 sec.
Choreographic Concept: William Forsythe, Rauf "Rubberlegz" Yasit Choreographic realization: Riley Watts, Rauf ”RubberLegz” Yasit Music: OP.1 (For 9 Strings) by Ryoji Ikeda © Ryoji Ikeda Cinematographer: Steeven Petitteville

In “Turn On,” William Forsythe and Steven Parrino use unconventional means to generate awareness of their immediate environments. In Alignigung II (2017), Forsythe treats the intertwined bodies of his two performers as tools for exploring the limits of the self and other. In Guitar Grind (1995), Parrino “turns on” to the possibility of using the bass guitar and amplifier atypically, whether as a “bow” for a guitar or an apparatus to generate feedback noise, respectively.

Sterling Ruby - Hiker (still)
2003; Single Channel Video; 2 min. 20 sec. - © Sterling Ruby

The two works included in the “Tune In” section represent divergent approaches to complicating mass-media conventions. In his commercial for fashion brand Jun Ropé in 1973, Richard Avedon presents an exploration of the social performance of gender identity that deviates from the typical content found in the television advertisement genre at the time. In Hiker (2003), Sterling Ruby deploys various horror film techniques—such as a lurking camera perspective and evocative sound design—in a short video of a female trekker ascending a mountain, casting a sinister pall over the otherwise innocuous visual content.

Representing the curatorial category of “Drop Out,” Man Ray’s film Emak Bakia (1926) exemplifies the visionary techniques and oneiric imagery that characterize the early twentieth-century avant-garde movements of Dada and Surrealism, which sought to awaken contemporary society to alternative possible realities no longer beholden to rational thought.

Man Ray - Emak Bakia (still)
1926; 16 millimeter black and white, silent, motion picture; 16 min. - © Man Ray Trust/ADAGP

Each chapter of Broadcast will introduce a new set of films and videos on Tuesdays. The next chapter will debut on July 21.

Ólafur Elíasson / Beyond Human Time

Ólafur Elíasson / Beyond Human Time

i8 Gallery, Reykjavík

Thu 25 Jun 2020 to Sat 15 Aug 2020

Ólafur Elíasson’s newest exhibition at i8, Beyond human time, brings together recent watercolour artworks by the artist. Watercolours have been a sustained interest of Elíasson’s that he has used since 2009 to investigate colour, movement, and time. The works often conjure subtle illusions of space and light through the repeated application of thin, transparent washes onto a single sheet of paper in a meticulous, highly physical production process. i8 is pleased to present two series of related works and a new, large format painting made with melting glacial ice.

ÓLAFUR ELÍASSON - Beyond human time
2020; watercolour, pencil on paper; 153 x 230,2 x 8 cm - Courtesy of i8 Gallery.

The seven works entitled Solar short-term memory are each built around a central glowing, contemplative circle. Spreading out from this central motif, a series of concentric variegated rings reveal that the surrounding greyish colour field is in fact the accumulation of layer after layer of colour. For viewers who stare at the circle intently for a few seconds, these works also conjure an afterimage effect. A spectral circle in the complementary colour of the work remains in the viewers’ eyes once they look away. Because this image is actually inside the eye of the beholder – in your sensory apparatus, that is – you are in a sense the one who makes the artwork; you are the artist.

ÓLAFUR ELÍASSON - Solar short-term memory (14 seconds)
2020; watercolour, pencil on paper; 71,6 x 53,9 x 6 cm; Courtesy of i8 Gallery.

The smaller paintings, called Circular hand dance voids, feature delicate, hand-drawn ellipses that bear the imperfect traces of the drawing process that went into the creation of the works. The overlapping shapes and muted palettes conjure an illusion of transparency and shallow depth. The ellipse is a recurring motif in Elíasson’s oeuvre, important to the artist for its spatial ambiguity and sense of motion.

ÓLAFUR ELÍASSON - Circular hand dance voids (Bhutan book)
2020; watercolour, pencil on paper; 39,8 x 28,8 x 4 cm; Courtesy of i8 Gallery.

Both series explore the relation between what the artist terms ‘voids’ and ‘solids’, between the (almost) blank paper and the areas where paint has been applied. Since lighter hues are achieved in watercolours by diluting the pigments with water rather than by adding white, the areas of the works that seem the most luminous are those that contain the least amount of paint. For Elíasson, the artworks arise in this subtle dialogue between intense layers of paint and patches of almost bare paper, just as cities consist of both their built environments and the atmospheric spaces between buildings.

ÓLAFUR ELÍASSON / Beyond Human Time
Installation view, courtesy of i8 Gallery.

The eponymous work of the exhibition, Beyond human time, was produced using pieces of ancient glacial ice that were fished from the sea off the coast of Greenland during production of the large-scale installation Ice Watch, 2014. For that work, realised by Elíasson and the geologist Minik Rosing on three occasions from 2014 to 2018, the large chunks of Greenlandic ice were allowed to melt in public spaces around Europe to raise awareness of the effects of climate change and to encourage action. Elíasson used small fragments from these blocks for the work presented here. The ice was placed on a sheet of thick paper atop thin washes of colour. As the ice gradually melted, the resulting water displaced the pigment, producing organic swells and fades of colour. Employing chance and natural processes, these watercolours are experiments that attempt to enlist the spontaneous behaviour of natural phenomena as active co-producers of the artwork. The artwork thus bears within it traces of time – the days it took to produce it and the millennia it took the glacier to form.

Federico Herrero at James Cohan Gallery

Federico Herrero at James Cohan Gallery

James Cohan Viewing Room

22 JUNE – 31 JULY 2020


Federico Herrero sees paintings everywhere, from street curbs and traffic signs to the painted trees and stones which proliferate in his native San José, Costa Rica. It is this examination of how color, shapes and signs define the urban environment that is vital to his practice as a painter.

Federico Herrero - MONSTERA Y JARRA
2020; Oil and acrylic on canvas; 80 x 100 cm. Courtesy of James Cohan Gallery.

Herrero is best known for working on an operatic scale, regularly exhibiting immersive, site-specific wall paintings, monumental canvases, and cast concrete sculptures. In striking contrast, these intimately scaled canvases and monotypes create a rich, distilled vocabulary that explores the sensory and pictorial properties of Herrero’s painting and image making.

“The bold flamboyance and delicate luminosity of Federico Herrero’s paintings are about both the process and the pleasure of seeing. His artistic language is grounded not in theory but rather in the immanence of the medium, in the basic act of painting contained in the application of coloured pigment over surfaces. The internal logic of Herrero’s work is governed by formal decisions that are never autonomous but that filter moments and glimpses of his immediate environment. In this way his paintings speak both of the world and of themselves.”

Federico Herrero - MONTAÑA, 
2020; Oil and acrylic on canvas; 37 x 45 cm - Courtesy of James Cohan Gallery.
Federico Herrero - UNTITLED
2020; Oil, acrylic and spray paint on canvas; 37 x 45 cm - Coutesy of James Cohan Gallery

“The photographs I take in the street, personally I relate to them as found paintings. They originate in the notion of the found object. You start to be very interested in certain things. Very specific. I think that creates the type of connection to how you navigate cities.”

“My palette is informed by a wide range of influences. One very important aspect is the urban landscape of cities and how pigment and color exist in a continuous flow. There’s a kind of notion of the canvas, treating it as a space almost like architecture. So I think it’s this same kind of idea I’m applying in the works on paper: the lack of pigment in the paper is the same as the lack of pigment in the canvas.”

Federico Herrero - UNTITLED
2018; Suite of 4 monotypes on paper; Each: 50.0 x 40.0 cm - Courtesy of James Cohan Gallery

“When I was in my formative years, which was the late 90s—there was a lot of discussion about this idea of the blurring of life and art. It was about having a more direct approach to art making—keeping the notion of working in the studio and not denying that space—but at the same time questioning where it ends and how your practice can continue once you’re out in the street or in daily life. This became for me a way to navigate my context.”

Federico Herrero - UNTITLED
2020; Monotype on paper; 50.0 x 40.0 cm - Courtesy of James Cohan Gallery

Federico Herrero (b. 1978, San José, Costa Rica) has presented solo exhibitions and public installations in São Paulo; San Francisco; Dusseldorf, Germany; Kanazawa, Japan; Tokyo; Mexico City; and London. Recent major institutional projects include Tempo aberto, Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói, São Paulo (2019); Open Envelope, Witte de With, Rotterdam, the Netherlands (2018); and Alphabet, a site-specific installation for the atrium of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2018). This summer, he will be the subject of an important mid-career retrospective at the Museo Nacional de Costa Rica in his native San Jose. Herrero received the Young Artist’s Prize at the 49th Venice Biennale (2001) and his work is in the permanent collection of numerous institutions including the Tate Modern, London, UK;  Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; Palm Springs Museum of Art, Palm Springs, CA; MUDAM, Luxembourg; MUSAC, Castilla y León, Spain;  Museo de de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo de Santander y Cantabria, Santander, Spain; MUAC Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, Mexico; Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan; 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan; and the Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY. Herrero is also the founder of Despacio, a contemporary art space in his native San José, which is an important force in the continued development of Central America’s artistic voice. He lives and works in San José, Costa Rica.

XU ZHEN® at James Cohan Gallery

XU ZHEN® at James Cohan Gallery

James Cohan Gallery, New York

29 of April – 30 June 2020

Xu Zhen is an artist who is keenly interested in hybridizing East with West, forging bonds through visual culture while also questioning the easy commodification of icons.

Xu Zhen, Madein company – European Thousand-armes classical sculpture
2014, Glass fiber reinforced concrete, marble, metal, 304 x 1470 x 473 cm
Credit: Madein Company/Xu Zhen – Photo by Thomas Fuesser

When viewed from the front, this procession of classical European sculptures creates the illusion of a many-armed Buddhist image of the Thousand-Armed Guanyin, the bodhisattva of compassion. This visual hybrid fuses together the great artistic and cultural traditions of east and west, exploring the way in which these cultures collide and how new forms can be created through exchange.

2019; Bronze, paint; 207 x 69.8 x 59.7 cm – Courtesy of James Cohan Gallery

“I’m interested in the misunderstandings that can be created between East and West. How sometimes, when they confront one another, one cannot convince the other of its position and vice versa. It’s all about the viewer’s experience and background, and all the misunderstandings that can create.”
-Xu Zhen

Xu Zhen – “HELLO”
2018 – 2019; Robotic mechanisms, styrofoam, polyurethane foam, silicone paint, sensors, electronic controls; 350 x 600 x 600 cm – Courtesy of James Cohan Gallery.

The Corinthian column first created in ancient Greece has become a symbol of power, prestige and western civilisation. In “Hello,” a kinetic column has come alive, taking the form of a snake, as it ominously watches and follows visitors move through the gallery. Meeting the sculpture’s gaze, the visitor is confronted with a dark void.

2014; Glass fiber-reinforced concrete, marble grains, sandstone grains, mineral pigments, steel; 355.0 x 91.0 x 91.0 cm – Courtesy of James Cohan Gallery.

Born after Mao’s Cultural Revolution and amidst the reforms of Deng Xiaoping, Xu scrutinizes China’s role in an increasingly globalized economy. Unlike artists of an older generation, he is less focused on the overtly political and instead examines the relentless capitalistic urge which pervades so much of Chinese society.

As Xu Zhen remarked, “Nowadays, people believe in things by buying them.”

Xu Zhen – UNDER HEAVEN – 20180927, 2018
Oil on canvas, aluminum; 60 x 80 x 13 cm – Courtesy of James Cohan Gallery

Xu Zhen achieves the sumptuous surfaces of the Under Heaven series by applying oil paint to the canvas with pastry-decorating bags. Exploring the idea of desire, consumption and cultural production, these paintings tempt the viewer with their luxurious surfaces and color palette. These works are an ironic take on the large-scale, abstract paintings popular in the contemporary art market.

Xu Zhen – UNDER HEAVEN — 2808TR1601, 2016
Oil on canvas, aluminum; 180.0 x 14.0 cm – Courtesy of James Cohan.

As an observer of many cultures, Xu Zhen combs the internet for rich source material. The internet, a place where everyone is talking and no one is listening, provides opportunities for collision and unexpected inspiration. In the Metal Language works, Xu Zhen pulls phrases from the internet and political cartoons and places them in direct dialogue with one another.

2019; Mirror finished stainless steel, metal chains; 120 x 220 cm
Courtesy of James Cohan Gallery.

“It is hard to define an artist as someone who just produces artworks. They are perhaps someone who changes the way people think.”
-Xu Zhen

The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, has organized XU ZHEN ®: Eternity vs Evolution, the artist’s first major solo exhibition in Australia with the support of the White Rabbit Collection, Sydney. James Cohan would like to thank the National Gallery of Australia for organizing the exhibition.

The online viewing room is a selection of available works based on the museum’s exhibition.

Writing Beyond at Axel Vervoordt Gallery

Writing Beyond at Axel Vervoordt Gallery

Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Antwerp

Sat 16 May 2020 to Sat 29 Aug 2020

Axel Vervoordt presents a new exhibition at Kanaal, titled “Writing Beyond”. On view are works by seventeen artists selected for how their work examines materiality and the exploration of intuition, energy, and consciousness. “The exhibition analyzes how artists give form to something that cannot be expressed by words alone,” says Axel. “Art is born when, at the moment of creation, the energy is stronger than the voluntary act of the artist and created in a moment of total freedom.”

Exhibition view – © Axel Vervoordt Gallery – Jan Liégeois

The exhibition is particularly prescient given today’s current global pandemic as lockdowns have resulted in moments of isolation, introspection, and questioning. These works express how art may propose solutions through self-actualisation and energetic expression.

The exhibition is installed in the spaces at Kanaal known as Henro and Ma-ka, which were designed by architect Tatsuro Miki and Axel Vervoordt according to principles of sacred geometry.

Exhibition view – © Axel Vervoordt Gallery – Jan Liégeois

The exhibition includes work by Ida Barbarigo, Raimund Girke, Sadaharu Horio, Tsuyoshi Maekawa, Masatoshi Masanobu, Henri Michaux, Yuko Nasaka, Hermann Nitsch, Roman Opalka, Niki de Saint Phalle, Park Seo-Bo, Dominique Stroobant, Kazuo Shiraga, Bosco Sodi, Antoni Tàpies, Günther Uecker, and Jef Verheyen. The exhibition also features a selection of objects, including a 19th-century Gongshi or ‘Dream Stone’, a 12th-century seated wooden Lohan, and a South-Australian Tjuringa.

Exhibition view – © Axel Vervoordt Gallery – Jan Liégeois

Exhibition Origins

It’s generally accepted that we refer to ‘history’, as the Greek ‘historia’, from the moment that written documentation is available. All events occurring before written records are considered ‘prehistory’, although it’s sometimes difficult to make strict distinctions between proto-writings and true writings. Sumerian cuneiform tablets and Egyptian hieroglyphs are considered to be the earliest forms of true writing systems in which linguistic expression is encoded so that readers may understand the content.

Exhibition view – © Axel Vervoordt Gallery – Jan Liégeois

Throughout history, every civilisation has developed its respective language and writing, which evolved from a pictorial writing system to a phonetical system with letters, words, or symbols, and the use of a large variety of complicated grammatical rules. Writing allows societies to transmit information and share knowledge. The greatest benefit of writing is that it provides the tool by which society can record information consistently and in greater detail, something that could not be achieved as well previously by spoken word.

Exhibition view – © Axel Vervoordt Gallery – Jan Liégeois

This exhibition explores how an artist’s specific visual language reflects their internal writing system—a sense of ‘automatic writing’—while at the same time going beyond writing. While curating the works selected for installation, Axel stated, “Artists have the unique ability to follow their intuitive feelings to express cosmic energy. They materialise what cannot be written. It goes beyond our understanding of writing.”

Pier Paolo Calzolari: Muitos estudos para uma casa de limao

Pier Paolo Calzolari: Muitos estudos para uma casa de limao

Repetto Gallery Viewing Room


Into the yellow of the rose
Perennial, which, in bright expansiveness,
Lays forth its gradual blooming, redolent
Of praises to the never-wintering sun…

Divine Comedy, Paradise, XXX, 122-125

Pier Paolo Calzolari – Untitled, from “Muitos estudos para uma casa de limão” series
2018; Salt, tempera, pastels “à l’écu” and oil pastels on Arches watercolor “Torchon” paper laid on board; 58.5 x 38.5 x 1.5 cm – Courtesy of Repetto Gallery

In his elegant writing, David Anfam cites the yellow of Goethe’s lemons; thus in this brief note, we could not forgo mention of our great Dante. Yellow as a colour, but yellow most of all as a symbol of light, of warmth and of grace: at the same time lightness and potency, energy and candour. Towards the end of the ’60s, at the start of his brilliant career, Pier Paolo Calzolari (Bologna, 1943) emerged as one of the most original and intransigent artists of the second half of the 20th century.

Pier Paolo Calzolari – Untitled, from “Muitos estudos para uma casa de limão” series
2018; Salt, tempera, pastels “à l’écu” and oil pastels on Arches watercolor “Torchon” paper laid on board; 77 x 57.5 x 2 cm – Courtesy of Repetto Gallery

A profound and refined interpreter of the poetics of the sublime – more in its Baroque than its Romantic acceptation, in terms of theatricality, experimentation and marvel – he has always toyed and created with the force of the elements. Suspended between the two extremes of its possible etymology – sub-limen, beneath the architrave of the gateway, way up high; and sub-limo, beneath the mud, way down low – like a new Ulysses, he drew back the stiff bow of creativity, each time shooting the arrow of inspiration right up to his decisive encounter with the pure star of Form. But just what kind of Form? Not that based on the poetics of beauty – at least not beauty viewed as order, measure, equilibrium and symmetry – but on the contrary, each time espousing the risks of the sublime: the sentiment of the boundless, the vibrations of the unknown, the doubts of experimentation, the asymmetries of the void and the matter that feeds on its uninterrupted transformations. Hence the flame, vegetable matter, salt, water, tobacco, frost and ice became his forms and symbols. Like that of Ulysses, his is a colourful mind, and one which with endless skill adapts to the will of destiny, to the order of the elements, transforming itself and much else around him. In the identification of his extraordinary creativity, both archaic and unprecedented, remote and futuristic, in which the two sacred memories of Georges de La Tour and Caspar David Friedrich – fire and ice, heat and freezing, black and white – meet up once more in an embrace which is both intimate and impossible, real and infinite.

Pier Paolo Calzolari – Untitled, from “Muitos estudos para uma casa de limão” series
2018; Salt, tempera, pastels “à l’écu” and oil pastels on Arches watercolor “Torchon” paper laid on board; 77 x 57.5 x 2 cm – Courtesy of Repetto Gallery

However, with these new works, his recent creations which we are happy and honoured to present – paper applied to the board, on which salt (presented as a large and dominant surface) dialogues with the milk tempera and various kinds of crayon – his creativity manages to regain a greater degree of decoration, an unprecedented pleasantness, like an extreme and lyrical song. In these new works, Calzolari seems to counterbalance a degree of calm, of tenderness, a fortuitous gracefulness made up of joyful and lively colours to his traditional stormy, restless and experimental waters; woven to form a candid fabric of kindly, refined gestures, in a chromatic approach which is both energetic and humble, brilliant and delicate. An unprecedented ‘pictorial’ universe, in which his previous ‘brazen cry’, having acquired a new air of wisdom, has been transformed into a multicolour zen chant.

Carlo and Paolo Repetto

Pier Paolo Calzolari – Untitled, from “Muitos estudos para uma casa de limão” series
2018; Salt, tempera, pastels “à l’écu” and oil pastels on Arches watercolor “Torchon” paper laid on board; 77 x 57.5 x 2 cm – Courtesy of Repetto Gallery
Pier Paolo Calzolari – Untitled, from “Muitos estudos para uma casa de limão” series
2018; Salt, tempera, pastels “à l’écu” and oil pastels on Arches watercolor “Torchon” paper laid on board; 77 x 57.5 x 2 cm – Courtesy of Repetto Gallery

Here is the third Calzolari, an intimate philosopher. Muitos estudos para uma casa de limão stems from this sensibility.

Never before exhibited, the project comprising twenty-two studies for a “lemon house” is sui generis, a one-of-a-kind suite complete in itself. Nevertheless, its matrix belongs to Calzolari’s wider practice – specifically the aforementioned painting-as-lyric mode. Executed on Torchon Arches paper mounted on board, the support’s roughness not only has a grain that helps texture the milk tempera medium, it also chimes with another of Calzolari’s signature substances, layered salt. In turn, the granular pigmented surface deftly embellished by marks made with ultra-soft, friable pastels (pastel à l’écu) establishes a concrete metaphor for the look and feel of a lemon’s skin. But before considering the fruit, Calzolari’s touch in this pictorial style merits mention. He has described painting as “a butterfly”. The butterfly and Calzolari’s facture have one common quality (beside their beauty): they quiver light as a feather (which, by no coincidence, belongs among the artist’s leitmotifs). Lightness is to materiality as transience is to time. After all, fruits form a late stage in a plant’s development, a prelude to its dormancy or death.

Extract of David Anfam’s text “Ripeness”, written in occasion of the exhibition of Muitos estudos para uma casa de limao, September 2019.

Takesada Matsutani / Stream

Takesada Matsutani / Stream

Hauser & Wirth

14 May – 14 Jun 2020


‘Time is for me, most important. I was born, I must die. But my conscious is streaming for infinity.

My infinity, my purpose, my desire is there.

That’s my imagination.’

—Takesada Matsutani

The artist’s unique visual language forms one of the most pioneering oeuvres to emerge from post-war Japan and is continually celebrated globally. With the online exhibition, ‘Stream’, Ōsaka-born and Paris-based artist Takesada Matsutani presents a series of previously unseen works, alongside a significant body of preparatory drawings, multi-media paintings and lithographs, dating from the 1970s to present day.

Stream 78-1 – Takesada Matsutani,1978
Graphite pencil and turpentine on paper; 81 x 119.5 cm
© Takesada Matsutani. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

Buddhist teachings were a central element in Matsutani’s childhood education, with our existence seen as a constantly changing current. Although he doesn’t consider himself a Zen practitioner in his art, he has felt a profound affinity with the philosophy’s call for a ‘return to the simplicity of everyday experience,’ its rejection of ‘system-based thinking,’ and its emphasis on ‘a constant moment-to-moment praxis.’ In his multifaceted works, Matsutani attempts to stop time, to materialize a suspended moment and acknowledge the repetition and fluidity of everyday life.

Puffed up-2 (膨らみ-2) – Takesada Matsutani, 2020.
Vinyl adhesive, graphite pencil, acrylic, on canvas and plywood, 91.5 x 63 x 10.5 cm
© Takesada Matsutani. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

Matsutani began creating vast expanses of metallic black graphite on mural-size sheets of paper built up with painstaking individual strokes, commonly known as his Stream series. The successive layers produce a sense of volume through the interplay of shadows and the direction of the pencil strokes, developing a tactility and inner luminosity as seen in the earliest work in the online presentation, ‘Stream 78-1’ (1978) and ‘Stream 99-5’ (1999). This ritualized manner of mark-making has a performative gesture that presents a time-based record reminiscent of Matsutani’s artistic beginnings in Japan.

Three Circles-19 – Takesada Matsutani, 2019.
Vinyl adhesive, acrylic, graphite pencil on canvas, 55 x 38 x 3.5 cm 
© Takesada Matsutani. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

About the artist
Takesada Matsutani was born in Ōsaka in 1937. He began exhibiting with the Gutai Group in 1960, along with Shūji Mukai and Tsuyoshi Maekawa, and officially joined the group in 1963. In 1966, he received a grant from the French government after winning first prize in the 1st Mainichi Art Competition, and subsequently moved to Paris where he continues to live and work today.

Propagation 15-2-5 – Takesada Matsutani, 2015.
Vinyl adhesive, graphite pencil on canvas, 162 x 130 cm
© Takesada Matsutani. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

Organized with Olivier Renaud-Clément, this intimate presentation embodies Matsutani’s intuitive and enduring connection with his materials over the past six decades, including a new work created in the artist’s studio and home during this period of isolation.

In keeping with his Gutai roots, Matsutani strove to identify and convey the essential character and expressive possibilities between vinyl adhesive and graphite. It is this confluence of materials, as seen in recent works ‘Propagation 15-2-5’ (2015) and ‘EVOLUTION-99’ (1999), that epitomizes the distinctive visual language the artist has made his own over the last 40 years.

Kao – Takesada Matsutani, 2011.
Vinyl adhesive, graphite powder, gouache and paper on wood, 19 x 12.8 x 1.7 cm
© Takesada Matsutani. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

Alongside Matsutani’s rediscovery of the power of black and white, he also started to adopt bright colour planes and shaped canvases with a very personal palette, this is highlighted in ‘Three Circles-19’ (2019), photographed in the artist’s studio in the past month during isolation. Talking about whether the current global pandemic has changed his practice Matsutani says: ‘a little bit at first, but I find my routine is the same and focus on the work is the same. In the end, the beauty is still there and continues to exist.’

Takesada Matsutani. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

This online exhibition follows Matsutani’s retrospective survey at the Centre Pompidou, Paris in Summer 2019 and coincides with the re-opening of ‘Takesada Matsutani: Prints, 1967-1977’ at les Abattoirs, Toulouse, in partnership with the National Institute of Art History, France (INHA). The artist’s work is also featured in our current group presentation at Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong, open until 30 May.

Under the umbrella of Hauser & Wirth’s new global philanthropic and charitable initiative #artforbetter, the gallery is donating 10% of gross profits from sales of all works in their online exhibitions to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization.

Selections / Almine Rech Viewing Room

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

Ewa Juszkiewicz

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.

Ewa Juszkiewicz: Portrait of a lady (after Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg), 2020
Oil on canvas, 100 x 80 cm – Courtesy of the Artist and Almine Rech

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.

Nathaniel Mary Quinn: After All These Years, 2019
Oil paint, paint stick, oil pastel, soft pastel, gouache on canvas
40 x 29 x 3.5 cm, Courtesy of the Artist and Almine Rech

Tom Wesselmann

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.

Tom Wesselmann: Study for Sunset Nude with Picasso Vase, 2004
Ink and colored pencil on 100% rag tracing paper, 21 x 22 x 4 cm – Courtesy of The Estate of Tom Wesselmann and Almine Rech © 2020 The Estate of Tom Wesselmann / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Vaughn Spann

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.

Vaughn Spann: Mars on Earth, 2020
Polymer paint, mixed media on wood panels, with wooden frame, 184.2 x 96.5 cm
Courtesy of the Artist and Almine Rech

Brent Wadden

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.

Brent Wadden: Untitled, 2018
Hand woven fibers, wool, cotton and acrylic on canvas, 278 x 212 x 4 cm
Courtesy of the Artist and Almine Rech

Günther Förg

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.

Günther Förg: Untitled (Mask), 1990 ; Bronze 48 x 30 x 30 cm
Courtesy of Almine Rech © 2020 Estate Günther Förg, Switzerland / VG Bild-Kunst Bonn

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.

Ida Tursic & Wilfried Mille: To be titled, 2020; Silver silkscreen and oil on canvas
180 x 160 x 5 cm – Courtesy of the Artists and Almine Rech

Johan Creten

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

Chloe Wise

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.

Chloe Wise: Untitled, 2020; Oil on canvas, 91.4 x 121.9 cm
Courtesy of the Artist and Almine Rech

Markus Lüpertz

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.

Markus Lüpertz: Amor + Psyche, 2013 – Oil on canvas in artist frame, 51 x 40.8 x 6.7 cm
Courtesy of the Artists and Almine Rech

John McAllister

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.

John McAllister: Rays rought crepuscular, 2020; Oil on canvas, 119.4 x 96.5 cm
Courtesy of the Artist and Almine Rech

William Monk: Untitled (zip) II – VII

William Monk: Untitled (zip) II – VII

PACE Gallery

May 5 – May 15, 2020


Pace Gallery presents William Monk: Untitled (zip) II–VII, a solo exhibition bringing together six new paintings created by the artist over the past month as a response to life in quarantine at his studio in London.

Mark Beasley on William Monk

This series expands upon a single painting Monk made in 2017 depicting a mysterious and hovering vapor trail set against a vibrant, luminescent sky. In these recent paintings, the artist expands the landscape and unfolds it into a visual mantra to capture, in his words, this “silenced and beautiful apocalypse.” Monk’s new body of work will be unveiled on Pace’s online platform on May 5 and will remain on view through May 15, concurrent to the online iteration of Frieze New York. 

William Monk, Untitled (zip) II, 2020. Oil on canvas. 13 3/4 × 23-5/8 in. Courtesy of the artist and Pace Gallery, New York / London / Hong Kong / Seoul / Geneva / Palo Alto.

Curated by Mark Beasley, Curatorial Director at Pace Gallery, Untitled (zip) II–VII features six paintings by the artist that, as Beasley notes, “let loose an unidentifiable and cryptic symbol that, rising to meet the sky, variously reminds one of an erupting volcano, cigarette smoke, a sequence from a sci-fi movie, or the vapor trail of a ground-to-air-missile.” For Monk, these paintings reflect his continued preoccupation with creating a space for the mind to travel. As with poetry, Monk’s work seeks to flesh out the abstract and reminds us to slow down. Or, as he says, “Painting is the antithesis of life outside ourselves.” The online exhibition presents a range of source materials, from iconic films to archival imagery, that have influenced the artist, offering an in-depth look into—and context around—the evolutionary process of Monk’s dynamic painting practice.

William Monk, Untitled (zip) III, 2020, Oil on canvas, 35 cm × 60 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Pace Gallery, New York / London / Hong Kong / Seoul / Geneva / Palo Alto.

The cinematic and photographic memory looms large in Monk’s imagination. In particular, he cites Stanley Kubrick’s teen-gang dystopic future vision A Clockwork Orange, Michelangelo Antonioni’s revolutionary Sixties hippie movie Zabriskie Point, and Ridley Scott’s bleak future vision of tech-landscapes and artificial intelligence Blade Runner as some of the films that have shaped his visual language and memory. Source imagery aside, Monk is clear that his paintings ultimately exist without a singular and fixed meaning: “I don’t start from a position of knowing, and I don’t always end up there either.” Instead, viewers of these works are witnesses to a visual mantra, a sign and image that builds painting by painting, one through six, or two through seven.

William Monk, Untitled (zip) IV, 2020, Oil on canvas, 35 cm × 60 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Pace Gallery, New York / London / Hong Kong / Seoul / Geneva / Palo Alto.

Untitled (zip) II–VII marks the first exhibition in the second installment of Pace’s online series, which will feature five monographic shows spotlighting contemporary artists from the gallery’s roster, presented online throughout May and June. Similarly, the exhibitions to follow, by Nigel Cooke and Loie Hollowell, are each comprised of new works created by these artists during this period of isolation and will also be unveiled for the first time as part of Pace’s online program. Additionally, exhibitions by Milan-based artist Nathalie Du Pasquier and Beijing-based Yin Xiuzhen will feature recent works by each of the artists, representing a global perspective at this time of challenges shared across the world.

William Monk’s studio. Courtesy of the artist and Pace Gallery, New York / London / Hong Kong / Seoul / Geneva / Palo Alto.

William Monk (b. 1977, Kingston upon Thames, UK) paints enigmatic and vibrant works, using starkly divisional compositions and often working in extensive series that gradually evolve over time. The canvases carry irregular intensities of detail, line, foreground, and background; a sense of repetition breaks down the figuration, creating visual mantras. This rhythm happens throughout Monk’s work, surrendering figurative logic to arrive at something stranger and more powerful. Atmospheric and energetic, these paintings invite a more direct physical connection, drawing in the space between our inner and outer realms of experience.

Thomas Ruff: Space Oddity

Thomas Ruff: Space Oddity

Mai 36 Galerie, Zurich

May 06 through Jun 06, 2020


Since the late 1970s, Thomas Ruff has been exploring the structures and contiguities of the photographic medium, analyzing the visual significance and power of expression as well as the meaning of contemporary visual phaenomena.

Thomas Ruff – cassini 39, 2011

In this show a selection from the series press++ (2015), ma.r.s (2011), zycles (2008), cassini (2008), stars (1989–1992), is contextualized within a purely virtual exhibition space, offering a new look on Ruff’s concern with the various kinds of image production and most of all on his boyhood and ongoing interest on the universe and celestial bodies, stretching throughout his oeuvre. Indeed, Ruff admits that as a boy, he bought a telescope to look at the stars before acquiring a camera.

Thomas Ruff, cassini 11, 2009

Inspired by drawings found in 19th-century antiquarian books on electromagnetism, the artist used a computer program to visualize and process complex formula of linear algebra to construct zycles’ three-dimensional tangles of lines. The structures represent intrinsically logical curves, such that you can no longer discern their origin in mathematics. Instead, they bring to mind planetary orbits, the lines of magnetic fields, curved strips or loops, line drawings in abstract art, or musical oscillations. In addition, the abstract, wildly colored and vaguely geometric forms of the cassini series were taken from an archive of satellite images of Saturn and its moons, provided by the NASA online. In September 2017, the Cassini probe got in the worldwide news, deliberately disposed of via a controlled fall into Saturn’s atmosphere, ending its nearly two-decade-long mission space probe Furthermore, dedicating himself to work with original copies of the 1212 negatives of the «European Southern Observatory» (ESO) archive lead to the monumental stars series.

Thomas Ruff, ma.r.s.18

With his recent series press++, featuring photographs of archival media clippings from American newspapers and magazines from the 50’s and the60’s, Thomas Ruff underlines his strong interest for space exploration, as being one of the recurrent themes of the series. The early zeitungsfotos series from the 1990s is linked to press++, as Thomas Ruff used the newspaper photographs issued from his personal archive for this purpose, amongst which astronomy and space exploration was already one of the chosen thematics.

Thomas Ruff, 00h 46m / -30°, 1992

Thomas Ruff has regularly used scientific photographs as source material for his work and came across the NASA pictures while doing research into the image-generating potential of photography. He was utterly fascinated with the extremely realistic, naturalistic and yet strange photographs of a universe that exists outside the range of conventional human experience. In working with this material Ruff transformed the images taken straight down at a perpendicular from the orbiter into a slanted view. The resulting pseudo- perspective and the added color to the black-and-white shots emphasize the extraordinary feel of the landscapes but without changing their character. The ma.r.s series once again demonstrates the Ruff’s ability in exploiting state of- the-art technology in striking combinations of matter-of- fact documentation and formal elegance. His approach is a collaboration between a scientific spirit and imagination that spans a few centuries.


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