Casey Kaplan

Categories

Artist News

96 pages
8 x 10 inches
Paperback
81 Color and 13 B&W images
Edition of 1000
March 2018

Artist News

Painters like Jordan Casteel, whose 2017 painting “Yvonne and James” is seen here, have found success with a form that was long considered unfashionable.

T Magazine: The New Face of Portrait Painting

DUSHKO PETROVICH FEB. 12, 2018

THE OFFICIAL PRESIDENTIAL portrait began with George Washington, who was painted in 1796 by Gilbert Stuart, among the pre-eminent American artists of his time. This tradition, of a painter depicting a president, usually soon after the end of his final term, continued after the advent of photography mostly as a matter of ceremony. For hundreds of years, the presidential portrait was a ho-hum affair, failing to generate headlines or even a worthy anecdote, with the possible exception of Theodore Roosevelt, who was so displeased by Théobald Chartran’s 1902 portrait — he thought it made him look too coy — that he first hid it in a less-trafficked corner of the White House before finally burning it.

Rarely do these commissions make any kind of larger statement about American art, but last fall, when Barack Obama selected Kehinde Wiley — a figurative painter who deploys the techniques, poses and patterns of the grand tradition of Baroque European paintings to portray contemporary black and brown men he finds on the street — to paint his official portrait for the Smithsonian, it at least reflected the Obamas’ well-developed connections to the world of culture. The Obamas are connoisseurs — they were the first presidential family to display work by African-American painters like Glenn Ligon and Alma Thomas — and yet their choice stood out, because Wiley is an artist whose stature in the art world comes close to matching Obama’s in politics. When he first started showing his work in the early 2000s, Wiley’s reversals of classical figuration were an outlier at a time when most painters dealt in abstraction. His ascent was swift; he had not one but two shows at the Brooklyn Museum, in 2004 and in 2015. More recently, his works were featured on the hip-hop television series “Empire,” a show that also has featured portraits by artists like Kerry James Marshall, Mickalene Thomas and Barkley Hendricks. But what might be most important about Wiley’s selection was that it seemed to signal contemporary portraiture’s new relevance, the reconsideration of a mode that had been thought out of fashion, if not downright taboo, for decades. Long confined to historical museums and musty mansions, it seemed like portraiture had suddenly been rushed out of storage.

For centuries, of course, portrait painting was art. But by the second half of the 20th century, it had almost disappeared. By this time, critics routinely announced the death of painting with every new technological and aesthetic innovation. First there was the proliferation of photography, then the ready-made. Then there was the internet, and social media, whose rise seemed to render the medium of painting — not to mention portraiture — completely irrelevant: Why paint someone’s picture in the age of the selfie? Most painters responded by getting weirder, more abstract, more experimental; representational figurative art was anachronistic, inert, crusty — a form of vanity exclusive to the rich.

And yet portraiture — in the classic, realist sense — has become increasingly essential (and visible) in the last few years. You saw it at the Baltimore Museum of Art’s fall 2017 solo show by Njideka Akunyili Crosby, who paints intimate scenes of herself and her husband lounging around their house; at a September 2017 solo show at the Casey Kaplan gallery in New York by Jordan Casteel, whose humanizing portraits often depict black men in everyday situations (scrolling through a phone, walking a dog, sitting on the sofa); at the extremely popular Martin Wong show at the Bronx Museum in 2015, where the artist walked a line between playful and gritty in his social realist paintings; at a show organized by the critic Hilton Als at David Zwirner in New York last February, where portraits by Alice Neel, who died in 1984, looked as urgent and as vital as ever, the lonely eyes of her subjects holding a kind of mirror up to life, “pouring in energy from both sides — the sitter’s and the artist’s,” as Als wrote in his essay for the exhibition.

So why is portraiture returning now? For one, there is an institutional urgency to speak to a more diverse audience with painting that depicts the black community, the Asian-American experience, the Latino face, to attract the various people who had been excluded from the museum by remaking the history of figurative painting, this time with color. Not that the trend toward realist portraits is exclusive to artists of color. It is evident in the rococo renderings of Sam McKinniss, who paints pop culture figures — Prince, Lorde, Flipper — like hallowed aristocrats. It was clear in a series of self-portraits by Justin Vivian Bond — who is best known for experimental cabaret performances — that were displayed at the New Museum last fall, and seemed to casually but definitively announce Bond’s identity as a trans artist.

And there is another reason for figurative paintings’ resurgence as well: We live in a time in which reality is almost daily warped in ways that were unimaginable even 18 months ago. We have swiftly entered an era where the very notion of truth, or facts, is considered fungible. As we reassess the various power structures that landed us here, it is stabilizing and reassuring to look at the work of an artist who is clearly in control of her craft, who is able to depict a reality that is material and grounded in recognition — of seeing, in the Facebook age, a painting that looks like who it is meant to.

THE CURRENT GENERATION of figurative paintings owes a debt to Kerry James Marshall, whose 2016 multicity retrospective cemented the artist’s often-stated goal, one that is as straightforward as it is enormous: to put blackness into art history. The painter’s brilliantly simple gambit, one that has allowed for decades of elaboration, was to literalize that blackness. Starting in 1980 with a mischievous little egg-tempera — “A Portrait of the Artist as a Shadow of His Former Self,” which features a grin missing a crucial tooth — Marshall has painted his African-American subjects mostly in unmixed black paint. Ever since, these figures have been seen — boldly and yet barely — in a variety of settings: the artist’s studio, the hairdresser’s, parks, bedrooms, outer space. Their blackness makes each inclusion subtly register as an exclusion.

This idea is expanded upon in the work of Amy Sherald, who was Michelle Obama’s choice to paint her official portrait. Sherald uses grisaille — a method of painting in gray monochrome — for her subjects’ skin. Because her gradations slyly allude to the mixed and often unacknowledged backgrounds of African-Americans, Sherald’s paintings make an important statement about our racial history. One 2016 image, “Listen, You a Wonder. You a City of a Woman. You Got a Geography of Your Own,” features a woman wearing a skirt dotted with black flowers. As if to underline the point, she is suspending a black purse in front of her belly.

Artists like Marshall and Sherald suggest that in its exclusion of people of color, the issue of representation in painting is really a matter of misrepresentation. The best portrait painters working today introduce something new into art not through stylistic innovations, but by whom they choose as subjects. Aliza Nisenbaum, who was among the most prominent artists in last year’s Whitney Biennial, looks at undocumented immigrants from Latin America in her work. The artist, who hails from Mexico City, shifted her painting practice from abstract to portraiture around 2010, while working with Cuban artist Tania Bruguera’s Immigrant Movement International, an art project in Queens which provides social services to the neighborhood’s large immigrant community. Nisenbaum realized that the portrait process — long, slow, intimate — gave her a way to get to know this community. Additionally, she recognized that painting these people’s pictures would be one way to address their erasure in other areas of life. Nisenbaum has since expanded the project to include portrait-making workshops for the immigrants themselves. As if to complete the circle, the 2017 work “Wise Elders Portraiture Class at Centro Tyrone Guzman. En Familia hay Fuerza with mural on the history of immigrant farm labor to the United States,” shows the students holding the portraits they themselves learned to draw.

What’s most surprising about the recent return of classical portraiture is realizing how utterly absent it was from the art world for so many years, to such an extent that Andy Warhol — one of the people ostensibly responsible for killing the form — helped found the New York Academy of Art in 1982 in order to salvage the kind of technical fine arts training (most notably figure drawing) that seemed at the time in danger of becoming extinct. The Neo-Expressionism of the 1980s — led by painters like Julian Schnabel and David Salle — helped popularize abstraction by making it into a desirable commodity, but it also rendered the realism of a painter like Alice Neel passé. But painting, perhaps because it is so old, seems unusually inclined to rebirth, to responding to its time in surprising ways. As the commercialism of the art world expanded in the 2010s, painting became a subset of interior decorating, something that was easy to mass produce and inoffensive to live with: paintings marked by bold colors and forms, sometimes literally depicting flowers (the work of Nate Lowman) or sunsets (Alex Israel). In 2014, at the peak of this stylistic moment, New York’s Museum of Modern Art hung its first survey composed exclusively of contemporary painting since 1958, “The Forever Now,” a show that responded to the current age of distraction, in which contemporaneity was constantly being replaced by something newer. Only the works of Amy Sillman and Nicole Eisenman, who both have portrait-painting practices, hinted at the fact that in our next, emphatically historical moment, something old would be doing the replacing.

But an ever-widening chasm exists between 2014 and today. If the news of the world feels every day more like a pulpy political thriller with an unhinged plotline, painters have responded by grounding their work in observable, human reality. Most of this work isn’t overtly political on its surface — there is Henry Taylor’s monumental 2012 portrait of a woman grilling chicken on a barbecue, or Celeste Dupuy-Spencer’s 2016 painting of a man making a playlist on his laptop, a cigarette-filled ashtray in front of him. But they also suggest that, in a time of chaos, there could be nothing more necessary — more defiant — than simply showing life as it’s being lived.

Artist News

The New Yorker – Giorgio Griffa: The 1980s

This exhilarating show brings to light abstract paintings from the nineteen-eighties, when the Italian artist, who is now eighty-one, began straying from the lushly minimalist work he was making to follow his passion for the chromatic flair of Roman frescoes and Henri Matisse. The canvases hang unstretched on the wall, sporting grids of creases, evidence of having been folded in storage for decades—the works haven’t been seen since Griffa made them. The color is exuberant but the approach is restrained, allowing the unpainted space on each canvas to play a compositional role. Big blue loops trailing across the surface of “Tre Arabeschi” suggest an archangel’s handwriting exercise; horizontal bands of pink, peach, yellow, and salmon below vertical stripes of violet and aqua in “Campo e Segno” will banish dark thoughts, however briefly.

Artist News

Kevin Beasley, If I Was Standing Alone I Wouldn’t Stand It at All, 2017

San Antonio Museum of Art Acquires Works by Kevin Beasley, Rodney McMillian, and Martine Syms

The San Antonio Museum of Art in Texas announced that it has acquired three major artworks by African American artists Kevin Beasley, Rodney McMillian, and Martine Syms. “Each artwork was made in the last year or two and reflects the most critical ideas and issues motivating artistic practices today,” Suzanne Weaver, the institution’s curator of modern and contemporary art, said.

For If I Was Standing Alone I Wouldn’t Stand It at All, 2017, Beasley dipped several housedresses, similar to those his grandmother used to wear, in resin and manipulated them into sculptural form. Known for his multi-disciplinary practice, Beasley blends the boundaries between personal memory and lived experience in his works, often while addressing issues of power, sexuality, and race

Artist News

Hammer Museum: Stories of Almost Everyone

JANUARY 28 – MAY 6, 2018

Stories of Almost Everyone is an exhibition about the willingness to believe the stories that are conveyed by works of contemporary art.

In recent years, a continued emphasis on an art of ideas—inherited from the legacies of conceptual and post-conceptual artistic practice—has sought to further develop strategies in the service of communicating social, political, and economic histories. To varying degrees, there has been a renewed faith in the abilities of artworks to convey meaning and facilitate supposedly authentic experiences, while artists have simultaneously retained tendencies rooted in mysticism, fiction, and the arts of deception.

Whether they are borrowed from the everyday world or sculpted into new forms, art objects are often tasked with approximating the narrative descriptions that accompany them. By producing mediating texts and explanatory labels, museums participate in this activity as much as artists, who have come to consider forms of writing and language as integral parts of their work. It has become increasingly difficult, in some instances, to decipher between artistic intentionality and curatorial interpretation, creating a space where language abounds and the act of looking becomes intricately tied to the act of reading. Artists and institutions have adopted the role of speaking on behalf of reticent artifacts and the otherwise inert byproducts of material culture.

This exhibition is organized around the premise that objects of contemporary art possess narrative histories and inner lives that the conventions of display can only, at best, approximate. Through the work of over thirty international artists, Stories of Almost Everyone seeks to address the means by which a broad range of contemporary artworks and artifacts traffic in meaning and mythology in equal measure. The challenge that textual mediation poses to the inherent muteness of objects provides a framework for thinking through the potential for ideas facilitated by art to expand into other realms of thought. The varying artistic approaches brought together for this exhibition are as equally emboldened by a faith in objects to communicate their inherent value, as they are skeptical of the conditions of museological mediation and art’s promise to convey meaning.

Stories of Almost Everyone is organized by Aram Moshayedi, curator, with Ikechukwu Onyewuenyi, curatorial assistant.

ARTISTS
Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc (b. 1977); Lutz Bacher; Darren Bader (b. 1978); Fayçal Baghriche (b. 1972); Kasper Bosmans (b. 1990); Carol Bove (b. 1971); Andrea Büttner (b. 1972); Banu Cenneto?lu (b. 1970); Jay Chung and Q Takeki Maeda (b. 1976; 1977); Fiona Connor (b. 1981); Isabelle Cornaro (b. 1974); Martin Creed (b. 1968) ; Cian Dayrit (b. 1989); Jason Dodge (b. 1969); Latifa Echakhch (b. 1974); Haris Epaminonda (b. 1980); Geoffrey Farmer (b. 1967); Lara Favaretto (b. 1973); Ceal Floyer (b. 1968); Ryan Gander (b. 1976); Mario García Torres (b. 1975); gerlach en koop; Iman Issa (b. 1979); Hassan Khan (b. 1975); Kapwani Kiwanga (b. 1978); Mark Leckey (b. 1964); Klara Lidén (b. 1979); Jill Magid (b. 1973); Dave McKenzie (b. 1977); Shahryar Nashat (b. 1975); Henrik Olesen (b. 1967); Christodoulos Panayiotou (b. 1978); Amalia Pica (b. 1978); Michael Queenland (b. 1970); Willem de Rooij (b. 1969); Miljohn Ruperto (b. 1971); Tino Sehgal (b. 1976); Mungo Thomson (b. 1969); Antonio Vega Macotela (b. 1980); and Danh Vo (b. 1975).

Artist News

Talk: The Artist & the Publishers

Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna
January 28, 6:00PM

A roundtable to explore the relationship between an artist and a publisher, and the numerous processes of production that go behind the making of books.

Participants: Jonathan Monk in conversation with Christophe Boutin & Michèle Didier

The multi-part exhibition project Publishing as an Artistic Toolbox: 1989–2017 explores the potentials of publishing – in the form of books, magazines, journals, artistic interventions, websites – as a particular medium and context both to circulate information, knowledge – and to produce art. The project is composed of different parts, sections, and components. Apart from the material exhibits on display, there will be a series of talks with artists, publishers, and graphic designers to discuss artistic publishing activities.

Artist News

Artist Talk: Giorgio Griffa at Camden Arts Centre

THURSDAY JANUARY 25
5:45 – 6:30PM

Giorgio Griffa discusses his exhibition with Martin Clark, Director of Camden Arts Centre.

Giorgio Griffa (b. 1936) lives and works in Turin, Italy. Recent solo exhibitions include: Giorgio Griffa: The 1970s, Casey Kaplan, New York, USA (2016); Works on Paper, Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, Italy (2016); Giorgio Griffa, Fondation Vincent Van Gogh Arles, Arles, France (2016); Quasi Tutto, Serralves Museum, Porto, Portugal (2015); Painting into the Fold, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway (2015); and A Retrospective 1968 – 2014, Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, Geneva, Switzerland (2015). Griffa also recently exhibited at the Venice Biennale 57th International Art Exhibition, Viva Arte Viva; his third time at the Biennale following presentations in 1978 and 1980.

Artist News

Double U.S. Book Launch of Duty Free Art and Supercommunity

January 24, 2018, 6:30 pm
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

In collaboration with e-flux and Verso Books, the Guggenheim presents the U.S. launch of two recent Verso publications: Hito Steyerl’s Duty Free Art: Art in the Age of Planetary Civil War, a new volume of essays by the writer, filmmaker, and artist; and Supercommunity: Diabolical Togetherness Beyond Contemporary Art, a collection of essays, poems, short stories, and plays by artists and theorists selected from the eponymous 88-text issue of e-flux journal commissioned for the 56th Venice Biennale. The evening will feature Steyerl in conversation with media theorist Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, a presentation by artist and Supercommunity contributing author Liam Gillick, and a one-act play by co-editors Julieta Aranda and Brian Kuan Wood.

In Duty Free Art, Berlin-based filmmaker and writer Hito Steyerl wonders how we can appreciate, or even make, art in the present age. What can we do when arms manufacturers sponsor museums, and some of the world’s most valuable artworks are used as a fictional currency in a global futures market that has nothing to do with the works themselves? Can we distinguish between creativity and the digital white noise that bombards our everyday lives? Exploring artifacts as diverse as video games, WikiLeaks files, the proliferation of spam, and political actions, she exposes paradoxes within globalization, political economies, visual culture, and the status of art production.

Over a four-month span in 2015, e-flux journal’s editors published Supercommunity. The ongoing issue was presented daily both online and on site at the 56th Venice Biennale. A selection of these essays, plays, poems, and short stories chosen for the new book Supercommunity: Diabolical Togetherness Beyond Contemporary Art forms a cohesive collection tracing the negative collective that is the subject of contemporary life. These texts illuminate the ways in which art, the Internet, and globalization have shed their utopian guises yet persist as naked power in the face of apocalyptic ecological disaster and against the claims of the social commons.

Both titles published by Verso Books will be available at the event.

This program is free. RSVP for updates; admission will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis and is not guaranteed.

Artist News,Events

Liam Gillick: Industry and Intelligence: Contemporary Art Since 1820

December 4, 2017, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
de Young Museum
Koret Auditorium

The de Young Museum’s annual Bransten lecture presents noted Liam Gillick [who will] speak on his recent book, Industry and Intelligence: Contemporary Art Since 1820, around the topic of aesthetic breakthroughs in the 19th and 20th centuries as they interact with cultural and political change. Rather than simplistically linking revolutionary breakthroughs in the arts with larger social and cultural phenomenon, he writes a nuanced genealogy to help us appreciate contemporary art’s engagement with history even when it seems apathetic or blind to current events. From Courbet to Picasso, from Malevich to Warhol, it is accepted that art tracks the disruptions of industrialization, fascism, revolution, and war. Yet filtering the history of modern art only through catastrophic events cannot account for the subtle developments that lead to the profound confusion at the heart of contemporary art. Taking a broad view of artistic creation from 1820 to today, Gillick follows the response of artists to incremental developments in science, politics, and technology. The great innovations and dislocations of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have their place in this timeline, but their traces are alternately amplified and diminished as Gillick moves through artistic reactions to liberalism, mass manufacturing, psychology, nuclear physics, automobiles, and a host of other advances. He intimately ties the origins of contemporary art to the social and technological adjustments of modern life, which artists struggled to incorporate truthfully into their works.

Liam Gillick (b.1964) deploys multiple forms to expose the new ideological control systems that emerged at the beginning of the 1990s. He has developed a number of key narratives that often form the engine for a body of work. Gillick’s work has been included in numerous important exhibitions including documenta and the Venice, Berlin and Istanbul Biennales – representing Germany in 2009 in Venice. Solo museum exhibitions have taken place at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Tate in London. Gillick’s work is held in many important public collections including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Guggenheim Museum in New York and Bilbao and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Over the last twenty five years Gillick has also been a prolific writer and critic of contemporary art – contributing to Artforum, October, Frieze and e-flux Journal. He is the author of a number of books including a volume of his selected critical writing. High profile public works include the British Government Home Office (Interior Ministry) building in London and the Lufthansa Headquarters in Frankfurt. Throughout this time Gillick has extended his practice into experimental venues and collaborative projects with artists including Philippe Parreno, Lawrence Weiner and Louise Lawler.

RSVP HERE.

Artist News,Gallery News

Judith Eisler, Headlights, 2015

WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE REPRESENTATION OF JUDITH EISLER

Judith Eisler (b. 1962, Newark, NJ) paints cinematic close-ups sourced from her own photographs of paused film scenes. Primarily working with oil on canvas, Eisler directs our view to the visual optics of cinematic happenings, often indecipherable to the untrained eye. With an ongoing investigation of the formal properties of light, color and space, Eisler considers an image’s capacity to exist as both real and fictional. With a lifelong interest in film, often returning to the work of filmmakers such as Derek Jarman and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Eisler’s paintings range in subject matter from representational (as seen in “Margit” (2013), depicting an isolated facial crop of German actress Margit Carstensen in Fassbinder’s 1973 TV-movie World on a Wire) to abstract (as in “Headlights” (2015), sourced from Amos Poe’s 1984 film Alphabet City, in which a car is almost completely obscured by the shine of its high beams). Moments of action and manifestations of emotion are transmitted through a moving image, first through digital channels of screens and monitors, then to the artist’s photographs and finally to her paintings. Accessing an atmospheric space simultaneously static and fluid, the artist transforms and expands the original thematic plot from the captured mise en scène. The narrative shifts, and with that, our understanding of the image before us.

Eisler received her BFA from Cornell University in 1984. She has been exhibiting her work since 1995 at venues such as Hall Art Foundation/Schloss Derneburg Museum, Hanover, Germany; White Columns, New York; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Bass Museum, Miami, FL; Hayward Gallery, London; and Castello di Rivoli, Turin. In 2002, she was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. Eisler is currently included in an exhibition at Kunsthalle, Vienna, on view through January 2018. Eisler is a professor at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria, and lives and works between Vienna, Austria and Warren, Connecticut. The artist’s first solo exhibition at Casey Kaplan is slated for September of 2018.

Artist News

MoCA Detroit: FILM + MUSIC: THE DRAMASTICS ARE LOUD

FILM + MUSIC: THE DRAMASTICS ARE LOUD
Saturday, November 11, 8pm
Admission: Free ($5 suggested donation)

See Nathan Carter’s dioramas currently on view in Sonic Rebellion: Music as Resistance come to life during this highly entertaining short film which tells the story of four women who finish high school and start a punk band. The DRAMASTICS Are Loud was created, written, and directed entirely by Carter who also composed the music for the film. Immediately following the screening, the DRAMASTICS REVUE will do a live performance featuring music from the film.

Artist News

JONATHAN MONK: NAME USED TO FILL SPACE | MÉLANGE, COLOGNE

NOVEMBER 9, 2017 — JANUARY 14, 2018

Artist News

NATHAN CARTER | THE DRAMASTICS: A PUNK ROCK VICTORY TWISTER IN TEXAS | NASHER SCULPTURE CENTER, DALLAS

October 26, 2017 – January 28, 2018

Artist News

Kevin Beasley, Rebuilding of the cotton gin motor, 2016. Photo: Carlos Vela-Prado.

Whitney Museum of American Art: Kevin Beasley | Fall 2018

Kevin Beasley (b. 1985, Lynchburg, VA) engages with the legacy of the American South through a new installation that centers on a cotton gin motor from Maplesville, Alabama. In operation from 1940 to 1973, the motor powered the gins that separated cotton seeds from fiber. Here, the New York-based artist uses it to generate sound as if it were a musical instrument, creating space for visual and aural contemplation. Through the use of customized microphones, soundproofing, and audio hardware, the installation divorces the physical motor from the noises it produces, enabling visitors to experience sight and sound as distinct. As an immersive experience, the work serves as a meditation on history, land, race, and labor. This is Beasley’s first solo exhibition at a New York museum, and his most ambitious work to date.

This exhibition is organized by Christopher Y. Lew, Nancy and Fred Poses Associate Curator, with Ambika Trasi, curatorial assistant.

Artist News

No beginning / No end: Performance

In conjunction with the exhibition, Sin Principio / Sin Final, the Museum of Art of the National University of Colombia presents a collaboration between artist Mateo López and choreographer and dancer Lee Serle (Merbourne, Australia 1981).

Thursday October 26, 12PM, 5PM & Friday October 27, 12 PM

Artist News

Frieze Magazine: Jordan Casteel Cover Feature Forthcoming

Artist News

LIKE A MOTH TO A FLAME | OFFICINE GRANDI RIPARAZIONI & FONDAZIONE SANDRETTO RE REBAUDENGO

OPENING RECEPTION: NOVEMBER 3, 2017
NOVEMBER 3, 2017–JANUARY 14, 2018

OFFICINE GRANDI RIPARAZIONI, CORSO CASTELFIDARO, TORINO
FONDAZIONE SANDRETTO RE REBAUDENGO, VIA MODANE, TORINO

The wide-ranging survey exhibition Like a Moth to a Flame, curated by Tom Eccles and Mark Rappolt with Liam Gillick, will officially inaugurate the Visual Arts Program at the renovated OGR in Turin—a 20,000 square-meter arts and innovation center opening in the fall of 2017.

The show will explore the eternal compulsion to produce and to collect works of art, displaying “objects” ranging from a 2nd century BCE Egyptian sculpture to works created for the last Venice Biennale, drawn together from Turin’s most prominent collections of art and antiquities. The exhibition title derives from the answer to a riddle—In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni—attributed to Virgil, which is also the title of two artworks—one by French theorist Guy Debord and one by British artist Cerith Wyn Evans—that are included in the exhibition.

Like a Moth to a Flame offers a portrait of Turin and its engagement with the world through the collecting habits of the city and its citizens. Assembling these objects provides an overview of the enduring appeal of art: its ability to renew ideas and generate fresh discourse. With rebirth and renewal in mind, the exhibition exploits the coincidence of one birth and two anniversaries—the inauguration of OGR, the 25th anniversary of the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo’s collection of contemporary art and the 60th anniversary of founding of the Situationist International following a meeting in Alba, not far from Turin.

The exhibition, with more than 50 major artworks and hundreds of individual objects from the collections of Turin, demonstrates the importance of private passions and individual obsessions which, over time, find their way into the civic realm and the public cultural life of the city.

Artist News

Artists Announced for Liverpool Biennial

We are thrilled to announce the participation of gallery artists Kevin Beasley and Brian Jungen in the 10th Edition of the Liverpool Biennial in 2018.

The 10th edition of Liverpool Biennial, Beautiful world, where are you?, invites artists and audiences to reflect on a world of social, political and economic turmoil.

The artistic concept and title for Beautiful world, where are you? derives from a 1788 poem by the German poet Friedrich Schiller, later set to music by Austrian composer Franz Schubert in 1819. The years between the composition of Schiller’s poem and Schubert’s song saw great upheaval and profound change in Europe, from the French Revolution to the fall of the Napoleonic Empire. Today the poem continues to suggest a world gripped by deep uncertainty; a world of social, political and environmental turmoil. It can be seen as a lament but also as an invitation to reconsider our past, advancing a new sense of beauty that might be shared in a more equitable way.

The Biennial programme is presented in locations across Liverpool including public spaces and the city’s leading art venues: Bluecoat, FACT, Open Eye Gallery, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University’s Exhibition Research Lab, National Museums Liverpool, RIBA North, the Liverpool Playhouse, Victoria Gallery & Museum (University of Liverpool), and Blackburne House.

Liverpool Biennial 2018 is curated by Kitty Scott (Carol and Morton Rapp Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario) and Sally Tallant (Director, Liverpool Biennial) with the Liverpool Biennial team: Francesca Bertolotti-Bailey (Head of Production and International Projects), Sinéad McCarthy (Curator), Polly Brannan (Education Curator), and Joasia Krysa (Head of Research).

Artist News

Harvard Graduate School of Design Rouse Visiting Artist Lecture: Liam Gillick

Monday, October 16, 2017 | 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Free & Open to the Public

Visual artist Liam Gillick will discuss his art practice and his recent book published by Columbia University Press, entitled Industry and Intelligence: Contemporary Art Since 1820. The book takes a broad view of artistic creation from 1820 to today as Gillick follows the response of artists to incremental developments in science, politics, and technology. The great innovations and dislocations of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have their place in this timeline, but their traces are alternately amplified and diminished as Gillick moves through artistic reactions to liberalism, mass manufacturing, psychology, nuclear physics, automobiles, and a host of other advances. He intimately ties the origins of contemporary art to the social and technological adjustments of modern life, which artists struggled to incorporate truthfully into their works.

Artist News

La Freccia Arte About the Artist: Giorgio Griffa, Know the Unknowable

One of his 1972 exhibitions was called I Don’t Represent Anything, I Paint. Since the 1960’s he has been using paintbrushes, pasting brushes, faint or bright colours on rough canvas without frame, which he unrolls on the floor and fills with markings, one after the other. The art of Giorgio Griffa, born in 1936, reveals itself through drawn metaphors, and illustrates bits of reality through arabesques, lines, and numbers that he defines as “suggestions.” His artistic analysis pursues the mystery of poetry and of life, with the goal of increasing knowledge of the world without any ambition of representing it – all he wants is to mentally journey through it. He has brought a diptych, Canone Aureo 958 (Agnes Martin), a segment of a project he began in 1979 to the Biennale Arte 2017.

SG – Maestro, how would you summarize your 60 years of activity?
GG – I have painted painting, what has always been represented by painters of all times and civilisations, obviously following the reference of their own time and place. Over all these years, this is what I have done, which is why I feel I am a traditional painter.
SG – What do your markings mean?
GG – They represent the world as we know it today, it’s becoming perennial and fractioned into billions of shapes. My works are never abstract; I have simply abandoned the images that had become super uous for my work. Simple painted markings, bearers of a millenary memory that is much longer, richer and more complex than mine – this is what makes up my work. My painting is not at the service of my memory: instead, my hand is at the service of my work.
SG – The man and the artist, Giorgio and the character. Are they different or do they infiltrate each other?
GG – This kind of contamination is the origin of life, of all kinds of life. But it should never be mistaken for pollution.
SG – What kind of Biennale is this 57th edition?
GG – Absolutely beautiful. Open to what art can offer beyond the limits of reason, beyond theories, and blooming to the undeterminable themes of poetry.
SG – You have participated at the Open Table project, one of this year’s novelties…
GG – A very positive experience. I found an attentive, participating and convivial audience; those people had obviously chosen to be there, they were interested in it.
SG – The work of art dearest to your heart?
GG – Matisse’s Dance.
SG – A banal question, perhaps: what is art?
GG – Nothing banal about that! I believe the answer to this question are the works themselves, and all the limits and rules, always broken. Art is getting to know the unknowable that is within us.

-Sandra Gesualdi

Top of Page