For his solo exhibition, Haroon Mirza creates large scale installations and assemblages that explore moments in social and cultural history and their points of intersection with aural traditions and music. Surface/Tension is a three-person exhibition of new works by Kitty Kraus, Dan Shaw-Town and Gedi Sibony, that explore the unifying aesthetic and interest in unconventional materials and sculptural practices shared by these three geographically and methodologically disparate artists.
Lisson Gallery is pleased to announce the first London solo exhibition by Haroon Mirza.
Working with video, sculpture, light and sound, Mirza creates large scale installations and
assemblages that explore moments in social and cultural history and their points of
intersection with aural traditions and music.
Mirza’s works are simultaneously sculptural installations and audio compositions that alter
the intended function of materials such as used furniture, household electronics, found or
constructed video footage and sometimes artworks by other artists. The resulting
assemblages give new function to and reveal the hidden qualities of outwardly disparate
objects: an 80s hi-fi stand becomes a platform for a 90s computer monitor; mirrored
coffee table is inversed to house a laser triggering soundtracks; a pair of domestic
speakers become supports for a table top.
Concerned with the distinctions that define noise, sound and music, Mirza investigates the
possibility of the visual and acoustic as a unified aesthetic form and mode of perception.
For Mirza, hearing and listening are as significant taxonomic markers as seeing and looking.
Consequently his work is informed as much by his experience as a DJ and the output of
avant-garde composers as it is by the practice of other visual artists.
The works presented at Lisson Gallery explore a diverse range of subject matter from
African drumming and ceremonial fighting to the work of minimalist sculptor Fred
Sandback. Research into the latter saw Mirza delve into the Lisson archive where he
uncovered correspondence and drawings from the 1970s in which Sandback describes
how a particular work should be installed in the gallery. These inspired not just work in
the exhibition – replications of Sandback’s installations in LED strips and speaker cables -
but a shift by the artist towards an increasingly minimal approach to installation.
Mirza describes the works in the exhibition as “unfolding compositions in time” with each
installation generating a seemingly cyclical and distinct field of sound often in the same
tempo and key. Together they combine to form a larger musical composition throughout
the gallery. The viewer therefore experiences the individual works as autonomously active
objects and yet the whole exhibition becomes a live group performance and unified
Haroon Mirza was the winner of the 2010 Northern Art Prize. He is shortlisted for the
Arts Foundation Sculpture Award and is participating in the British Art Show 7.
Notes to editors
About the artist
Haroon Mirza (b.1977) lives and works in London and Sheffield. Solo presentations
include Chisenhale Gallery, London (2010), Vivid, Birmingham (2010) and A Foundation,
Liverpool (2009). Group exhibitions include Art Sheffield (2010), Art Unlimited, Basel
(2010), Lisson Gallery, London (2009), Contemporary Art Manchester (2009),
Zabludowicz Collection at 176, London (2009), SMART Projects, Amsterdam (2010),
Spike Island, Bristol (2007).
New work by Kitty Kraus, Dan Shaw-Town and Gedi Sibony
Lisson Gallery is pleased to announce a three-person exhibition of new works by Kitty
Kraus, Dan Shaw-Town and Gedi Sibony. The works in the show explore the unifying
aesthetic and interest in unconventional materials and sculptural practices shared by these
three geographically and methodologically disparate artists. The exhibition will be the first
time that these artists have shown work with Lisson Gallery.
Kitty Kraus’ installations explore the physical processes that govern how materials
behave. Through Kraus’ interventions small-scale objects act in unexpected ways,
transforming and expanding to fit their environment. Glass explodes through overheating
and dyed black ice melts across the floor as the potential instability of seemingly ordered
materials is revealed. Kraus also works extensively with sheet glass, exploring its fragility
and often attempts to push the large sheets almost to their breaking point to achieve a
desired quality within the material. Throughout her practice Kitty Kraus imposes a
constant state of tension and within her sculpture. This action causes her sculptural
objects to either visibly alter over a short period of time or create an expectation that
there will be a violent and sudden change, which never comes.
Dan Shaw-Town’s work possesses a polished quality that belies his intricate and layered
use of materials and the utilitarian nature of his installation process. Using traditional
processes of mark-making with graphite on paper, he folds, crumples, flattens and
reworks drawings so that they become simultaneously polished and worn to unveil their
hidden potential. The precision with which works are formed becomes apparent only on
close contact: every stroke and mark placed carefully. Drawings are erased, sanded and
painted to achieve a wide array of surfaces and textures, many of which seem at first to sit
uncomfortably on the paper. Many works blur the distinctions between drawing and
sculpture, even on occasion becoming folded objects placed on the floor hiding much of
their heavily worked surface on their interior.
Gedi Sibony’s installations make use of carefully sourced and often used materials such as
cardboard, plastic sheeting, carpeting and wood. Placed on view largely unaltered, these
humble objects intrude upon and define their environment, occupying voids and spaces
and imbuing them with a poetic quality. Sibony’s aesthetic sensibility relies on the details
within a material or object: glorifying and celebrating their construction and hidden
qualities. The fragility of materials often viewed as ‘junk’ causes the viewer to reassess the
objects’ original intended use, construction and history. The dissection and re-
appropriation of objects throughout Gedi Sibony’s work causes a shift in how these
materials are absorbed by the viewer, the appropriated objects become skeletal remains
of their original form while also becoming precise assemblages in their own right.
About the artists
Kitty Kraus (b.1976) lives and works in Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford (2010); Balice Hertling, Paris (2010);
Guggenheim Museum, New York (2009); Tongewölbe T25, Ingolstadt (2009); Kunstverein
Heilbronn (2008); Kunsthalle Zurich (2008); Gabriele Senn, Vienna (2007); Galerie Neu,
Dan Shaw-Town (b. 1983) lives and works in New York. Recent solo exhibitions include
Khastoo, Los Angeles (2010); Christopher Crescent, London (2010); Gallery-C at TEAM,
New York (2009); Christopher Crescent, London (2009); RUN, London (2008).
Gedi Sibony (b.1973) lives and works in Brooklyn. Recent solo exhibitions include
Fundaçao Caixa Geral De Depósitos, Lisbon (2011); Gladstone Gallery, Brussels (2009);
The Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis (2009); Galerie Neu, Berlin (2008); Greene
Naftali Gallery, New York (2010); Galleria Zero, Milan (2008).
Image: Haroon Mirza, Cross section of a revolution (detail), 2011
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