Rodney Graham features a selection of light-boxes, representing mise-en-scenes which have both a sculptural and cinematic presence. Haroon Mirza features: a reverberation chamber; a turntable piece; some light works; an LED surround sound sequencer; o-o-o-o.co.uk; collaborations with Dave from Django Django (aka Jellyman) and Factory Floor.
29 Bell Street
Following his acclaimed retrospective exhibition Through the Forest, at MACBA, Barcelona, Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel and Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg in 2010-11; Rodney Graham presents new and recent works at Lisson Gallery.
The artist will show a selection of light-boxes, representing mise-en-scenes which have both a sculptural and cinematic presence. These painstakingly detailed and chromatically rich digital tableaux represent scenes that conflate the artist’s mundane observations with the illustration of moments – often overlooked or forgotten – originating in literature, music, film or art history. Graham himself, a distinguished silver-haired man, is recognisable as he appears in a variety of guises as the protagonist of these compositions.
The exhibition at Lisson Gallery will include the monumental light-box Paddler, Mouth of the Seymour, (2012-13), on show for the first time in Europe. The large three panel light-box is based on a painting known as Max Schmidt in A Single Scull (1871) by the great American Realist Thomas Eakins. The original painting depicts Schmidt (a friend of Eakins and a championship racer) resting after a race on the Schuylkil river near Eakins’ home in Philadelphia, and is one of the first works he exhibited after returning to America from Paris, where he was studying with Gerome. Graham adapts the original painting to a contemporary setting, playing Schmidt as a contemporary kayaker on a break. The work forms part of a series of works depicting the classic theme of the Four Seasons and represents Autumn.
This yet to be completed series is accompanied in the exhibition by Sous-Chef on Smoke Break (2011) representing Summer, and Smoke Break 2 (Drywaller) (2012) representing Winter. Both works are inspired by observed events; for the latter, the artist witnessed a plasterer having a cigarette break while standing on metal stilts, used to reach the higher part of walls, in a scene that was simultaneously striking and banal. Graham was also fascinated by the painterly aspects of preparing drywall and its relationship to abstract painting.
Moments in the history of painting are often a source of inspiration for Graham, whether a specific detail from an existing painting, or the figure of the amateur painter - the theme of Graham’s The Gifted Amateur (2007), presented at his 2007 solo exhibition at Lisson Gallery. New work Cactus Fan (2013) is, like Paddler, inspired by a 19th century painting: in this case a small humorous work by the German romantic painter Carl Spitzweg known as the Cactus Aficionado (1865). Spitzweg's original depicts a scholar in his study contemplating a cactus on his windowsill. The cactus bends and appears to return the gaze of the scholar who himself, in his green robe, resembles a cactus. Graham reimagines the subject, portraying the scholar as a chemistry professor who has received a gift-wrapped cactus from which helium balloons are tied, in what is perhaps an end-of-term gift from his students.
￼Graham’s work engages with trajectories and detours in the history of representation, as well as a diverse range of social, literary and popular references. Emerging from a group of prominent conceptualist artists in Vancouver in the 1970s, the artist has explored an extensive range of media – comprising music, literature, painting, film and predominantly photography. Graham’s work is distinguished for its intellectual rigour and extensive references to philosophical, psychoanalytic, and literary traditions.
About the artist
Rodney Graham (b.1949) lives and works in Vancouver, Canada. He gained international acclaim with his work Vexation Island which was shown at the Canada Pavilion during the 1997 Venice Biennale. Recent solo exhibitions include: Johnen Gallery, Berlin (2012); Vancouver Art Gallery (2012); Hauser and Wirth, Zurich (2011); Lisson Gallery, London (2010); Picasso, Barcelona (2010); Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg (2010); Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel (2010); MACBA – Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona (2010); and BAWAG Foundation, Vienna (2007). Recent group shows include: Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012); Marta Herford, Herford (2012); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2012); Museum der Moderne Salzburg (2011); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2011); Seattle Art Museum (2010); Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2010); and CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2010)
52 – 54 Bell Street
For his second exhibition at the Lisson Gallery, Haroon Mirza will show:
• A reverberation chamber
• A turntable piece
• Some light works
• An LED surround sound sequencer
• Collaborations with Dave from Django Django (aka Jellyman) and Factory Floor
About the Artist:
Haroon Mirza (b.1977) lives and works in London. Selected solo presentations include New Museum, New York (2012); Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Switzerland (2012); University of Michigan Museum of Art (2012); Ernst Schering Foundation, Berlin (2012); Spike Island, Bristol (2012); Camden Arts Center, London (2011); Lisson Gallery, London (2011); Chisenhale Gallery, London (2010), Mother's Tankstation, Dublin (2010); Vivid, Birmingham (2010) and A Foundation, Liverpool (2009). Selected group presentations include The Clocktower Gallery, New York (2012); La Triennale, Paris (2012); Nam June Paik Center, Korea (2012); ZKM | Media Museum, Karlsruhe (2012); MUSEION, Bolzano (2012); 54th Venice Biennale, Venice (2011); Performa 11, New York (2011); Hayward Gallery, London (2010); Art Sheffield, Sheffield (2010); 176 Zabludowicz Collection, London (2010), SMART Projects, Amsterdam (2010).
Haroon Mirza will present an exhibition of new work at the Hepworth Wakefield from 26 May – 29 September 2013, including a site-specific installation.
About the Projects:
Contributors: Haroon Mirza, Dave from Django Django aka Jellyman, Factory Floor, Emma Warren, Edwin Heathcote, David Toop, Niru Ratnam, Ossian Ward
Designer: A Practice for Everyday Life
Programmer: by The Workers
Editor: Louise Hayward
Remixes by Factory Floor and Jellyman pressed on vinyl and released on The Vinyl Factory as limited editions of 300 copies each: release date 16 May 2013
Image: Haroon Mirza, Adam, Eve, others and a UFO, 2013. Detail, Active speakers, UFO circuit, cables. Dimension variable
For press information and images please contact:
Amy Sutcliffe and Victoria Wedderburn at Pelham Communications
Tel: +44 20 8969 3959
Preview: thursday 16th may 2013, 6-8pm
29 Bell Street, London, NW15BY
52 - 54 Bell Street, London, NW1 5DA
Opening Hours: Monday-Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 11am-5pm