David Zwirner
New York
519, 525 & 533 West 19th Street
212 7272070 FAX 212 7272072
Two Exhibition
dal 15/9/2015 al 30/10/2015

Segnalato da

Kim Donica

calendario eventi  :: 


Two Exhibition

David Zwirner, New York

Isa Genzken presents recent freestanding floor sculptures and a new multipart sculpture. For his first exhibition at the gallery Wolfgang Tillmans presents seventy recent works, spanning a comprehensive selection of the major themes and processes in his oeuvre.

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Isa Genzken

David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of recent and new work by German artist Isa Genzken, marking her third solo show with the gallery since she joined in 2004. On view at 519 West 19th Street in New York will be two- and three-dimensional assemblages from the past two years by the artist, who is widely recognized for her significant, pioneering contribution to this genre of sculpture.

With a career spanning four decades, Genzken’s works draw upon everyday material culture, including design, consumer goods, the media, architecture, and urban environments. In addition to sculpture and installation art, her prodigious oeuvre includes paintings, collages, drawings, films, and photographs, and frequently incorporates seemingly disparate materials and imagery to create characteristically complex, enigmatic works. Drawing loosely on the legacies of Constructivism and Minimalism and often involving a critical, open dialogue with Modernist architecture, her interest lies in the way in which common aesthetic styles come to illustrate and embody contemporary political and social ideologies.

The exhibition will highlight recent freestanding floor sculptures belonging to Genzken’s Schauspieler (Actors) series, which debuted as part of her critically acclaimed retrospective organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2013. The series, consisting of elaborately outfitted mannequins holding an array of props and accessories, marks a new direction within her practice: with the mannequin functioning as the sculpture’s base, the artist employs a figurative idiom—presently making it her most explicit engagement with the human form—in contrast to the abstract and geometric modes that characterized previous work.

Simultaneously simple and chaotic, static and dynamic, the Schauspieler (Actors) works engage with the architecture of the body, physically addressing the viewer through scale, as well as self-portraiture—some of the mannequins wear the artist’s own clothing. Examples on view include Schauspieler II, 1 that comprises a female figure dressed in red leather pants and a bomber jacket casually draped over her shoulders. On the jacket’s back is “N.Y.” spray-painted in blue, and this color reappears on the figure’s front side, partially covering her neck and chin. Other sculptures take on otherworldly, alien-like appearances, such as Schauspieler II, 3, in which the top part of the mannequin is covered by a fabricated, conical-shaped headpiece made from mosaic-style bronze mirror foil, and Schauspieler II, 10, whose lower body is completely encased by a roll of silver-sprayed packing foam. Within the gallery space, the mannequins at first glance seem to be ordered randomly, yet have been positioned by Genzken in various arrangements—alone, as couples, or in groups, facing each other or looking away. These highly charged configurations heighten the psychological tension within the exhibition, and exemplify how the artist skillfully utilizes formal aesthetic conventions to explore externalized and internalized social space.

The exhibition will also include a new multipart sculpture that continues her body of work begun in 2012, in which Genzken places contemporary eyewear onto plaster replicas of the bust of Nefertiti, an ancient Egyptian queen whose image evokes a feminine beauty ideal (the original bust is permanently housed at the Neues Museum in Berlin, where the artist resides). Consistent with the strategy of placing objects on pedestals at eye level, which she has implemented since the 1980s, the Nefertitis are installed on wooden plinths in relation to the viewer’s gaze. Whereas in earlier versions, the busts retain the original colorful painted features and sport an assortment of sunglasses, the exhibited examples appear colorless, leaving on display the bare white plaster, and are shown in uniform, clear protective glasses. Here, Genzken positions five Nefertiti sculptures in a row, forming a type of colonnade, and coupled by the figures’ visual oneness and stark whiteness, seemingly imbues the overall installation with a processional, almost elegiac tone.

Several of the artist’s latest wall-mounted flat works will be presented. Developing out of her 2002 series Soziale Fassaden (Social Façades), they are made by layering various reflective materials and incorporate a diverse range of found and traditional media, mining such wide-ranging points of reference as the façades of corporate towers, disposable packaging, construction barriers, modern design, and nightclub aesthetics, among others. In particular, a recent group entitled Briefmarken (Stamps) appear to be visually complex poster- or billboard-like arrangements. Brightly colored, each of these abstract collages is composed of four equally sized, rectangular panels placed into a 2-by-2 grid. Viewed together, alongside other untitled wall pieces, these works demonstrate the artist’s continued fascination with the relationship between architecture and art, commercial goods, and everyday experience.

Born in 1948 in Bad Oldesloe, Germany, Isa Genzken studied fine arts, art history, and philosophy in Hamburg, Berlin, and Cologne, before completing her studies at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 1977. Since 2004, her work has been represented by David Zwirner. Previous solo shows were held at the gallery in New York in 2005 and 2007.


Wolfgang Tillmans

David Zwirner is pleased to present its first exhibition with Wolfgang Tillmans since he joined the gallery in 2014. On view at 525 and 533 West 19th Street in New York will be over seventy recent works installed by the artist, spanning a comprehensive selection of the major themes and processes in his oeuvre. The show also presents the United States debut of Instrument, a new, split-framed video. Concurrently on view through November 1 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is Book for Architects, a two-screen video installation of still pictures by the artist.

Since the beginning of his career, Tillmans has taken an active interest in the display of his works, using the exhibition as a distinct medium in its own right. Meticulous wall installations of photographs in greatly varying sizes, often hung unframed or taped directly to the wall, allow for a multitude of aesthetic as well as social relationships to crystallize. Each installation is arranged in dialogue with its particular space as well as the city it is in.

Bringing together pictures taken across the world of friends and strangers, as well as the natural and built environment, the present exhibition addresses one of the main questions explored in Tillmans’s recent practice: as photography becomes increasingly ubiquitous, and as ever higher resolution yields unprecedented views of our surroundings, how do pictures continue to shape our knowledge of the world? The artist proposes that there is still a space for perplexity, mystery, and emotional relevance.

Tillmans has accredited the recent introduction of digital photography in his oeuvre with an altered perception of the world, whereby the depth of detail obtained in each image gives way to a feeling of the infinite complexity of matter. Yet, despite creating a hyperreal sensation, he found that the added clarity did not displace the enigma of the picture, but rather reinforced the unbridgeable gap between extreme information and the inherent secret of life, in the process underscoring the centrality of looking.

With idiosyncratic juxtapositions between subject matter and print sizes, the New York installation brings together different modes of existence in Tillmans’s characteristic, non-hierarchical manner. Still lifes of fabrics and fruits share a sense of visual curiosity found in seventeenth-century vanitas, but add a contemporary symbolism that appears almost by chance—in still life, Calle Real II (2014), the circular, bundled leaves on an agave, reminiscent of tree rings, lie casually close to a paragraph in a German newspaper about the phenomenon of watching someone die on YouTube; in Weed (2014)—a 16-foot tall, unframed print suspended from bulldog clips, the artist’s signature hanging device that he first introduced in 1993—a soft-lit microcosm of wild growing plants lends itself to botanical study, yet retains a sense of the wondrous and enigmatic. Still lifes of Tillmans’s own studio, including scale models of his exhibitions, incorporate other works and offer prosaic glimpses into the artist at work (a beer, cigarettes, three tape dispensers on a desk), creating a layered effect reminiscent of the overall installation as well as Tillmans’s book page collages.

Portraits and close-up views of various body parts conjure topics close to the artist’s heart. The selection includes LGBT activists in Russia, photographed by Tillmans in conjunction with his participation in Manifesta 10 in St. Petersburg in 2014, club culture personalities, his parents, and friends, some of whom have featured in his practice since the beginning.

An abstract group of works jointly titled Silver form part of an ongoing series begun in the late 1990s. They are made by passing un- or partially exposed photo paper through dirty processing equipment, allowing residue and silver particles to settle on the surface, sometimes scratching it. Absorbing a near-infinite amount of detail, they become analogue parallels to the high-resolution digital works, but with an added sense of objecthood, as surface (the “materiality of the photographic process”) and image become inseparable. For Tillmans’s Lighter works, started in the mid-2000s, paper is folded either before or after exposure to light and thus acquire three-dimensional form, further shifting the perception of the photographic image as an intact, flat surface.

The overall installation reinforces a fluid dialogue between genres and sensitivities, revealing unexpected interconnections through the act of looking. More so than blurring the boundaries between abstraction and figuration, seascapes and pictures of the night sky show how they coincide. The inkjet print Sendeschluss/End of Broadcast VII (2014), measuring close to 3 x 4 meters, likewise captures an intangible subject in endless flux—here electronic noise on a television screen when no signal is received. At once generic and highly specific, it resonates with Tillmans’s broader interest in the intersection of order and chaos.

The built environment—the subject of the artist’s Book for Architects installation—is also represented in the exhibition in various contexts, and include the darkened buildings aligning Los Angeles’s Sunset Boulevard on an evening drive. Making use of a recent addition to the photographic image spectrum, namely the possibility of taking clear pictures of a dim streetscape while driving, these works reinvent a particularly American genre of 1970s urban photography, and further relate to Tillmans’s interest in utilizing new developments to create “extreme pictures” that stretch the limits of what is technically possible.

Two empty walls in seemingly different locations are the backdrops in Tillmans’s new split-framed video, Instrument. Human shadows dance against the bare surfaces, with a male figure materializing with his back to the viewer on the left, dancing rhythmically to the sound of his own steps. His repetitive moves recall marionette performances and even a sense of the absurd, as the apparent lack of individual agency itself becomes a meaningful gesture. The stepping “soundtrack,” recorded by the camera and filtered through a computer program, is played back in the video, thus adding electronic beats generated by the dancer himself.

This cyclical process, whereby the protagonist becomes his own instrument, is reflective of the way in which new pictures in Tillmans’s oeuvre are in constant dialogue with others that come before them. Similarly, PCR, the title of the exhibition, refers to the amplification of an original DNA molecule, which can generate millions of identical copies with their own life and potentiality—an apt metaphor both for how individual images now circulate in today’s hyper-mediated cultural landscape, and for how specific information within each can be exposed to countless interpretations as it makes its way through the world.

Born in 1968 in Remscheid, Germany, Wolfgang Tillmans studied at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design in Bournemouth, England from 1990 to 1992. In 2000, Tillmans was the first photographer and first non-British artist to receive the Turner Prize, an award given annually by Tate in London. In 2009, he received the Kulturpreis der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Photographie and was selected to serve as an Artist Trustee on the Board of Tate. He has been a member of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin since 2012, and was appointed a member of the Royal Academy of Arts, London in 2013. In 2014, the artist joined David Zwirner.

Image: Isa Genzken

Press Contact:
Kim Donica +1 212 727 2070 kim@davidzwirner.com

Opening: Wednesday, September 16, 6 - 8 PM

David Zwirner
519, 525 & 533 West 19th Street, New York
Tue - Sat 10am to 6pm

Two Exhibition
dal 15/9/2015 al 30/10/2015

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