The exhibition 'nothing' features seven fabric label works and one sculpture by Joseph Havel. He uses commonplace items throughout his practice, working with materials such as bed sheets, flags and books. Using Frank Stella's minimalist stripe paintings as inspiration, Bertrand Lavier presents four works from a series initiated in 2004. Lavier reconceptualizes Stella's paintings in neon, thus preserving the fundamental basis of the paintings while creating a new aesthetic interpretation.
Yvon Lambert New York is pleased to announce Joseph Havel’s first exhibition at the gallery. This show will feature seven fabric label works and one sculpture by the artist. The exhibition will open with a reception for the artist on November 23 from 6-8pm and will be on view until December 23, 2010.
Havel uses commonplace items throughout his practice, working with materials such as bed sheets, flags and books. Physically and conceptually manipulating the objects to erase their original context and function, Havel produces works that reveal new meanings in their altered form. Heavily influenced by art history and literary sources, the artist considers whether or not the viewer’s original associations with the items still exist after the object has undergone visual changes.
Havel uses white dress shirts to address social, economical and historical issues in his work. In particular, for the artist, the shirts represent the constraints of the middle class man. In a work from 1996, Havel sculpted a pair of dress shirts in bronze, the metallic surface beautifully mimicking the fluidity of the fabric. More recently, he uses only the shirt labels, creating a subtle reference to these ideas by using the shirts as medium rather than as subject. Havel often integrates text into the labels, infusing the fabric with poignant messages.
On display at Yvon Lambert is Seven Variations of nothing, a series of seven monochrome “paintings” constructed of white shirt labels. Each label, embroidered with the word “nothing”, is packed into a plexiglass box that acts as a frame. Havel photocopied the text from John Berryman’s The Dream Songs, a book that has been a source of inspiration for the artist over the past twenty years. Also on view is A Void, a sculpture made from the book of the same name by George Perec. In this novel, Perec deals with the issues of loss and displacement. Havel selectively cuts away words from the book⎯ written by Perec without using the vowel “e”⎯ eventually reducing the text to a single word. Both Perec and Havel grapple with the true meaning of a void. For Perec, this manifests itself in his removal of the letter “e”. Havel further stresses this loss by creating a physical void in the book’s pages. Seven Variations of nothing and A Void demonstrate Havel’s interest in repurposing mundane items to surpass their intended functionality and create aesthetic objects with personal and sociopolitical references.
Joseph Havel (b. Minneapolis, 1954) lives and works in Houston, Texas. His works are featured in prominent public and private collections including the Dallas Museum of Art, the Contemporary Museum of Honolulu and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, where he has served as director of the Glassel School of Art MFAH since 1991. He has been featured in solo exhibitions at institutions including the Houston Art League, Galerie Gabrielle Maubrie, Paris and the BALTIC Center for Contemporary Art, New Castle, United Kingdom. Selected group exhibitions include Deitch Projects, New York, Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, New York, National Museum, Lima, Peru, and Broelmuseum, Belgium.
Yvon Lambert is pleased to announce Bertrand Lavier’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery, his first exhibition at Yvon Lambert New York. The exhibition will open with a reception for the artist on November 23 from 6-8pm and will be on view until December 23, 2010. The internationally acclaimed artist is featured in prominent collections around the world including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Castello di Rivoli, Italy, Musée du Louvre, Paris, the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Geneva. In 2012, the artist will have a major solo retrospective at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.
A contemporary of Christian Boltanski and Annette Messager, Bertrand Lavier (b.1949, Chatillon-sur-Seine, France) is one of the most innovative and influential French artists of his generation. Celebrated for his works that encourage the viewer to consider the distinctions between art and reality, he is best known for his work with readymades. Lavier seeks to elevate the everyday object to the status of an artwork as he explores the complex relationship between the mundane and the artistic. The artist presents objects as works of art, strategically manipulating the items while still adhering to their intended aesthetic. For Lavier, the appropriation of images and objects is key, as this allows him to destabilize the viewer’s expectations and reevaluate the status of the ob ject in society.
For this exhibition, Lavier has designed the formal and conceptual context in which his works are displayed. Using Frank Stella's minimalist stripe paintings as inspiration, Lavier presents four works from a series initiated in 2004. Lavier reconceptualizes Stella’s paintings in neon, thus preserving the fundamental basis of the paintings while creating a new aesthetic interpretation. By presenting these paintings in neon, a material that references marketing and technology, the artist relinquishes an aspect of the artwork to the world of communication and design. This is exemplary of his artistic practice, as Lavier repurposes works to reveal new meanings. The usage of Stella’s works, vital to minimalist art historical discourse, mirrors the significance of Lavier’s own practice in contemporary art.
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Opening Tuesday, November 23, from 6-8 pm
550 West 21st Street, New York
Tuesday- Saturday : 10am - 6pm