Friday, September 28, 2012

Douglas Gordon at Akademie der Künste, Berlin

The Kollwitz Prize exhibition shows Gordon’s ever-growing multi-channel installation Pretty much every film and video work from about 1992 until now on 93 freely arranged used monitors in one exhibition hall. The installation comprises 74 individual titles of the artist’s video and film works, amongst others “24 Hour Psycho” (1993), “Between Darkness and Light (After William Blake)” (1997), “Play Dead; Real Time” (2003), “k.364 – A Journey by Train” (2010), “Henry Rebel” (2011) and “Phantom” (2011). Unlike his monumental film installations, this retrospective overview rather explores the idea of a private video archive showing central subjects and formal strategies of Gordon’s works.

Douglas Gordon, born in Glasgow in 1966, splits his life between Berlin und Glasgow. Studies at the Glasgow School of Art and the Slade School of Art in London. Numerous works in both private and public collections worldwide. Solo exhibitions in such museums as the Museum for Modern Art in Frankfurt/Main, MoMA in New York, TATE Britain in London, the Wolfsburg Art Museum, the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven and the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C.. 1996 Turner Prize winner, in 1998 he got the Central Kunstpreis at Kölnischer Kunstverein in Cologne, in 2008 member of the jury at the 65th Venice International Film Festival.

Douglas Gordon is the winner of the Käthe Kollwitz Prize 2012, an annual award that recognizes the work of an individual in the area of Fine Arts.

Douglas Gordon: Pretty much every film and video work from about 1992 until now at Akademie der Künste, Berlin. Interview with Douglas Gordon, September 14, 2012. Video by Frantisek Zachoval.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

30th São Paulo Biennial 2012

The São Paulo Biennial was founded in 1951. It’s the second oldest art biennial in the world after the Biennale di Venezia, which was founded in 1895. In 2012, 110 artists are participating in the Bienal de São Paulo. Among them: Absalon, Bas Jan Ader, Charlotte Posenenske, Fernando Ortega, Kriwet, Robert Filliou, Sandra Vásquez de la Horra, and Yuki Kimura. The title of this year’s São Paulo Biennial is A Iminência Das Poéticas (The Imminence of Poetics). The Biennial is curated by Luis Pérez-Oramas (Chief Curator), Tobi Maier and André Severo (Associated Curators), and Isabela Villanueva (Assistant Curator). The above video provides you with a walk-through of the exhibition. The 30th São Paulo Bienal runs until December 9, 2012.

30th São Paulo Biennial 2012. September 7, 2012. Video by Daniel Rubim.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Thomas Lawson "In the Shadow of the Beast" at David Kordansky Gallery, Culver City, California

David Kordansky Gallery

3143 S. La Cienega Blvd. Unit A
Los Angeles, CA 90016
Tel. 310-558-3030
Fax. 310-558-3060
David Kordansky Gallery is very pleased to announce In the Shadow of the Beast, an exhibition of new paintings by Thomas Lawson. Consisting of medium- and large- scale canvases, the show presents the latest developments in Lawson's on-going investigation of allegory and the human figure. The exhibition will open on September 8 and run through October 20, 2012. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, September 8 from 6:00 until 9:00pm.

For over thirty years, Lawson has explored the ways in which figurative representation allows for––and sometimes disrupts––the transmission of meaning. He has shown how images of the human form in art invariably take on a host of allegorical possibilities: the immediate, phenomenological pose of the viewer's own body before the artwork; the manipulated presence of the human figure in contemporary media outside of the visual arts; and the long, historically-oriented 'literature' of representations that has, over the centuries, become the foundation for understanding how subjects relate to their physical, social, and philosophical environments. The references in Lawson's work are drawn from the entire history of visual culture.

In the Shadow of the Beast presents new paintings that borrow tropes and forms from pre-historic cave art, classical statuary, nineteenth century figure studies, forgotten modernist sculpture, and contemporary newspapers. Over intensely colored grounds, Lawson combines, collages, and rearranges these forms, rendering them in an array of different brush marks and viscosities. At times they stand out from the grounds in stark relief, as in a painting entitled Voluptuous Panic, in which a startling image of a werewolf's head has been brushed onto a flat, pink field.

On other occasions, figure and ground are blurred, as geometric patterning in the form of discs, drops, lozenges or stripes spreads across them both. In these cases, the entire surface of the work becomes a single, variously articulated plane, as if the reductive endgame of abstraction in painting had given birth to a hybridized, and at times grotesque, new form. As the distinction between the figurative and the abstract reveals itself to be a difference of degrees, the work calls into question any preconceived notions about the evolution of painting from one approach to another. Rather, the tension between these modes is shown as a defining feature of the medium.

Lawson balances research and careful composition with an experimentalist's approach to the making of his work, so that the always-uncertain translation from idea to material is allowed to produce surprising results. This can be seen in paintings whose elements interfere with the spatial universe in which other elements reside. In Walking on Water, for instance, ghostly feet traced from the artist's own footprints track across a blue field otherwise occupied by a centaur and a portrait bust; the ground becomes both a pictorial space and a ground for performative action. Here painting, even absent of image, is shown to be an essentially figurative activity––an instructive tool for decoding the degrees to which media are by turns disembodied or aggressively physical.

Because they conflate such a wide array of representational approaches and sources, Lawson's paintings reflect the broadest––and appropriately paradoxical––array of psychological responses to a complex world. On view are human figures who morph into animal shapes, or pose in comically contorted positions, making it impossible to determine whether their anguish is pure theatre or a fitting response to external stimuli. When juxtaposed against other figures drawn from historical contexts, these characters enter into an allegorical play that seems to account for all the ambivalences associated with contemporary culture, as well as the ever-persistent drive to represent it.

Thomas Lawson has been featured in numerous exhibitions over the last three decades. Surveys devoted to his work have been held at the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art at La Jolla, the CCA in Glasgow and the Battersea Arts Centre in London. Other solo exhibitions include shows at Participant, Inc., New York; LAXART, Los Angeles; Metro Pictures, New York; and Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London. Lawson was featured in The Pictures Generation: 1974-1984, a major 2009 survey exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. His work is currently on view, through September 2, in Made in L.A. 2012, the first Los Angeles biennial, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. In addition to this rich exhibition history, Lawson has authored or edited many essays, anthologies, and periodicals, including, with Susan Morgan, the seminal REALLIFE Magazine. Mining for Gold, an anthology of Lawson's writing, was published by JRP|Ringier in 2005. Lawson is the Dean of the School of Art at the California Institute for the Arts, and editor-in-chief of East of Borneo.

Thomas Lawson
In the Shadow of the Beast

September 08, 2012 — October 20, 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Jay Erker "Cut Both Ways," Saturday, September 15, 2012 from 4-7pm, at Shoebox Gallery, Hollywood, CA

Los Feliz Triangle Park
Hollywood Blvd. & Prospect Ave. at Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027

ShoeboxLA is very pleased to begin its second season with Los Angeles artist Jay Erker.  For Cut Both Ways Erker presents, in book form, layered fashion advertisements whose subject matter has been clearly removed. Bodies of abstraction are created by the accumulation of layered pages and the subsequent interstitial spaces are shaped from the cut away figures. Eliminating the subject diverts attention from that which is meant to compel, focusing the viewer’s attention to the figure’s absence, the background of the originating image, and the newly constructed abstracted imagery. Erker received her MFA in film at California Institute of the Arts in 2001 and her BFA in photography in 1997 from the University of Florida. She co-founded Weekend, an artist-run space in Los Feliz, with husband John Mills.

For more information on "Cut BothWays" and on future events, please go to for further information.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Friedrich Kunath "Lacan's Haircut" and Blum and Poe, Culver City, California

September 8 - October 27, 2011
Opening reception: Saturday, September 8, 6-8pm

Friedrich Kunath's, Lacan's Haircut, is anchored by a large body of new paintings, this immersive exhibition will also include sculpture, floor coverings, video and an accompanying book entitled "You Owe Me a Feeling" with text by David Berman.

Kunath continues his exploration of the oppositional and the inherent dichotomy in every state of being. His search is for the ever elusive nature of the grasp of understanding. Pulled from outside to inside, from light to dark, from the humble to the vainglorious to the elated and the dejected, and back again, Kunath's world begs for an embrace, begs to be embraced.

Kunath's new paintings offer even more ambitious equations, with single picture planes, including variables as diverse as history painting, still life, comic book imagery, commercial illustration, nature photography and lyrical references. These assemblages begin with a wash of color on thin fabric followed by subsequent layers of varying media, including India ink, silkscreen, lacquer, pencil, oil, acrylic and found objects. The combinations dissolve the constraints of time, genre and similar cardinal forces: a tan forearm thrusts the perfect spiral of a vanilla ice cream cone rendered in photorealist acrylic onto a wilted silkscreen of a Renaissance-era landscape. The resulting surfaces are not pictures as much as constellations of art historical movements, pop culture references and literary archetypes. With broad strokes, Kunath shepherds wayward and institutionalized forms into a more animated and exuberant present.

Friedrich Kunath was born in Chemnitz, Germany in 1974 and lives in Los Angeles. He has exhibited widely including solo exhibitions at the Aspen Art Museum, CO; Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin; Kunsthalle Baden-Baden; Kunstverein Hannover and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA. Group exhibitions include Human Nature, Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Life on Mars: the 55th Carnegie International, Pittsburgh and The World is Yours, Palazzo Grassi, Venice. A solo presentation at The Sprengel Museum, Hannover is forthcoming.

T: +1 310.836.2062
F: +1 310.836.2104

An Interview with Katja Seib

  Katja Seib No Title 2020 Oil On Canvas 20.3 x 20.3 cm / 8 x 8 in Credit: © Katja Seib, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London. Photo: Elon Schoe...