Tag Archive | David Zwirner

John McCracken at David Zwirner

Installation View
Installation View Left to Right: Galaxy, Rhythm, Flare. (All Photos By Gail )

Hey, do you enjoy the work of legendary minimalist artist John McCracken? I sure do. According to the obituary published in the New York Times when McCracken passed away in 2011 at the age of 76, “he was one of the few artists affiliated with the [Minimalist] movement who did not object to its name, and who made most of his work by hand: sanding and polishing his enamel, lacquer or resin surfaces until their colors achieved a flawless and reflective perfection.” Right now, David Zwirner Gallery, who has represented McCracken’s art for two decades, is hosting an exciting collection of the artist’s late career works, whose monochromatic, highly reflective surfaces are inspired in part by the West Coast’s car culture. Sigh. If you are in any way a fan, you will not want to miss this exhibit.

Flare, 2008
Flare, (2008)

The exhibition presents key examples from three discrete groups of work — leaning multi-part wall pieces, wall-mounted multi-part reliefs, and freestanding columns — that McCracken created outside of his iconic planks. On view are a selection of the artist’s Beam works, each comprising multiple tall narrow components that lean against the wall, first exhibited in his 2008 solo presentation at David Zwirner.

Installation View
Installation View: Space is on the far left

Song, 2008
Song

Some multi-part works, such as Space (2008), consist of a rhythmic combination of an array colors, here blue and green; while others like Song (2008) explore tonal, more subtle variations within a single color, in this case red. Still others are monochromatic.

Galaxy 2008
Galaxy (2008)

Rhythm, 2008
Rhythm, (2008)

Fire (Left) 2007
Left: Fire,  Right: Light

Titles are likewise employed as a pictorial metaphor in McCracken’s lesser-known wall reliefs, such as Fire (2007), created for documenta 12 in 2007, and Light (2004), which exist in the interstices of painting and sculpture.

Chord 2004

Above and Below: Chord (2004)

Chord 2004

Blue Arc, Red Mara, Black Wave, Green Siskiyou
Blue Arc, Red Mara, Black Wave, Green Siskiyou

In the front gallery you’ll find a grouping of four eight-foot tall freestanding columns, arranged in a configuration similar to the artist’s 2004 exhibition at the gallery, exploring the phenomenological relationship between work, viewer, and architecture through their outsized stature.

Blue Arc, Red Mara, Black Wave, Green Siskiyou

Reflection off of Wave, 2004
Reflection off of Siskiyou (1988)

Sculptures By John McCracken’s will be on Exhibit Through April 15th, 2017 at David Zwirner Gallery, Located at 537 West 20th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Signage

Light (Rear Wall)
Light (2004), Rear Wall

Advertisements

William Eggleston’s The Democratic Forest at David Zwirner

Red Diner
All Photos By Gail

David Zwirner Gallery is currently hosting its first exhibition with William Eggleston since having announced the gallery’s exclusive worldwide representation of the artist. On view at the space on West 20th Street in New York are works from Eggleston’s monumental project The Democratic Forest.

Two Cars

Over the course of nearly six decades, Eggleston has established a singular pictorial style that deftly combines vernacular subject matter with an innate and sophisticated understanding of color, form, and composition. His photographs transform the ordinary into distinctive, poetic images that eschew fixed meaning.

Room Interior with Viewer

His 1976 solo exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, curated by John Szarkowski, marked the first presentation of color photography at the museum. Although initially criticized for its unfamiliar approach, the show and its accompanying catalogue, William Eggleston’s Guide, heralded an important moment in the medium’s acceptance within the art historical canon, and it solidified the artist’s position as one of its foremost practitioners to this date. Eggleston’s work continues to exert an influence on contemporary visual culture at large.

Pool

The Democratic Forest is among Eggleston’s most ambitious projects and a prime example of his uniquely recognizable aesthetic. Likened to an epic journey or an enduring narrative, it comprises a careful selection of works from over ten thousand negatives he took in the mid-1980s across the southern and eastern parts of America and in several European countries.

Road

These low profile casters of rural back roads, industrial and residential environs, architectural details, restaurant interiors, and parking lots, among other locales, eluded the conventions of both reportage and the black-and-white art photography practiced by many of the artist’s peers at the time, and instead shaped their own definition of what a photographic image could be—intuitive and charged with imaginative possibilities.

Cars with Viewer

Palm Tree

Collectively, the project echoes Eggleston’s predilection for the “democratic” vision of the camera, able to render equally what is in front of the lens.

Blue Picnic Table

The show will include over forty works from The Democratic Forest, the majority of which have not been exhibited previously. Although taken thirty years ago, the photographs appear to cast their subjects in a timeless light.

Diner Table

As the art historian Alexander Nemerov writes in a new catalogue published by David Zwirner Books/Steidl on the occasion of the show:

Eggleston’s work—the great flow of it— feels…impelled by the world. It feels, to put it another way, pulled along by the world, by things outside the artist, rather than compelled by something inside him….[O]ne feels him being borne along by a current… [T]he current [he] rides along is simply the proliferation of scenes — the great panoramic film strip of it, never ending in its flow of gas stations and horse buggies and parking lots and roadside trees and filigreed urns stamped in tin. But more than that…there is the feeling that the infiniteness of the world, the sheer extent of it, is its own kind of eternity.

Car Wash

William Eggleston was born in 1939 in Memphis, Tennessee, where he continues to live today.

William Eggleston Signage

William Eggleston’s The Democratic Forest will be on Exhibit Through December 17th, 2016 at David Zwirner Gallery, Located at 537 West 20th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Pink Snack Bar

Sigmar Polke, Eine Winterreise at David Zwirner

Palme auf Autostoff (Palm Tree on Fabric)
Palme auf Autostoff (Palm Tree on Fabric) By Sigmar Polke (All Photos By Gail)

David Zwirner is currently hosting Eine Winterreise (A Winter’s Journey) the gallery’s first exhibition dedicated to the work of German artist Sigmar Polke since having announced its representation of the artist’s estate. Curated by Vicente Todolí, the exhibition presents a selection of works by the artist that address an expanded notion of travel.

Lungta
Lungta

Sigmar Polke (1941-2010) is widely recognized for his multidisciplinary output of paintings, photographs, drawings, prints, objects, installations, and films. Characterized by a relentlessly experimental and inquisitive attitude, the artist’s work employs unusual materials and techniques, and playfully defies social, political, and aesthetic conventions. Throughout his prolific career, Polke’s unorthodox approach to materials, subject matter, and artistic processes was always concerned with the testing of limits and boundaries, and this exhibition will demonstrate the breadth and lasting influence of his radical and innovative practice.

Ohne Titel (Untitled)
Ohne Titel (Untitled)

The works in the exhibition will range from playful takes on mass-produced tourist scenery from the 1960s to compositionally layered paintings from the 1980s that offer complex reinterpretations of travel-related themes, Romantic notions of the sublime, and hallucinatory imagery — thereby addressing both outward, physical travel and inner/mental, intellectual journeys. In particular, the exhibition centers on the artist’s around-the-world journey from 1980 to 1981 that took him to Indonesia (Bali, Java, Sumatra), Papua New Guinea, Australia, Tasmania, Malaysia, and Thailand, among other locales.

Hallucinogen
Hallucinogen

As noted by Polke, this trip inspired a close consideration of the material forms and cultural practices of color itself: “how, for example, Hinduism explains and uses color or how Australians use color.”1 The exploration of color as an aesthetic end in itself led Polke to the unconventional use of often dangerous or unstable chemical substances within his work. Describing this process, Polke stated simply: “I was looking for brilliance of color, and it happened to be toxic.”

Magnetische Landschaft
Magnetische Landschaft (Magnetic Lanscape)

The exhibition will include a number of large-scale paintings, including Magnetische Landschaft (Magnetic Landscape), an abstract mountainscape executed in acrylic and iron mica on store-bought, checked fabric from 1982. The materials, content, and support in this work each simultaneously present distinct facets of Polke’s multivalent investigation into German cultural and artistic history: medieval alchemical and (pseudo-)scientific experiments, Romanticism’s fraught invocation of the natural world, and postwar Germany’s bourgeois embrace of consumerism.

Lappländische Reise I (Lapland Journey I)
Lappländische Reise I (Lapland Journey I)

The link between material experimentation and physical exploration is further explored in Polke’s Lappländische Reise (Lapland Journey) series from 1984. As the series progresses, recognizable figures (a reindeer, a row of trees) are eliminated, as semi-transparent washes of lacquer dissolve into shifting, hallucinogenic forms.

Lappländische Reise III (Lapland Journey III)
Lappländische Reise III (Lapland Journey III)

Installation View

Polke’s attention to the properties and effects of transparency can be seen also in the selection of works from his series Laterna Magica. Painted in lacquer on both sides of transparent polyester fabric, they combine figuration and abstraction in complex, layered compositions. These works moreover evoke the medium of the magic lantern, an early slide projection device that predated the invention of the cinema.

Translucent Painting

Also on view will be a selection of experimental film works that document Polke’s own travels.

Sigmar Polke’s Eine Winterreise will be on Exhibit Through June 25th, 2016 at David Zwirner Gallery, Located at 537 West 20th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Jordan Wolfson’s Wild Solo Exhibition at David Zwirner

Colored Sculpture By Jordan Wolfson
Colored Sculpture By Jordan Wolfson (Above Photo By Josh White.  All Other Photos and Video By Gail)

Geoffrey and I suspected we were in for some kind of rare treat when we arrived at David Zwirner and found ourselves waiting in a short line just inside of the gallery foyer. We were informed that artist Jordan Wolfson had made the gallery promise not to let more than 20 people into his exhibit at one time. “Well, OK,” we thought. Why not build a little suspense before we entered the exhibit, the contents of which was not visible from where we were standing.

As we waited behind a virtual velvet rope, perhaps for ten to fifteen minutes, who knows, we could hear a cacophony of metal clanking against cement — not unlike sounds you might hear when you walk onto a busy a factory floor — interspersed with blaring snippets of pop music. We had no idea what we would see when we were finally granted access to the room.

This is what we saw, which explained where the clanking metal sounds were coming  from.

Colored Sculpture, as this mechanical puppet is called, has the red hair, freckles, and boyish look of such literary and pop cultural characters as Huckleberry Finn, Howdy Doody, and Alfred E. Neuman, which is more than a little disturbing for many reasons; but mostly because he appears to be a child.

Colored Sculpture Standing 2

His once pristine paint job and highly polished appearance now bearing the visible signs of wear and tear, the red-haired puppet is suspended with heavy chains from a large mechanized gantry, which is programmed to choreograph its movements.

Colored Sculpture Standing

The sheer physicality of the installation, which fills the entire gallery space and includes the work being hoisted and thrown forcefully to the ground, viscerally blurs the distinction between figuration and abstraction, while furthering the formal and narrative possibilities of sculpture.

Colored Sculpture on the Ground

Sculpture Being Dragged
Installation View with Crowd

Colored Sculpture

And it gets even creepier: the sculpture’s eyes employ facial recognition technology to track spectators’ gazes and movements, thereby adding another layer of interactive corporeality to the work. Using fiber optics, its eyes also intermittently display a range of imagery and video footage, including the artist’s own animations and filmed footage, and other found visual material, all of which seem to mine the subconscious preoccupations and desires of our society and consumer culture.

When the sculpture looks at you, or appears to look at and engage with you, you can’t help but feel that you are watching a living entity being tortured. And if Wolfson intended for that encounter to fuck with your head, he succeeded beautifully.

Jordan Wolfson’s Solo Exhibition, Featuring Colored Sculpture, will be up Through June 25, 2016 at David Zwirner Gallery, Located at 525 West 19th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Colored Sculpture Lifted

Dan Flavin, Corners, Barriers and Corridors at David Zwirner

Untitled (To Barry, Mike, Chuck and Leonard) 1972 - 1975
Untitled (To Barry, Mike, Chuck and Leonard) 1972 – 1975 (All Photos By Gail)

Dan Flavin (April 1, 1933 – November 29, 1996) was an American minimalist artist famous for creating gorgeous sculptural objects and installations from commercially available fluorescent light fixtures. David Zwirner Gallery which represents Flavin’s estate, is currently hosting an exhibition of the artist’s significant Corner, Barrier and Corridor works from the late 1960s and early 1970s at its West 20th Street in New York. This is a must-see exhibit.

The exhibition at David Zwirner examines how Flavin established and redefined space through light constructions in three formats that were at the core of his practice. The artist’s “corner,” “barrier” and “corridor” works explicitly implicate their surrounding architecture while physically mediating the viewers’ experience and perception of space.

Untitled (to Sonja) 1969
Above and Below: Untitled (to Sonja), 1969

Among the works on view will be a notable two-part Barrier in yellow and green dedicated to his wife, Untitled (to Sonja), 1969, which was first shown as Flavin’s contribution to the significant group exhibition Spaces at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1969-70.

Untitled (to Sonja) 1969

Flavin’s installation comprised rectangular units of colored fluorescent tubes that formed two interior barriers that begin in the corners of the entrance wall and extend to the far end of the room, altering space with colored light and physically modifying the visitors’ experience of the room. This will be the first time it has been shown since the MoMA exhibition.

To Dorothy and Roy Lichtenstein,

Also in the exhibition is a rare barrier that shines white fluorescent light into an empty room while rendering it inaccessible: Untitled (to Dorothy and Roy Lichtenstein on not seeing anyone in the room), 1968. This piece was first shown at the Dwan Gallery, New York, in 1968 and has not been exhibited since 1970. The work’s title makes reference to a 1961 painting by Roy Lichtenstein entitled I Can See The Whole Room!…And There’s Nobody in It!

Untitled (To Barry, Mike, Chuck and Leonard) 1972 - 1975

A Corridor in Yellow and Pink fluorescent light from 1972-75, Untitled (to Barry, Mike, Chuck and Leonard), will also be presented. The work divides an architectural passageway into two mutually inaccessible, obstructed fields of color and light, playing on the viewers’ cognitive and physical perception of distinctly colored, opposite ends of the same space.

Untitled (To Barnett Newman) Two 1971

The show will also feature a room devoted to a sequence of four related corner constructions dedicated to the artist Barnett Newman: Untitled (to Barnett Newman) one-four, 1971, which highlight the four corners of the room by serially investigating the same rectangular form in different configurations of yellow, red, and blue fluorescent light. These works have not been on view in the United States since their first presentation in Flavin’s 1971 solo exhibition at the Dwan Gallery, New York.

Untitled (to a man, George McGovern) 2, 1972

Another work in the exhibition features the artist’s less-known use of circular light fixtures: Untitled (to a man, George McGovern) 2, from 1972, succinctly illuminates the corners of a given space in its wall-mounted triangular construction of warm white circular lamps.

Untitled (to a man, George McGovern) 2, 1972

Dan Flavin, Corners, Barriers and Corridors will be on Exhibit Through October 24th, 2015 at David Zwirner Gallery, Located at 537 West 20th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Untitled (to Virgina Dwan) 1971
Untitled (to Virgina Dwan), 1971

Franz West at David Zwirner Gallery

Franz West 4 Sculptures
All Photos By Gail

Do you enjoy the sculptures and paintings of the late Austrian artist Franz West? I sure do. I remember when I initially misidentified a group of West’s Sculptures as being by Julian Schnabel, but my friend Mark Kostabi (oops, I dropped something) told me that the artist was actually Franz West. Since then, I have learned to sight-identify West’s artworks from his very distinctive style. Franz West!

David Zwirner Gallery is currently hosting an exhibition of works by Franz West — created during the 1990s — at its 537 West 20th Street location. I discovered this accidentally when Geoffrey and I were doing an art crawl in the Chelsea Gallery District this past Saturday, passing time before the George Condo exhibit’s opening reception started. Here are some pictures I took of the show!

Franz West Sculpture

I like this one a lot. It reminds me of an Ice Cream Sundae.

Franz West Gallery View

These freeform sculptures are in the front rooms of the gallery.

Franz West Sculpture and Drawing
Franz West Orange and Pink

This one is awesome. I love the bright colors. These sculptures look like rocks covered with encaustic, but I believe they are all papier-mâché.

Franz West 4 Drawings

Here are some of West’s drawings with words on them. The writing is in German, so I don’t know what it says.

Franz West Room Tableau

This exhibit has three different room tableaus that incorporate West’s artwork with furniture, found objects and work by other artists. Below is a passage I cut and pasted from Zwirner’s Press Release on the exhibit, which expands on this part of the show and provides added insight:

“The 1990s proved critical in the development of the idiosyncratic style for which West is still known today. Key innovations from this period — which included the addition of exuberant color to his papier-mâché forms, the incorporation of furniture both as art object and as social incubator, and the inclusion of work by other artists in his own installations — resulted in dynamic, frequently interactive installations that helped to redefine the possibilities of sculpture and the ways in which art is experienced.”

I like it.

Franz West Room Tableau

Franz West Lemure Heads
Look, It’s The Beatles!

The exhibit also presents a group of the artist’s large-scale, anthropomorphic Lemurenköpfe (Lemure Heads), which playfully meld sculptural figuration and abstraction. These heads were first shown at documenta IX, Kassel (1992).

The Worley Gig Gives Franz West at David Zwirner Two Thumbs Up!

Franz West Orange Sculpture

Works By Franz West will be on Exhibit Through December 13th, 2014 at David Zwirner Gallery, Located at 537 West 20th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Franz West Signage

Must See Art: Yayoi Kusama’s I Who Have Arrived In Heaven At David Zwirner

Yayoi Kusama Manhattan Suicide Addict
Yayoi Kusama in a Scene from “Manhattan Suicide Addict” (All Photos By Gail)

According to gallery employees at David Zwirner, last Friday night’s opening of Yayoi Kusama’s I Who Have Arrived in Heaven wasn’t just a Reception: it was an Event, complete with a personal appearance by the 84-year old living legend. And yes, she reportedly wore the bright red wig! We are very sorry to have missed that, but we did make it to the much less crowded Zwirner gallery on Saturday to take in I Who Have Arrived in Heaven‘s sculptures, paintings, video installation and one of two mirrored rooms that made our heads explode. The comprehensive exhibit fills all three of Zwirner’s adjoining spaces on West 19th Street, where a feast for the eyes awaits you in every room. It is high-fives all around for Zwirner on their inaugural Kusama exhibit, and if this marks your first exposure to this artist’s heavily psychedelic creations, you are in for a huge treat.

Yayoi Kusama Pink Dotted Flower Shoes

Kusama’s trademark polka dots are evident on two very fun sculptures of flowers growing out of shoes, which are visible from 19th Street. These pieces reminded me of Minnie Mouse on acid. Each flower has a convex mirror at its center so that, if you can get close enough, you can put your face in the flower and trip out.

Yayoi Kusama Yellow Dotted Flower Shoes

Yayoi Kusama Painting

This exhibition features twenty-seven new large-scale paintings featuring vibrant colors and repetitious patterns. Most are highly detailed and very whimsical in nature.

Yayoi Kusama Painting

Yayoi Kusama Painting Blue and Orange Detail
Detail from Painting Above

Yayoi Kusama 3 Paintings

This shot above will give you an idea of the scale of these canvases. The images and details from this series of paintings reminded me of the artwork from the first Tom Tom Club album (and video for “Genius of Love”) and also from the hyper-violent cartoon series, Super Jail, of which I am a huge fan.

Yayoi Kusama Painting Eyes Detail
Eyes Detail from Painting

Yayoi Kusama Manhattan Suicide Addict

In yet another room, which is book-ended by 12-foot high infinity mirrors, there is a video installation of Yayoi performing her original song, “Manhattan Suicide Addict.” As Yayoi sings the song, which has very beautiful and poetic lyrics, an animated slide show of her selected artworks moves behind her. Geoffrey and I watched it four or five times. It was just insane.

As if all of the sculptures and paintings and videos were not enough to make you squeal, there are also two Infinity-Mirrored Room installations. Yes, I just typed that. Here is what it looks like inside one of them.

Yayoi Kusama Love Is Calling Installation

This installation is entitled Love Is Calling, and it is comprised of a darkened, mirrored room illuminated by inflatable, tentacle-like forms, which are covered in Kusama’s characteristic polka dots, that extend from floor to ceiling, gradually changing color. Very psychedelic! Simply put, I did not want to leave this room. Of course, there was a line to enter (I can’t even imagine what it was like on opening night)  but even though they only let about 6 or 7 people enter at one time, the line moves pretty fast,  and it is so totally worth the wait, so don’t get discouraged!

Yayoi Kusama Love Is Calling Installation

Sadly, a very packed afternoon agenda would not allow us enough wiggle room to wait in the hours-long line to experience the second room, which is the exhibition’s centerpiece,  Mirrored Infinity Room: The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away. This mirrored, cubed-shaped room features a shallow reflecting pool as its floor. Hundreds of multicolored LED lights are suspended at varying heights and they flicker on and off in a strobe-like effect, producing an intense illumination of the space and a repetitive pattern of reflections that suggest endlessness. WOW. I will be making a return trip to experience that head trip, for sure.

Yayoi Kusama’s I Who Have Arrived In Heaven will be on exhibit through December 21, 2013 at David Zwirner Galleries, Located at 519, 525 and 533 West 19th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District, New York.

Yayoi Kusama Exhibit Signage