Tag Archive | Song

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

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Michael Riedel’s Powerpoint at David Zwirner Gallery

Michael Riedel Powerpoint
All Photos by Gail

In my own words, I would describe German artist Michael Riedel’s Powerpoint as repetitive, minimalist geometric designs on large canvases, mounted on wallpaper mimicking the same design. As far as how he came up with these specific images, however, and what it all “means,” I admit I couldn’t really get my head around it. Here’s an explanation from the show’s press release:

“Since the late 1990s, Michael Riedel has advanced his own model of a self-sustaining artistic production, continuously using reproductions as a means to “reintroduce the system of art into the art system.”

Michael Riedel Powerpoint

PowerPoint takes its point of departure in the artist’s last solo exhibition at David Zwirner entitled The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog (2011). Where this show reflected digital distribution processes — with Poster Paintings featuring information from websites communicating Riedel’s work as their backgrounds — the present exhibition takes the process a step further, allowing the system to recreate itself once more. It includes new works made by combining two Poster Paintings using an animated feature in PowerPoint, the software program used by the artist when delivering presentations on his work. Riedel has “frozen” the particular transition between two slides, generating a new work that takes place between two existing works. In a further variation of the idea, some Poster Paintings were merged with a blank page. The fact that each new work creates a gap that can be filled again suggests the idea of endless production.”

So, there you go. I couldn’t have said it myself.

Michael Riedel Powerpoint Various

What was also cool about attending this opening reception is the invite itself. Riedel asked the band Woog Riots to create an original song to advertise the exhibition, and this makes the invitation itself a collectible work of art. You can see it in the above photo, bottom right. Below, you will see my signed copy of the invite.

Michael Riedel Invite

You can stream the song at This link. The lyrics explain the “point” of the exhibit and give the location, address, time and date of the opening as well as the duration of the exhibit — and the correct way to pronounce Riedel’s name — in an up-beat, euro-pop dance tune that sounds like a kid’s band version of Kraftwerk with a girl singer. Very fun!

Michael Riedel Powerpoint Turntable

Geoffrey and I arrived at the gallery about 15 minutes early and so were able to get all of our pictures with no people in them, meet Riedel and get his autograph on our invitations and also enjoy some very cool ’60s-sounding music playing on a turntable that was set up on the floor near the corner of the rear gallery.

Up Againt It The Times

I think this album is what was playing, but I can’t be sure. It says, Up Against It: Joe Orton’s Original Screenplay for The Beatles. Original Soundtrack by The Times.” I want to find this album and own it.

Michael Riedel Powerpoint Black

Michael Riedel Powerpoint Red

Michael Riedel’s Powerpoint will be on Exhibit at David Zwirner Gallery, 533 West 19th Street, NYC, through March 23, 2013, so you still have lots of time to see it. Gallery Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM.

Michael Riedel Powerpoint Purple
Michael Riedel Powerpoint Green and Purple