Tag: Gagosian

20
Nov

Urs Fischer. Leo

An artwork is not about the now.
—Urs Fischer

Gagosian is pleased to present Leo, an exhibition of new work by Urs Fischer.
Across his protean oeuvre, Fischer frequently evokes art historical genres and motifs with wry self-awareness and humor. In Fischer’s work, the processes of material creation and destruction are often explored through the use of impermanent materials, as in Bread House (2004–05), a life-size cabin constructed from loaves of sourdough bread. Embracing transformation and decay while resounding with poetic contradictions, Fischer’s art excavates the potential of its materials and media, producing joyful disorientation and sinister bewilderment.

Fischer’s candle sculptures exemplify the relationship between permanence and impermanence. He began to make them in the early 2000s with a series of crudely rendered female nudes, standing upright or lounging in groups. A series of realistic figurative candle portraits followed, including a full-size replica of Giambologna’s sixteenth-century sculpture The Rape of the Sabine Women, and Marsupiale (Fabrizio) (2017), which amalgamates a portrait of the Florentine antique dealer Fabrizio Moretti with an oversize bust of Saint Leonard, the patron saint of prisoners. In 2018, Fischer created a candle replica of the art patron and collector Dasha Zhukova, which burned for weeks in the shopfront gallery at Gagosian Davies Street in London.

Fischer’s newest candle portrait, Leo (George & Irmelin) (2019), depicts Leonardo DiCaprio with his parents, George DiCaprio and Irmelin Indenbirken. Cast entirely in wax, the family is posed in mid-action: George gestures while conversing with Leo, as Irmelin holds Leo in her loving embrace.

As with all of Fischer’s candle sculptures, Leo (George & Irmelin) will melt slowly over the course of the exhibition, its original composition transmuted into a form dictated by the wayward laws of physics. Captivating in their materiality and haunting in their implications, Fischer’s candles serve as both portraits of—and meditations on—the passing of time. Elaborating on traditions of memento mori, they remind viewers of the transience of life, beauty, and even art itself.

Leo is presented in the ground floor gallery of Gagosian Paris. On view upstairs in the Project Space is Smalls, an exhibition of new works by Spencer Sweeney.

Urs Fischer. Leo
October 14–December 20, 2019

Gagosian
4 rue de Ponthieu
75008 Paris

+33 1 75 00 05 92
paris@gagosian.com

Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 11–7

Contact
collecting@gagosian.com
press@gagosian.com

Image: Urs Fischer Gentle Moon, 2019 Aluminum composite panel, aluminum honeycomb, two-component adhesive, primer, gesso, solvent-based screen printing ink 96 x 72 in 243.8 x 182.9 cm © Urs Fischer. Photo- Ulrich Ghezzi. Courtesy Gagosian
19
Set

HUMA BHABHA – The Company

There is so much physical destruction happening in different parts of the world, to the extent that many functioning cities look like archeological digs. One of the ways I like to approach the past is in a cinematic way, reimagining the past and projecting towards the future just as movies often do.
—Huma Bhabha

Gagosian is pleased to present The Company, new sculptures and drawings by Huma Bhabha. This is her first exhibition in Rome.

In expressive drawings on photographs as well as figurative sculptures carved from cork and Styrofoam, assembled from refuse and clay, or cast in bronze, Bhabha probes the tensions between time, memory, and displacement. References to science-fiction, archeological ruins, Roman antiquities, and postwar abstraction combine as she transforms the human figure into grimacing totems that are both unsettling and darkly humorous.

The Company is inspired in part by “The Lottery in Babylon” (1941), a short story by Jorge Luis Borges in which a fictional society is taken over by a pervasive lottery system that doles out both rewards and punishments. The lottery is purportedly run by the Company, a secret, perhaps nonexistent body determining peoples’ fates. Bhabha’s procession of sculptures makes visible the power of this unseen Company. It comprises a pair of large, disembodied hands floating atop transparent plinths; a seated figure; and several standing figures of varying scale. Drawings on photographs echo these forms and characters, which could have come from a distant realm of the future just as easily as from a lost civilization. The standing figures are carved from stacks of dark cork—which emits an earthy, acrid odor—and its technical inverse, Styrofoam. These materials appear to be hard and dense, like eroded stone or freshly quarried marble, but they are lightweight and soft, allowing Bhabha to carve quickly and spontaneously without over-refining. The sculptural process thus becomes a sort of embodied stream of consciousness from which alien monsters, fertility goddesses, and Greek kouroi emerge.

The masklike visages of Bhabha’s sculptures are at once majestic and jarring. Painted in incongruous pastel tones—blue, mauve, pink, and green—they recall graffiti, where urban grime combines with interventions of glowing color. With their deranged, cartoonish features empowered by a foreboding bipedalism, Bhabha’s sculptures seem to both mock and warn as reflections of and witnesses to human pride and power, veneration and iconoclasm.

Pairing the scars of war, colonialism, and trauma with allusions to current events and popular media, Bhabha has long maintained that the world is an apocalypse, both man-made and natural; her ravaged sculptures appear to have witnessed some measure of catastrophe yet survived to tell the tale. Like an enthroned pharaoh or cyborg caught in a shower of shrapnel, a seated figure is assembled from sallow clay pressed into chicken wire, mottled fragments of Styrofoam, toy dog bones, and rusted chairs from Bhabha’s hometown of Karachi, caught in the crossfire of internecine and international conflict.

In Bhabha’s large drawings, human and nonhuman figures occupy the intersection of photography, collage, and painterly gesture—their composite faces and shadowy forms seeming to haunt landscapes, city streets, and architectural settings. In one, a blue and beige arch is imposed on Bhabha’s own photograph of an ancient dog statue in Rome’s Musei Capitolini, with two white kouroi looming in the background.

On the occasion of the exhibition, the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome will host a conversation between Bhabha and Cristiana Perrella, director of the Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci in Prato, on September 18 at 6pm. The event will be held in English and open to the public.

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03
Ott

SARAH SZE

In the age of the image, a painting is a sculpture. A sculpture is a marker in time.
—Sarah Sze

Gagosian is pleased to present new works by American artist Sarah Sze. This is Sze’s first gallery exhibition in Italy, following her participation in the Biennale di Venezia in 2013 (Triple Point, US Pavilion) and 2015.

Sze’s art utilizes genres as generative frameworks, uniting intricate networks of objects and images across multiple dimensions and mediums, from sculpture to painting, drawing, printmaking, and video installation. She has been credited with changing the very potential of sculpture. Working from an inexhaustible supply of quotidian materials, she assesses the texture and metabolism of everything she touches, then works to preserve, alter, or extend it. Likewise, images culled from countless primary and secondary sources migrate from the screen to manifest on all manner of physical supports—or as light itself. A video installation, the latest of Sze’s Timekeeper series begun in 2015, transforms the oval gallery of Gagosian Rome into a lanterna magica, an immersive environment that is part sculpture, part cinema. In these studies of the image in motion, at once expansive and intimate, time, place, distance, and the construction of memory are engaged through a mesmerizing flux of projected images, both personal and found. A sort of Plato’s Cave, the new work confronts the viewer from simultaneous points of view: moving pictures of people, animals, scenes, and abstractions unfold, flickering and orbiting randomly like thought, or life itself. In an in-situ gesture that links the darkened video gallery with the adjoining room of new panel paintings, Sze materializes light as a spill of paint applied directly to the stone floor. In the paintings, her nuanced sculptural language adapts to the conditions of the flat support. In delicate yet bold layers of paint, ink, paper, prints, and objects, the three dimensions of bricolage are parsed into the two dimensions of collage. Here, color draws its substantive energies as much from the innate content of found images as from paint and ink. Fields of static, blots, and cosmic vortices emerge out of archival material drawn from the studio and its daily workings in endless visual permutations that collide and overlap in an abundance of surface detail. In November, Sze will add her first outdoor stone sculpture to the exhibition, a natural boulder split open like a geode. Each of the two revealed cuts has a sunset sky embedded in its flat surface, alluding to both the images perceptible in gongshi (scholar’s rocks) and the heavenly subjects of Renaissance paintings. From November 19, Sze’s large-scale installation Seamless (1999) will be on view at Tate Modern, London.

SARAH SZE
Inaugurazione: sabato 13 ottobre, 18:00 – 20:00
13 ottobre 2018–12 gennaio 2019

Gagosian
Via Francesco Crispi 16
00187 Rome
T. 39.06.4208.6498
roma@gagosian.com
Hours: Tue–Sat 10:30-7

Ufficio Stampa PCM Studio
Federica Farci | federica@paolamanfredi.com | +39 342 05 15 787

Karla Otto
Lissy Von Schwarzkopf | lissy.vonschwarzkopf@karlaotto.com| +44 20 7287 9890

Ottavia Palomba | ottavia.palomba@karlaotto.com | +33 6 67 88 32 29
Michel Hakimian | michel.hakimian@karlaotto.com | +33 6 12 59 41 93

Gagosian
Matilde Marozzi | pressrome@gagosian.com | +39 06 4208 6498

Image: Sarah Sze, Untitled, 2018(dettaglio), olio,acrilico, cartad’archivio, stabilizzatori UV, adesivo, scotch, inchiostro e polimeri acrilici, gommalacca, e vernice ad acqua su legno, 213.4×266.7×8.9cm©SarahSze