In Carsten Höller’s (* 1961 in Brussels) exhibition LEBEN at TBA21 visitors can experience a different kind of logic, one that is far from habitual. Themes of duplication and division are shown in the Vienna Twins video installation. The film installation Fara Fara shows auditions and rehearsals of the vibrant Congolese music scene. Elevator Bed (2010), the central element within the exhibition space, can be booked on a nightly basis by prospective guests.The bed is mounted on a platform, which can be raised to different heights, up to 3.5 meters. Guests are instructed to brush their teeth with Insensatus Vol. 1 Fig. 1, a dream-inducing toothpastes. Visitors can immerse in the floatation tank High Psycho Tank, experiencing a sense of weightlessness and sensory equilibrium. At the Gimpelwaage two pairs of trained bullfinches in two balanced aviaries whistle a melody that integrates into the leading soundtrack of the show. Outside, on the Augarten grounds, a moment of visual dissection is captured sculpturally in Giant Multiple Mushrooms. An extension of the exhibition at Augarten is Y (2003), a split passageway encircled by a seemingly infinite halo of flashing white lightbulbs, is installed at the Belvedere. Curated by Daniela Zyman. July 11 – November 23, 2014. Free admission.
What’s “gorgeous” to you? There’s often a fine line between attraction and repulsion, but this summer at the Asian Art Museum, we’re drawing no lines at all.
Gorgeous presents 72 uniquely stunning artworks drawn from the collections of the Asian Art Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Spanning over 2,200 years and dozens of cultures, these artworks are organized in an attempt to shift the focus from historical and cultural contexts, emphasizing instead the unique ways each work announces itself or solicits a viewer’s attention. Left to your own devices, you may gravitate toward the strange or the familiar. Some artworks may be beautiful to you; others, bizarre and challenging. Some may be all three. Whatever they are, your reactions to the show will be unique. And that’s what interests us. As Allison Harding, co-curator of Gorgeous, puts it, “This isn’t about what the museum thinks. This is about what you think.”
This exhibition premieres Jasper Johns’s most recent body of work, a cohesive group of two paintings, 10 drawings, and two prints created over the last year and a half.
In June 2012, Johns encountered an old photograph of the artist Lucian Freud reproduced in an auction catalogue. In the picture, Freud sits on a bed, holding his right hand to his forehead in a gesture of weariness or despair. Johns was inspired not only by this scene but also by the damaged appearance of the photograph itself. In the months that followed, he carried the image through a succession of permutations using a variety of mediums and techniques. The title and signature inscribed on most of the works— “Regrets/Jasper Johns”—call to mind a feeling of sadness or disappointment. The words, however, are not without irony: Johns has borrowed them from a rubber stamp he had made several years ago to decline the myriad requests and invitations that come his way.
Seen as a whole, the series reveals the importance of experimentation in Johns’s art, laying bare the cycle of dead ends and fresh starts, the way problems and solutions develop from one work to another, and the incessant interplay of materials, meaning, and representation so characteristic of his work over the last 60 years.
Organized by Christophe Cherix, The Robert Lehman Foundation Chief Curator of Drawings and Prints, and Ann Temkin, The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture, with Ingrid Langston, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints.
Working in her Bedford–Stuyvesant studio, artist Marela Zacarías undertakes "Red Meander" (2014), a commission by the Art in Embassies program for the U.S. Consulate in Monterrey, Mexico. Zacarías enlists the help of a team of eight assistants to create the fifty-eight foot long by eleven foot tall work—her largest painted sculpture to date—over the course of nine months. Comprising twenty handmade sections that fit together like a puzzle, each component is made of sanded joint compound over window screen affixed to wood supports. The undulating surface of "Red Meander" is emblazoned in intricate patterns of sixty-seven acrylic colors inspired by Mayan patterns, specifically textiles from Chiapas and Oaxaca. "Hidden in plain sight in the clothing and decorations, these symbols survived colonization and modern times," says Zacarías, "Weaving became a form of cultural resistance that was passed down from mothers to daughters for centuries." Growing up in Mexico City, the artist also recalls visiting Diego Rivera’s murals (1929–30, 1935) in the National Palace. Having spent a decade painting over thirty murals ranging in size from ten to over a hundred feet long, with this project Zacarías realizes a major achievement: exhibiting her work back home in Mexico, for the first time, and as a permanent installation in an historic building. Recognizing both the problems and promise of the U.S. immigration system, Zacarías suggests that “for me to do this piece, it was like really meeting myself kind of in the middle of it. I want to connect to the people that are going through this transition.” Featured in this film is additional artwork by Diego Rivera and music by Los Amparito & Los Músicos de José.
ART21 "New York Close Up" is supported, in part, by The Lambent Foundation; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; and by individual contributors.