Inspired by Ellsworth Kelly’s superimposed canvases Blue Relief over Green, 2004, and Dark Red Relief with White, 2005, Space Between investigates the legacy and influence of abstraction on Western art, presenting a selection of artists that enter into a conversation on history, process, and form. Many of the works included within the exhibition defy simple classification, asserting the richness of the physical territory between painting and sculpture, as well as the emotive and evocative possibilities of color and line.
Kelly’s layered canvases depart from the artist’s iconic flat-colored geometric compositions, combining color, shadow, and shape to create new dimension. Sadie Benning and Julia Rommel connect with the hard-edge color-field abstraction of the 1960’s, pushing outward against the edges of the canvas through their innovative use of materials. Kaz Oshiro’s sculptural painting contorts the physical plane of the canvas, playfully breaking the traditional hard edges in a brilliant shade of hot pink. Rebecca Ward and Wyatt Kahn further deconstruct the canvas and frame (at times thread by thread) to build new compositions. Jim Hodges, Roni Horn, and Rachel Whiteread explore implied space and transitional edges through their sublime translucent works. Agnes Martin’s hand-drawn grids, both delicate and austere, are ‘all-over’ compositions that impart order and dimension to canvas. R. H. Quaytman infuses abstraction with the architecture, history, and poetics of the specific space, themes that appear in the monumental photographic works of Thomas Demand and Andreas Gursky.
“Through a focused selection of work, Space Between contemplates the poetic and creative potential for abstraction to flirt and dance with the edges of opticality and experience, synthesizing a new space for the viewer,” states curator Louis Grachos.
Louis Grachos has been the Ernest and Sarah Butler Executive Director at The Contemporary Austin since 2013, and is known for his groundbreaking curatorial work and arts administration. Previously, Grachos served as Director of Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY, from 2003-2012. Grachos has held curatorial and administrative positions at the Americas Society Visual Arts Program, New York; the Queens Museum of Art, NY; the Center for Fine Arts, Miami; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; and SITE Santa Fe. A passionate advocate for the arts, Grachos has more than thirty years of experience in the museum field supporting contemporary art. He is committed to community collaborations, with a focus on arts education and outreach programming, and consistently strives to create an artist centric institutional culture.
Stephanie Roach has been the Director of The FLAG Art Foundation since the institution’s founding in 2008 where she has developed over 35 exhibitions featuring more than 350 established and emerging international artists. Exhibitions curated include One, Another, 2011, at FLAG; Losing My Religion in Young Curators, New Ideas IV , 2012, at Meulensteen Gallery, New York. She was on the Curatorial Advisory Committee for the Moving Image Art Fair in 2012 and the jury panel for the New York Academy of Art Seventh Annual Summer Exhibition in 2013. She is a member of the Leadership Circle at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Philadelphia and Special Advisor to the Lincoln Center Vera List Art Project.
JAMES LEE BYARS: THE POETIC CONCEIT AND OTHER WORKS
24 JUNE THROUGH 22 AUGUST 2015
For summer, VW (VeneKlasen/Werner) is pleased to present James Lee Byars: The Poetic Conceit and Other Works. This exhibition is one of three James Lee Byars shows simultaneously on view this summer, alongside The Figure of Death and The Moon Column at Michael Werner Gallery, New York and The Diamond Floor at Michael Werner Gallery, London.
Throughout his prolific career Byars pursued with tireless curiosity his life-long obsessions with ideal form and a personalized notion of “perfect”. This exhibition traces issues of perception, language, and contemplation in Byars’ oeuvre: “The Capital of the Golden Tower” (1991), “The Poetic Conceit” (1983) and the performative “Hole for Speech” (1981) each exemplify the artist’s philosophical ideals and his quest for a new, spiritual form of pure communication. On view in the gallery´s cinema is the 16mm film “Autobiography” (1970), a rare example of James Lee Byars’ use of film in which the artist appears on screen for a fraction of a second. Together, these four pieces form a distinct body of work that explores and questions the ethereal nature of language and communication.
James Lee Byars was born in Detroit in 1932 and studied art and psychology at Wayne State University. He presented his first museum exhibition in 1958, a legendary event that took place in the stairwell of New York's Museum of Modern Art and lasted only one day. Over the following decade Byars lived and worked in Japan where he presented many performances and exhibitions, including “The Performable Square” in the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, in 1962. In 1964 he was invited to present three performances at the Carnegie Museum of Art. Byars returned to America in 1967, dividing his time between New York and Los Angeles; by the 1970s he began to spend increasing amounts of time in Europe. Since that time Byars has been the subject of numerous gallery and museum exhibitions worldwide, including Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Kunsthalle Düsseldorf; IVAM Centre del Carme, Valencia; Castello di Rivoli/Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, Turin; The Henry Moore Institute, Leeds; and Fundaçao de Serralves, Porto. Byars died in Cairo in 1997. Important posthumous exhibitions include The Epitaph of Con. Art is which Questions have disappeared?, Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover (1999); The Arts Club of Chicago (2000); Life Love and Death, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt and Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain de Strasbourg (2004); The Perfect Silence, Whitney Museum of American Art (2005); I'm Full of Byars, Kunstmuseum Bern (2008); The Perfect Axis, Schloss Benrath, Düsseldorf; and Klein Byars Kapoor, Musée d'art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain, Nice and ARoS Kunstmuseum, Århus, Denmark (2012-2013). In 2013, “The Figure of the Interrogative Philosophy” and “The Figure of the Question of Death” were included in the 55th Venice Biennale exhibition The Encyclopedic Palace, curated by Massimiliano Gioni.
Last summer, MoMA PS1 in New York presented James Lee Byars: 1/2 an Autobiography, the most comprehensive survey of Byars organized in North America since the artist's death in 1997. Organized in cooperation with Museo Jumex in Mexico City, where it debuted in spring 2013, the exhibition featured a selection of sculptures, fabric works, performable paper pieces, ink paintings, live performance and ephemera.
The Poetic Conceit and Other Works opens on 24 June and remains on view through 22 August 2015. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11AM to 6PM. For more information please call the gallery at +49 30 8161 60418, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit vwberlin.com.
Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects is pleased to announce “Strange Alphabet,” our first exhibition with Bart Exposito.
Exposito, who lived extensively in Los Angeles and currently resides in New Mexico, is a desert native and the beautiful subtleties of this landscape affect the palette and spaciousness of his paintings. In his new works for the exhibition, forms suggestive of typographic characters are rendered with sensitive lines over opaque and ambient planes of dusty color. The result is a duality, or contradiction, in the appearance of the paintings: flatness can be experienced as both dense and atmospheric, as foreground and as background, and often these states are indeterminate. Dense, flat panes of paint refer to the land. Atmospheric washes suggest the sky, or something more ambient. These contradictions inform the development of a sophisticated graphic sensibility, a “Strange Alphabet”, as a means to understand how painting exists as it’s own language.
Bart Exposito received an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2000. He has had solo exhibitions at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS; Thomas Solomon Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; and the Black Dragon Society, Los Angeles, CA. His work was featured in the 2011 “Greater LA” exhibition curated by Eleanor Cayre, Benjamin Godsill, and Joel Mesler in New York, NY; “Goldmine: Contemporary Works from the Collection of Sirje and Michael Gold,” University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach, CA; and “Keeping it Straight” at the Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA.
On the occasion of the first exhibition of Alain Jacquet at the gallery, a catalogue will be co-edited with Flammarion. It will be bilingual French/English with texts written by Alain Cueff, art historian and contemporary art specialist and Anne Tronche, art critic and curator, with an introduction of Catherine Millet, editor in chief of Art Press and member of Alain Jacquet comity