After a year that saw Wolfgang Tillmans' work presented in six significant solo museum survey exhibitions at the Kunsthalle Zurich; São Paulo Museum of Modern Art; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Museo de Arte del Banco de la República, Bogota; Kunstsammlung NRW (K21), Düsseldorf; and the Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI), Peru, we are excited to announce Wolfgang Tillmans' eleventh one person exhibition at the gallery. The exhibition titled from Neue Welt consists of carefully chosen works from a four-year project begun in 2008, which culminated in Tillmans' 2012 exhibition at the Kunsthalle Zurich and in the publication Neue Welt published by Taschen in 2012. The exhibition will also include a wall of 128 pages from Tillmans' newest book FESPA Digital / FRUIT LOGISTICA published by Walther König in 2012. Few artists have the ability to not only contribute to the cultural landscape, but to actually redefine the lens through which that culture is apprehended.
"Through combining production modes of making and presenting (at once creative, analytic, interpretive), and by inhabiting the roles of photographer, curator, designer, critic, and historian all under the rubric of artist, Tillmans occupies a rare if not singular position in the field of contemporary art." -Julie Ault, "The Subject is Exhibition," Yale University Press, 2006
"If a technique existed that could print out my visual memories of the last years, I guess it would to some degree look like a faux Tillmans retrospective. And I don't believe this experience is limited to myself." -Jan Verwoert, "Survey," Phaidon Press, 2002
Tillmans' career has been marked by a remarkable ability to continually expand the scope of his work. His practice develops in ways both obvious and subtle, not just in new images, but also in the paper, framing devices, size, and the printing technology utilized in the prints. After two decades of consistently sized prints, the most readily visible changes in this exhibition will be new sizes of work as well as new inkjet paper and ink that leads to works of remarkable color, physicality, and intensity. The radicality of Tillmans' practice is premised not on the rupture from one project to another, but in a continual reinvention and translation of his own image making. Over time, bodies of work intertwine and earlier works are consistently integrated so that new exhibitions are not merely forums for new pictures, but sites where the adjacency of images can create new meaning. The uncanny ability of a Tillmans photograph to feel relevant whether made in the early 1990s, at the turn of the 21st century, or today is a testament to his unique ability.
"I wanted to know: How does the world appear twenty years after I've begun to form a picture of it? Can there be a 'new' view of it? And 'new' also in the sense of greatly expanded technical possibilities. The tremendous political and economic shifts of recent years, and technical advancements, have considerably altered the world's appearance." -Wolfgang Tillmans, interview with Beatrix Ruf, Taschen, 2012
Reflecting an increasingly globalized world, the works in this exhibition picture a massively expanded geographic range from the United States and Europe to Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the farthest reaches of the planet including Tasmania and the southernmost tip of South America. These works not only react to the implied accessibility of place in the 21st century, but reflect Tillmans' desire to bring to light political and economic realities.
"When do things become visible? What can pictures make visible?" -Wolfgang Tillmans, Manual, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, 2007
Tillmans' work not only addresses what subjects can be brought to the fore, but questions the nature of perception itself and the tools and apparatuses that generate images. From his earliest days using a standard, commercial photocopier, Tillmans has always embraced the accessible and democratic potential of new technologies rather than deploying technology as spectacle—to make work more removed from a lived reality. Even now, having made the natural switch to incorporate more digital technology, Tillmans seeks out the very edges of his medium. Recently, in an interview with Michelle Kuo in Artforum, Tillmans addressed not only the implications of the rapid changes in inkjet printing technology, but also the arbitrary parameters of medium and what it might mean that these boundaries are so vigorously defended.
"These shifts, some chosen, some forced on us by technological development, shouldn't be seen as a threat. They are profoundly exciting." -Wolfgang Tillmans, interview with Michelle Kuo, Artforum, 2012
A Tillmans exhibition is always a manifestation of the extreme rigor with which he approaches his practice, both on a conceptual and a technical level. In his eleventh exhibition at the gallery, Tillmans continues his relentless project to make work that is urgent, meaningful, and critical, so that it can be as inspiring to us as the world is to him. "The search, or research, that is his praxis seems to be sustained by a fundamental belief in the world and its potential for change. Every picture, every exhibition, every publication is required to create a situation whereby—in the contact between the pictorial objects and the public, from the individual viewer to the great mass of those with an interest in art—those present sense the possibility of change, of a new becoming." -Tom Holert, "The Unforeseen," Moderna Museet, 2012
Born in Remscheid, Germany, in 1968, Wolfgang Tillmans lives and works in Berlin and London. Tillmans was awarded the prestigious Turner Prize from the Tate in 2000. Since his last exhibition at Andrea Rosen Gallery in 2010, Tillmans' work has been published in four monographs: Abstract Pictures (Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2011), Zacheta Ermutigung (Warsaw: Zachêta National Gallery of Art, 2011), FESPA Digital / FRUIT LOGISTICA (Cologne: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, 2012), and Neue Welt (Cologne: Taschen, 2012). Taschen has also released a limited Art Edition publication of the Neue Welt, with 72 Tillmans photographs, printed on 24 folded sheets; this signed and numbered portfolio available in an edition of 500 is the first oversized Tillmans publication to date. His work can be found internationally in collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The Hirshhorn Museum, Washington; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Tate Gallery, London; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Centre Pompidou, Paris among many others. A significant installation of his work is currently on view at MoMA on the Second Floor Contemporary Galleries.
Lynda Benglis Sean Bluechel Jean Dubuffet Mika Rottenberg Axel Salto
May 4 – June 22, 2013 Andrea Rosen Gallery 2
For Mika Rottenberg’s current exhibition at Magasin 3, she produced an impressive and arresting group of sculptures — cast resin and hand-painted textures that seem to have been ripped from the walls of one of her film sets. These sculptures reference an iconic tactility that is key to all of her films and installations. Since Gallery 2’s program is committed to encouraging alternative modes for understanding new and historical material through filters that may alter our perception, Andrea Rosen Gallery is delighted to announce a complex new group exhibition that juxtaposes Rottenberg’s sculptures with the evocative surfaces of works by Lynda Benglis, Sean Bluechel, Jean Dubuffet, and mid-century ceramicist Axel Salto.
An important painting from Dubuffet’s Texturologie series avoids all figuration, but is not abstract. Literally a vast view of the ground seen from above, the gestural and gritty painting was intended to evoke a continuous, infinite space beyond the fragmented sphere of human action and intervention. Sean Bluechel prefers this dysfunctional arena, and his “Drunk Photos” engage multiple iconographies of sexuality, race and gender with a rough, physical sensibility. Axel Salto experimented with wild, organic forms and colors that were a radical departure from the prevailing, cool abstract styles of modern ceramics. Although his vessels are undoubtedly decorative, Salto was a trained painter fixated on formal problems – how does the thickness and sheen of a glaze change as it slides over bumps and into grooves? The dense, multi-colored accretions on Lynda Benglis’s wax paintings are sensuous and visceral, but they are also ground-breaking, transitional pieces that demonstrate the artist’s struggle to redefine painting and the relationship between the artwork and viewer in space.
All of these works give form to our sensory perceptions. As Lynda Benglis has said, “I am involved with bodily response so that the viewer has the feeling of being one with the material and that action, both visually and muscularly…in other words, you draw out the complete body through the work.”
Lynda Benglis Lynda Benglis was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana in 1941 and received her BFA from H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College at Tulane University in 1964. Her work has recently been exhibited at Modern Museet, Stolkholm (2012), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2011), New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2009), and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2009). She currently lives and works in New York and Santa Fe. Her work is in numerous permanent collections including the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY.
Sean Bluechel Sean Bluechel was born in San Francisco, California in 1969. He received his BA from the San Francisco Institute of Art and his MFA from Yale University in 2003 and currently lives and works in New York. Recent exhibitions include Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York (2013), Salon 94, New York (2011), and Greater New York at MoMA PS1 (2005). His work is included in the Julia Stoschek Collection in Dusseldorf.
Jean Dubuffet Jean Dubuffet was born in 1901 in Le Harve, France and is widely known for his contributions to Art Brut in the immediate post-war era. His first solo exhibition was held at Galerie René Drouin, Paris (1944), followed by Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York (1947). Major retrospectives include Musée des arts décoratifs, Paris (1960–61), Museum of Modern Art, New York (1962), Palazzo Grassi, Venice (1964), Tate Gallery, London (1966); and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1966–67). His work is included in permanent museum collections around the world. Dubuffet died in May of 1985 in Paris.
Mika Rottenberg Mika Rottenberg was born in 1976 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Raised and educated in Israel, she relocated to New York ten years ago, where she now lives and works. Her work has recently been shown at Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall, Stockholm (2013), Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, and FRAC Languedoc- Roussillon, Montpellier (2012), M-Museum Leuven, Belgium (2011), De Appel, Amsterdam (2011), and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco (2010). Her work was also exhibited at the Whitney Biennal, New York (2008), Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain (2008), Tate Modern, London (2007) and MoMA PS1, New York (2005). Her work is held in the collections of museums such as Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo (NO); Fonds régional d’art contemporain (FRAC), Languedoc-Roussillon (FR); The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation (USA); La Maison Rouge, Paris (FR); Museum of Modern Art, New York (USA); Julia Stoschek Foundation, Düsseldorf (DE), and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (USA).
Axel Salto Axel Salto was born in Denmark in 1889 and trained at the Copenhagen Academy of Art, where he developed the ceramic style he is most known for. Counted as one of the masters of Danish design, his decorative ceramics at times defied functionality and were often sculptural. From 1923-29 he worked at Bing & Grondahl and later at Royal Copenhagen, further experimenting and developing his style. He was the recipient of a number of awards during his lifetime, including the 1937 Paris World Exhibition Grand Prix and the 1951 Milan Triennial Grand Prix. He died in 1961.
About Gallery 2 Andrea Rosen conceived Gallery 2 in 1999 as a liberating arena in which to consider new ideas and create parallel perspectives to the Gallery's primary program, and as a means of fulfilling the Gallery's responsibility to broaden visual references and education for its audience. An inspiring and highly important part of the Gallery's exhibition program, Gallery 2 was formerly located adjacent to the main gallery at the 525 West 24th Street location, prior to the recent opening of separate Gallery 2 space at 544 West 24th Street. Gallery 2 has developed a reputation for significant historical exhibitions, presenting first-time, one-person shows, and shedding light on lesser-known aspects of prominent artists' practices.