Paul Kasmin Gallery presents ROBERT POLIDORI | IAN DAVENPORT | ROXY PAINE
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ECOPHILIA / CHRONOSTASIS
Sep 8, 2016 - Oct 15, 2016
Paul Kasmin Gallery is pleased to announce its inaugural exhibition of acclaimed photographer Robert Polidori, on view from September 8 to October 15, 2016 at 515 W. 27th Street.
This exhibition will be the first U.S. show to feature Polidori’s “dendritic cities” images, a body of work begun in 2007. He appropriates the term “dendritic” from the branching extensions of a cell structure and uses it to describe the auto-constructed cities (as opposed to pre-planned urban developments) that have appeared as a result of industrialism in cities around the world, including Amman, Mumbai and Rio de Janeiro. The exhibition will feature three monumental photographs taken in India, including an expansive mural of a street in Mumbai known locally as “60 Feet Road.”
Long sensitive to the shared terrain between photography and cartography, Polidori has stepped outside of the traditional photographic “frame” of an image, and instead has adopted an approach where the framing is based upon the subject of the image. As Polidori describes it, “its execution came to demand labors more in line with mapping strategies than traditional photographic compositional framing.”
Rather than isolating one particular section or façade of the narrow street, Polidori set out to photograph the entire length of the 60 Feet Road within one long continuous printed photograph. Like a tracking shot within a film, Polidori has compiled 22 separate photographs into one. The sequence of 8x10 color sheet film has been scanned and computer-stitched into a continuous déroulement, like an Asian scroll. Spanning a length of forty feet, viewers can fix their attention on minute details that would otherwise go unnoticed. In “Amrut Nagar,” comprising four separate panels, Polidori photographs a complete 180° view of a populated mountainside from one single vantage point.
Also on show is a selection of photographs from Polidori’s 2010 project in Lebanon, “Hotel Petra.” The photographs explore the interior of a once grand and luxurious hotel in downtown Beirut that was severely damaged during the civil war of the 1980s and left abandoned for 20 years. In contrast to the teeming metropolises in the “dendritic cities,” the photographs of Hotel Petra reveal a building quietly succumbing to natural forms of decay and abandonment: countless layers of paint have flaked and faded away, resulting in a multilayered palette of color and design. This site gives a voice to Polidori’s thesis on modern painting, inasmuch as the compositions of gradually evolving and decaying paint closely resemble the intentional concerns of many modern and contemporary painters; only in this case the genesis of the phenomena was neither fixed nor intentional, but rather the unintentional summation of subsequent labors of various painters and workmen acting and modifying their surfaces at different times over decades, and as such, can be seen as “natural” or “unconscious” collective super-ego documents. This slow deterioration bears witness to the history as “seen” and “lived” by the walls themselves. Polidori captures the poetic quality of the ruin, and in the photographic stillness, the rooms are portrayed as metaphors and vessels for memory.
Coinciding with the exhibition, Steidl will be releasing two new publications: Hotel Petra and 60 Feet Road (Bhatiya Nagar Facades), which focuses entirely on the single photograph of the city block. Texts by the photographer are included in both books.
Robert Polidori (b. 1951) has published over fifteen monographs, most recently Chronophagia and the two volume Rio. These publications follow the three volume Parcours Muséologique Revisité, an extensive compilation of the thirty years he has spent photographing the Château de Versailles. He has received the World Press Award (1998) and the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for Magazine Photography (1999, 2000). Over the course of his career, he has had several major solo exhibitions, notably a mid-career retrospective at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, “Fotografias” at the Instituto Moreira Salles in Rio de Janeiro, and “After the Flood” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2006, which presented his photographs of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. His work is held in numerous collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. He lives and works in Ojai, California.
Sep 8, 2016 - Oct 22, 2016
Paul Kasmin Gallery is pleased to present Doubletake, an exhibition of new paintings by the British artist Ian Davenport, on view from September 8 – October 22, 2016 at 293 Tenth Avenue in New York. This will be his first solo show at the gallery since 2013.
In Doubletake, Davenport explores the chromatic essence of historical masterpieces, the palette of many of the paintings being inspired by a canonical work. He has ranged widely through history for his sources, paying homage to paintings spanning from the 16th century to the 20th, creating a remarkable record of a painter’s taste and powerfully demonstrating how a great tradition of historical pictures can inform contemporary art. His technique, driven by an enduring fascination with the materiality of paint and the process of painting, is similar in each. First, after studying the painting in depth and gaining an intuitive understanding of its colors and hues, he goes to work using his signature technique, which delivers elegant vertical lines cascading down the panels into rich puddles of color.
Their effect is both sublime, in their evocation of waterfalls, and subliminal, in their reminders of history. Referenced paintings include Van Gogh’s “The Church in Auvers-sur-Oise, View from the Chevet”, (1890) pulling out the rich blues of the sky, the green and beige from the lawn and path, and the reds from the roof of the church. Other works that have inspired him include Jan Brueghel the Elder’s “Flowers In A Wooden Vessel,” (1606), “Mada Primavesi” (1912) by Gustav Klimt, and “The Marriage of the Virgin” (1504) by the Italian Renaissance master Perugino. Each time, Davenport uses the colors in the historical work as a reference point to initiate his own color sequences and explorations of movement, surface and light. In so doing, he questions how color gives shape to a picture, helping to structure the background and foreground in representational pictures, and produce rhythm and dynamism in abstract art.
Davenport (b. 1966, Kent, England) studied at Goldsmiths College of Art in London. In 1988, he exhibited in the Damien Hirst-curated Freeze exhibition which first brought together many of the Young British Artists. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1991. Davenport has exhibited internationally over the past two decades, most recently in solo exhibitions in Geneva, and Saõ Paulo, and in group shows such including the Royal Academy, London (2015). His work is to be found in major collections worldwide, including the Tate, London; the Weltkunst Collection, Zurich; Arts Council Collection, London; Borusan Art Gallery, Istanbul; The British Council; Daimler Chrysler Collection, Stuttgart and the Dallas Museum of Art, Texas. Davenport’s first extensive monograph was published by Thames and Hudson in 2014. The artist lives and works in London.
Sep 15, 2016 - Oct 22, 2016
Paul Kasmin Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of drawings by Roxy Paine from September 15 through October 22. Paine's substantial body of work as a sculptor spans the monumental and the microscopic, but this exhibition will be the first that focuses solely on his works on paper. The exhibition will show Paine’s drawings to be a significant and distinct aspect of his extensive and varied oeuvre.
This exhibition is curated by Judith Goldman, a writer and curator based in New York City. A catalogue with an essay and an interview between Goldman and Paine will be published on occasion of the show.
Perceptible in virtually all of the drawings is a layering of imagery, ranging from the diagrammatic, to the topographic, to the pixelated. Botanical forms, organic matter, and architectural plans are juxtaposed with portraits, real and imagined cartography, and industrial signs. Paine’s perspective is trans-temporal, it shoots across centuries’ branches of knowledge, gathering motifs from eclectic sources, high and low, ancient and modern. Yet the drawings gradually reveal specific themes – of containment, regulation, boundaries, mapping. By extension, for Paine, the mapping serves as a metaphor for thought experiments working to understand complex structures, places, patterns and systems.
Paine has long been driven to grapple with the relationship between the organic and mechanical systems in our everyday life. He is fascinated with the natural versus the industrial worlds and how these two continually coalesce and collide, and the grey areas in between which oscillate from cacophony to clarity and back again. Through his work, he tries to anticipate unknowable outcomes.
Paine’s drawings are a vital component of his ceaseless investigation of knowledge in how information is discussed, transferred, posted and received. The drawings are an experimental way to trace, catalogue, and visualize a mindset. When looking at them collectively, it becomes apparent that his approach to the paper is an extension of his sculptural process, as if it’s an initial encounter with a puzzle that may later be realized in three dimensions. Finally, and crucially, the drawings provide evidence of the artist’s hand. The verisimilitude of his finished sculptures is laborious and engaged, as virtually all of his sculptures are made carefully by hand but appear to be machine-made. In the drawings, Paine’s dexterity as a draftsman is tangible and compelling in equal measure.
Exhibited internationally since the early 1990s, Paine is the recipient of numerous awards, including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, and the Trustees Award for an Emerging Artist by the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. His work has been installed in prominent venues including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York’s Central Park, Madison Square Park, and, in 2009, a site specific installation for the rooftop garden of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His work is included in various collections including the Museum of Modern Art New York, Museum of Modern Art San Francisco, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles.
This fall, Paine’s Dioramas will be on view at the Beeler Gallery at the Columbus College of Art and Design, Ohio. A second exhibition at the Paul Kasmin Gallery is planned for Spring 2017, featuring his most recent sculpture.