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Almine Rech Gallery Bruxelles: JOHANNES WOHNSEIFER | TOM BURR - 8 Apr 2011 to 12 May 2011

Current Exhibition

8 Apr 2011 to 12 May 2011

Almine Rech Gallery, Bruxelles
20 Rue de l’Abbaye
B - 1050
p: +32 32 26 485 684
f: +32 26 484 484

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Artists in this exhibition: Johannes Wohnseifer, Tom Burr


This moment
That now has passed
Filled a hole with time

Almine Rech is pleased to present Holes Filled With Time, Johannes Wohnseiferʼs first solo exhibition at the gallery in Brussels. The exhibition will feature all new paintings, paperworks and photographs by the artist.

For this exhibition Johannes Wohnseifer examined the significance of time for his own artistic practice. Combining past, present and future to a stream of times Wohnseifer will present new large scale paintings which are based on a series of fragmented, abstract works entitled Cold War. Wohnseifer continues working with the topic of confrontations of power blocks and loose references to a certain perod of time.
In a second step he expands this theme to hybrid sequences which bring together comic drawings of the 1970s and colour schemes of the 1940s with South American graffiti.

Before there was the preview button on a digital camera, there were Polaroid cameras and film that made possible the thrill of taking a picture and seeing how it turned out right away. Now that magic is fading into history. Polaroid Corp. recently announced it will no longer manufacture the instant film with the iconic white borders. The Massachusetts-based company stopped producing Polaroid instant cameras last year and will close factories that produce its film in the United States, Mexico and the Netherlands this spring.Introduced in 1948, the Polaroid camera reached its height of popularity in the 1960s and 1970s with such models as the Swinger, the SX-70 and the One-Step.

The new series of Polaroid-Paintings refer to the instant effect in photography but at the same time to the end of production of Polaroid cameras. A painful experience for many artists who worked with this technique and used it extensively as medium. The white powdercoated aluminium frames with painted inserts serve as a break between the other paintings in the show and are meant to work as a frozen moment transforming photography into monochrome painting.

For another group of works Wohnseifer reproduces a series of collages he made out of vintage b/w-prints combined with images of Braun-alarmclocks 1996. In 1997 Wohnseifer produced a record with commissioned electronic music for which he used the sampled sounds of his collected Braun-alarmclocks. The groundbreaking industrial design by Braun can be found as a quote in many Apple-products today and is so transferred from the era of Cold War to the present.

We see each other in the future

Furthermore there are new plexiglass wallworks dealing with possible timespans in the future. These works have been produced to their specific site but speak of a most uncertain context.

Johannes Wohnseifer was born in Cologne 1967. He lives and works in Cologne and Erftstadt and will have a solo exhibition at the Simultanhalle, Cologne, in 2011.
Recent past solo exhibitions include: Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York 2011, Praz-Delavallade, Paris 2009, Johann König, Berlin 2009, Galleri K, Oslo 2009, Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne 2008 and The Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada in 2007. Wohnseifer is currently included in the exhibition, Compass in Hand: Selections from the Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection, organized by Christian Rattemeyer and Cornelia H. Butler, that first opened at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2009, is now on view at Institut Valenciŕ d’Art Modern (IVAM), Valencia, Spain, and travels to Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin in March 2011.


The Almine Rech Gallery is pleased to present felt under fingers, the first solo exhibition in Brussels by New York artist Tom Burr.

I’m concerned, highly concerned (or maybe obsessed is the right way to put it) with the way built spaces bind and control people as well as allow them degrees of comfort and security, the artist explains.

When visiting an exhibition by Tom Burr, one enters a room filled with a wide range of scattered objects, many of which seem to have been abandoned suddenly. The space seems almost familiar, yet the layout and selection of these objects remain a mystery, as does the identity of their former owners. It is as if the staging of these objects had been interrupted at the moment visitors entered the room. By choosing these objects for their symbolic value, Burr has created sculptures which question visitors and bring to the surface new or buried emotions.

The artist has compared his sculptural approach to acts in a play, or film stills, underlining their theatricality and his allegorical use of forms that are specific to theatre: platforms, radiators, curtains, lighting and personal items function as vertical sculptural supports.

In this exhibition, Tom Burr reveals the physical presence of these anonymous, everyday objects. The artist insists on connecting notions of heat and nudity and the envelopment of different sculptures, the whole taking the form of a narrative that will tell a story and trigger an emotional response.

Thus, radiators, normally relegated to the lower corners of rooms, are here exhibited in the centre of the space, as if they were huddling toget her. Although these pieces have lost their specific function, the memory of their use will remain intact. They were all designed for heating, an indispensable form of security.

The panels are covered with wool blankets, which are folded, unfolded, and arranged across the surface in a manner that is both spontaneous and carefully planned, then secured in place. Burr thus deconstructs the space and strips it bare before appropriating it once more. The walls take possession of the space, like actors or extras moving freely about. But these walls also envelop the space, enclosing it in order to demonstrate the physical constraints imposed on the actions and freedom of identity.

The artist also decided to work on a joint project with a young New York artist, Mary Simpson. Captivated by her short film “RR”, which consists of sequential and methodical shots of the old “Vulcan” stove from Robert Rauschenberg’s studio, Burr decided to include it in one of h is works. He framed it to underline the importance of this type of object, objects which not only have a physical presence but which also tell a story.

Currently based in New York, Tom Burr was born in 1963 in New Haven, Connecticut. His work has been shown widely in Europe and the United States. Recent shows include Mixed Use, Manhattan: Photography and Related Practices, 1970s to the Present (2010) at the Reina Sofia Centre of Art in Madrid, and Gravity Moves Me (2010) at FRAC Champagne-Ardenne in Reims.

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