Blum & Poe : GLEE | DREW HEITZLER - 16 July 2011 to 27 Aug 2011
Curated by Cecilia Alemani
July 16 – August 27, 2011
16 July 2011 to 27 Aug 2011
Opening reception: Saturday July 16th, 6 - 8 pm
Michele Abeles, Shannon Ebner, Sharon Hayes, Tobias Madison, Kaspar Müller, Virginia Overton, Joan Semmel, Andra Ursuta, Jakub Julian Ziolkowski
curated by Cecilia Alemani
Blum and Poe is pleased to announce Glee, a group exhibition curated by Cecilia Alemani featuring Michele Abeles, Shannon Ebner, Sharon Hayes, Tobias Madison, Kaspar Müller, Virginia Overton, Joan Semmel, Andra Ursuta, and Jakub Julian Ziolkowski.
The exhibition Glee brings together artworks by nine artists from different generations, working in both America and Europe. Glee is an exhibition informed by a synthetic look; a show in which works appear coated in a shiny patina charged with a startling artificiality. Imbued in an atmosphere of joyful madness, the exhibition is agitated by a strange, at times erotic, tension. Simultaneously affected and sincere, superficial and deep, pop and rotten, the selected works share a blissful and seductive presence that can hide an incumbent sense of tragedy.
Swiss-born artists Tobias Madison and Kaspar Müller collaborate in the creation of ephemeral works suspended from the gallery ceiling. Bamboo poles and climbing ropes are combined to craft precarious sculptures that are part magic fetishes and part exotic bric-a-brac.
Virginia Overton's sculptures seem to evoke a sense of fragile grandiosity. Made by appropriating found objects and construction materials, they defy gravity while threatening to collapse, turning sculpture into a combination of failure and despair.
Several artworks in the exhibition refer explicitly to the body and sexuality. Paintings from the early 1970s by 79-year old Joan Semmel surprise the viewer with their disarming freshness and sensual intensity. With a palette of bright, acid colors and a flatness that seems to refuse any illusionistic depth, these paintings portray erotic scenes between heterosexual couples. Semmel's works challenge the viewer with their confrontational scale and unexpected crops, in an explosion of fluorescent hues.
In a similar vein, Polish artist Jakub Julian Ziolkowski gives form to visionary canvases rooted in a Bosch-like universe where bodies are dismembered, strange creatures arise from the ground and colorful beings seem to swallow the paintings.
Other works are tinted by darker nuances. With her abrasive typography, Shannon Ebner's GL*R/A composes a fragmented visual poem that, according to the artist, is to be read as a hymn to great women.
In Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) Screeds #13, 16, 20 & 29, 2003, New York-based artist Sharon Hayes bridges the gap between history and the present, between written and spoken words. Her video shows a close-up of the artist's face as she declaims the transcripts of the audiotapes Patty Hearst sent to her parents during her kidnapping. Reciting by memory, Hayes performed the script in front of an audience who helped her recall each line, suggesting that trauma lays hidden into language.
Disarmingly gloomy in their somber colors and repetitive forms, the drawings by Romanian artist Andra Ursuta seem to be trapped in a loop, portraying the same scene over and over again. Upon closer inspection, the image of a corpse surfaces among the vegetation, composing a contemporary memento that seals the exhibition with yet another ecstatic image.
Spiral Jetty / Crystal Voyager / Region Centrale
(Bootlegged, Re-ordered, Combined, Sometimes More, Sometimes Less)
July 16 - August 27, 2011
Opening reception: Saturday, July 16, 6-8pm
Blum & Poe is pleased to present a new three-channel video projection by Los Angeles-based artist Drew Heitzler entitled Spiral Jetty / Crystal Voyager / Region Centrale (Bootlegged, Re-ordered, Combined, Sometimes More, Sometimes Less), 2011.
For this project, Heitzler has borrowed and reconstituted footage from three artists' films produced in the early 1970s: Spiral Jetty (1970) by artist Robert Smithson, Crystal Voyager (1973) by California surf filmmaker George Greenough and the experimental film, La Region Centrale (1970) by Michael Snow. By presenting these films side-by-side and with overlapping audio, Heitzler raises both structural and conceptual associations between seemingly disparate projects. Each of the appropriated films marks a moving away, or a moving on, whether from the constraints of the gallery, the rules of filmmaking, or the physical departure from the crowded surf of the beaches of Santa Barbara. Each also employs new technologies and filmmaking devices to facilitate this shift from pre-existing norms, while highlighting the filmmakers' utopian desires of the arresting of time and space.
Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty documents the construction of the artist's site-specific land art installation in the Great Salt Lake of Utah, shot with a camera mounted in an overhead helicopter. The path of the overhead camera begins to synch with the movements found in La Region Centrale, Michael Snow's experimental film shot entirely by a mechanical swing arm and the cascading and hypnotic camera movements in George Greenough's groundbreaking surf film, Crystal Voyager. Greenough revolutionized California surf films by inventing wave-riding machines that facilitated the filming of a surfing experience previously only known to riders, earning his film a place in the 1973 Cannes Film Festival.
The pairing of these three particular projects speaks to Heitzler's interest in identifying the zeitgeist of an era; that is, the moment when the sixties lapsed into the seventies and experimental filmmaking was at a precipice.
Heitzler's films and film related projects have been exhibited widely internationally in venues such as the Sculpture Center, New York; PS 1, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Project, New York; Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland; Kunstmuseum, St. Gallen, Switzerland; Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire, Bruxelles, Belgium; LAX Art, Los Angeles; Magasin Centre National d'Art Contemporain, Grenoble, France; and Artists Space, New York. Heitzler was included in the 2010 California Biennial and his collaborative work with artist Amy Granat was included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial. Heitzler studied at Fordham University, New York, Slade School, London, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine, and he received his M.A from Hunter College. Heitzler was born in Charleston, South Carolina and lives and works in Los Angeles.
This work is being exhibited concurrently at Renwick Gallery, New York through July 29, 2011.
For further information please contact us at 310.836.2062 or firstname.lastname@example.org.