September 17, 2006 Sculpture - Installation, September 2006
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Monika Sprüth Philomene Magers Projekte, Munich
See Line, Los Angeles
Monika Sprüth Philomene Magers, Munich
Branch Gallery, Durham, NC
Alexandre Pollazzon, London
HUC-JIR Museum, New York City
Jack the Pelican, Brooklyn
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Robert Elfgen - wie man wird was man ist, 2006, Monika Sprüth Philomene Magers Projekte, Munich

Robert Elfgen “How to become what you are"

Monika Sprüth Philomene Magers proudly present their first solo-exhibition of Robert Elfgen in Munich.

The exhibition consists of the installation “How to become what you are” with three lamps, a bronze figure and numerous pictures. Next to the spacious installation several glass paintings, a display case and a floor sculpture are to be seen.

The thematic frame of the exhibition is undisguisedly autobiographical. As the title “How to become what you are” indicates, the exhibition is about life and the question about influences forming one‘s personality. The artist shows in the installation a bronze figure, originally carved in wood by his grandfather and is a portrait of Elfgen's brother as a child. In addition, the viewer encounters three large lamps representing grandmother, mother and father, and pictures showing moments and memories of his youth.

Robert Elfgen succeeds in materialising his own past without using obtrusively biographical elements. Instead, he creates a melancholic, sometimes depressing atmosphere emphasizing the generality of filial imaginations and horizons.
The exhibition does not show an adult perspective on being a child but a private statement triggering experiences of the own childhood.

Robert Elfgen was born in Wessling in 1972; he lives and works in Cologne. From 1997 to 2001 he studied at the University of art in Braunschweig under John Armleder and at the Academy in Düsseldorf as a master student of Rosemarie Trockel.

Read on...[German text] Monika Sprüth Philomene Magers Projekte, Munich

Read on...Monika Sprüth Philomene Magers Projekte, Munich

Maria von Köhler, Clarice, 2006 See Line, Los Angeles

Maria von Köhler

See Line Gallery presents Maria von Köhler’s first North American solo exhibition featuring three new works.

Like the wider body of her work, the new pieces imitate artificial, degraded replicas either through the objects themselves or the positions they take within the space. As monuments they service a homogenized heroic ideology that functions merely as a mechanism of propaganda. This forms the basis of the relationship between the works both inside and outside of the gallery.

High up on the exterior gallery wall, rippled by breeze, hang three rigid fiberglass flags indicating some kind of event; a perpetual sale at a car dealership or a real estate open house, or perhaps even a symbol of national generic unity. It is at any rate usually an invitation to enter. Inside, one sculpture dominates in scale. Clarice is an oversized sculpture of the self- titled character from the film The Silence of the Lambs. Dressed in a flowing gown she cradles a lamb as depicted by the character Hannibal Lecter in one of his (onscreen) masterful and sensitive portraits. The original portrait as shown in the film is a drawing, Clarice (pictured) is the artist’s sculptural version of this portrait. The characters in the film are extremely recognizable to an enormous audience, and in turn the work may appear to be a portrait of a famous person, much in the way the flags serve as propaganda with its advertising/artwork function. Overseeing this relationship from its position high on a gallery wall is the work Portrait a bemused religious militant flying monkey cast in fiberglass.

Maria von Köhler was born in Sweden and completed her MA at the Royal Academy of Art in London in 2003. She was featured in Larry’s Cocktails at Gagosian Gallery in October 2005 and recently shown at Chapman Fine Arts in London. This exhibition is supported by the British Council.

Read on...See Line, Los Angeles

Richard Artschwager, Monika Sprueth Philomene Magers Munich Monika Sprüth Philomene Magers, Munich

Richard Artschwager, Sculpture

Monika Sprüth Philomene Magers are pleased to present sculptures by the American artist Richard Artschwager from the years 1961 to 2006.
Since the early 1960s, Richard Artschwager, born in Washington D.C. in 1923, creates sculptures evoking associations with common place objects such as furniture and household appliances. Firstly these works were shown at Leo Castelli, New York in 1965 and have attained greatest international reputation since then.
For the first time in art history, Richard Artschwager uses do-it-yourself materials like Formica and Cerotex becoming exemplary for future artist generations.

The exhibition is surely dominated by crates - objects that resemble shipping crates, made of untreated pinewood, carefully fabricated, reinforced and screwed. Irritating the viewer with their specific form, they seem to refer to a content inside the crate, however the packaging is the content. Thus Artschwager plays with the spacial atmosphere of the gallery presenting the crates like art objects.

A further material – rubberized horse hair – appears in the work of Artschwager since 1967. This unusual material challenges the viewer „haptically“ as well as „visually“, as seen in his work „Hair Crate (Frosted)“. Here, Artschwager contrasts the clear geometrical structures of a crate with soft and lively silhouettes.

The piece "Splatter Chair, Table, Mirror" takes up two walls reaching over the corner. With its bizarre, fractured form, this piece is an example of an ordinary object reorganized and rendered in an almost cubistic way. As with other „splatter pieces“, Artschwager combines different surfaces with paint and Formica veneer over wood.

Artschwager´s oeuvre cannot be ascribed to any of the categories of the established discourse on art, not even to art in the traditional sense. He is no more a creator of pictures than he is a producer of appliances. His objects can be seen as pre-pictures, sculpted incidents that are intended to help us see through standard ways of looking at things as illustrations or replicas of pre-conceived expectations.

Read on... Monika Sprüth Philomene Magers, Munich

Amanda Barr, Jesus Jeans, 2006, denim and fabric, 230 x 22 in Branch Gallery, Durham, NC

Amanda Barr : Golden Hiccups

Large scale installation, sculpture, and collage allow us another glimpse into Barr’s elaborate imagination. Although there is not a singular theme for the show — a language of form and imagery ties the work together: (mushrooms, flowers, owls, crystals, clouds). Much of her work evokes a sense of spirituality; a painted papier-mâché hippo takes on the power of a charm or totem animal; a large black cave beckons the participant on a transformative journey. There is a magical, metamorphic feeling in her work:common, ordinary items are transformed into delightfully absurd objects (cloud burgers; crystals growing roots; golden owls). There is a playfulness and naiveté in Barr’s work, but it is a skilled hand that casts a childlike wonder around her work. Boulders float—bright, sparkling, and weightless—while papier-mâché “sky burgers” feel nearly edible—soft and sweet like marshmallows. Corduroy logs sprout psychedelic fungi, and a pair of 32/230 jeans offers us a chance to get closer to heaven.

Originally from Ashland, Oregon, Barr left the west coast to study at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. As a represented artist, she has exhibited several times with Branch Gallery, and participated at both New Contemporaries, Art Cologne (Germany), and the nada Art Fair (Miami). Her work has also been exhibited in galleries such as: Guild & Greyshkul (New York), secca (Winston Salem), Cinders (Brooklyn), and Motel (Portland).

Read on...Branch Gallery, Durham, NC

Vidya Gastaldon, Installation at Alexandre Pollazzon Alexandre Pollazzon, London


Gastaldon’s palindrome title ‘UniverevinU’ is a play on the word Universe and how it represents matter and energy, including the earth and its galaxies regarded as a whole, a sphere or realm in which something exists or takes place.

Following on from previous works that were inspired by nature, science fiction, eastern religious philosophies, popular culture and myths, Gastaldon has made a series of new landscape drawings and sculptures that allegorize The Origin of Life.

Gastaldon considers the landscape to be ‘the most appropriate form for evoking a certain contemplative state’. Partly imagined from allegories and metaphors that are accessible to a wide audience, the drawings contain many symbols linked to consciousness expansion.

The references to nature are simple with landscapes that can be seen on top of the other, or embedded within the other, serving as the ideal background for nurturing visions.

Gastaldon’s sculptures are physical manifestations and interpretations of such metaphors and visions. Laboriously sewn, crocheted, knitted and embroidered, the effort and tedium involved in the process imbue the objects with a positive charge and a fetishistic character that lead directly to mysticism and spirituality.

Read on...Alexandre Pollazzon, London

Tamar Hirschl, Deer Watch, 2006, mixed media on vinyl, 115 x 99 in HUC-JIR Museum, New York City

Tamar Hirschl : Cultural Alarm

Tamar Hirschl : Cultural Alarm, a fine art installation, awakens viewers to the dangers of human and environmental destruction. Hirschl's artwork draws on her personal memories of war and displacement in Croatia and Israel. It conveys a universal warning challenging the viewer to acknowledge the unnatural separation of cultures, religions and societies that exists in the modern world. As well as illuminates the destructive effect that man's "progress" has had on the animal kingdom, the natural world, and humanity itself.

Employing diverse techniques, materials and applications, Hirschl explores complex of emotional subjects. She substitutes vast surfaces of unframed vinyl for traditional stretched canvas, and expands the images so that these contemporary murals take on the scale of public billboards. Other works in cast- acrylic resin depict the clash between the environment and the manmade.

"Cultural Alarm grapples with the troubling idea that we, humankind, have become inured to tinkering with the balance of nature," notes Laura Kruger, Curator. "The unimaginable scope and horror of the events that invest these works, the Holocaust, the World Trade Center attack, the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster, demand absolute attention on a grand scale."

Read on... HUC-JIR Museum, New York

Peter Caine at Jack the Pelican Presents Jack the Pelican, Brooklyn


Peter Caine has already achieved quasi-cult status as the wicked Walt Disney. Through his perverse engineering, our heroes, villains and sacred cows mechanically come alive as Frankenstein robots, oozing pitch-dark schoolboy humor as they sing and dance their way into our hearts. The kids clamor at the door to get in, but clearly this is not suitable for family viewing.

In "New Works" at Jack the Pelican, his fifth New York solo exhibition, Peter Caine outdoes himself with multiple figure installations of dazzling ambition, the likes of which few amusement houses have ever seen. Lights, sounds, voices and sheer quirky madness combine with homespun animatronic bravado to create a spectacle of dark Baroque magnificence.

There is his life-size ship of fools near the gallery's entrance--Dorothy and the Tin Man crossing the Delaware with George Washington, Prince Whipple and a very talkative Barbara Bush, gushing over the prodigious member of the Marquis de Sade, literally a fountain of spewing jism. A critter greeting them on the marshy shore identifies himself as a beaver and he demands to be shaved.

Just beyond, a forest of eight- and nine-foot tall nyloned and Brancusi-esque Cabana Boys wriggle to a silent, funky beat. Some are striped like Pippy Long- stocking and one, the beast of the bunch, sprouts long cascades of synthetic hair. In their shadow is an angry God, handsomely feathered with the hackles of partridges and pheasants and swelling with bursts of light, as he pronounces his indignation.

Read on... Jack the Pelican, Brooklyn

David Ersser at Seventeen SEVENTEEN, London


David Ersser produces cold, meticulous models of electrical appliances, tools and domestic objects. Assembled from balsa, the least majestic of woods, in a dead pan and un-dramatic way, the work owes more to the culture of the enthusiast model maker than the great history of carved sculpture.

This, Ersser's first solo show, is the initial realization of an ongoing project that involves the replication of the objects that surround the artist. As such, the artist’s desk from his studio, his tools, equipment, detritus, chair, keys and his half finished ‘artworks’ themselves, are all presented in the gallery space, in a one-to-one scale, lifeless tableaux.

Implicit within each object is the user, as a synthesizer' keyboard, a power tool, or even a bonsai tree, all necessitate the existence of a user’s hand. Ersser’s facsimiles, however, are removed from circulation. Their use-value removed, they stand in for the real object, inert and impotent mementos. The nerd-ish mode of production also serves to highlight the artist’s geeky fetishism for the objects, which is only heightened by the removal of function. While the monotone work might appear flawless from a distance, the thin wooden cable running down from the stereo to the floor and to a sculpted plug, is made up of short sections of straight balsa to give the semblance of a curve. Scrutiny reveals the maker’s hand.

Forthcoming shows include Roebling Hall, NY (solo project) and Lucky Loft, Hamburg (group).

Read on... SEVENTEEN, London

Ryan Taber, Installation at Mark Moore Gallery MARK MOORE GALLERY, Los Angeles

Ryan Taber : A Rhetoric of Ills: The Ekologie of Ornament at the Causatum of Stillness

Mark Moore Gallery is pleased to announce A Rhetoric of Ills: The Ekologie of Ornament at the Causatum of Stillness, Ryan Taber’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. The exhibition brings together a selection of Taber’s recent drawings and sculptures drawn from interrelated research projects.

In Taber’s Light Screen series, graphite and watercolor render neglected Frank Lloyd Wright windows that once mediated his patrons’ views of the world outside of his enclave. Appropriating illustrations of marine life by the nineteenth century Natural Philosopher Ernst Haeckel, Taber’s broken panes become host to a series of miraculous vandals, various species of Haeckel’s Hydrozoa.

Somewhere Outside Phoenix; Guimard’s Annexation of Antonioni’s Mirage, is the most ambitious sculptural work in the exhibition. For this piece, Taber reconstructs a scale model of a small section of a landscape from a still extracted from Michelangelo Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point. The scene reflects the perspective of one of the films’ protagonist’s as she gazes toward a hillside residence designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright and imagines the structure exploding across the Arizona horizon. In the work, the desert flora of the scene bear the evidence of the mirage’s effect, only the blast debris is from an earlier architectural form, Hector Guimard’s Metro entrance adjacent to the Louvre. This spacio/temporal rift alludes to the cycles of political agency associated with periods of romantic idealism while considering the consequences of the stylization of their record.

Read on...MARK MOORE GALLERY, Los Angeles

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