18 September 2008 newsletter - Sculpture & Installation  

Judi Rotenberg Gallery, Boston MA
Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels
Caroline Pagès Gallery, Lisbon
CRG Gallery, New York
Gladstone Gallery, 530 W 21st Street, New York
Judi Rotenberg Gallery, Boston MA
Dave Cole at Judi Rotenberg gallery, Boston 

Dave Cole
All American
4 Sept 2008 to 12 Oct 2008
The judi rotenberg gallery is excited to announce our second solo exhibition of new work by sculptor, Dave Cole. All American will be open to the public beginning September 4, 2008.

All American is the latest chapter in Cole's exploration of American Identity, this time through the lens of war. Much of Cole's work transforms banal objects of American life into powerful sculptures that blur the intersection of civilian and military experience. The pervading question after considering Cole's new body of work is: At what point does culture feed war, and at what point does war feed culture?

The association with games is not lost when considering Cole's new sculptures. A tricycle tows a little-red-wagon, which has become a portable machine-gun nest. Repainted in the color scheme of desert warfare, these artifacts of childhood have become an ominous suggestion of alternate reality. The familiar decals have been replaced with crude military stencils, and the tricycle bears a military stock number. This piece, along with the infant clothing made from bullet proof Kevlar, and the baby bottles resembling hand grenades, manifests Cole's signature blend of whimsical nostalgia and unflinching seriousness.

From Cole's perspective, the innocence of children playing war-games is superimposed with the reality of young people engaged in conflicts with deadly consequences. By changing the prism of how we consider the impact of violence in our American culture, Cole reveals the tragic potential of living in a marshal society, laying bare all of the terrifying implications.

In the two years since Trophies and Monuments (judi rotenberg gallery, September 2006), Cole's career has taken flight. His work has been featured in two major international exhibitions, at the Haifa Museum in Israel, and at the National Museum of Art Norway. In addition to this international exposure, Cole's work has been in a number of traveling exhibitions, including the critically acclaimed Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting show that originated at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City.
Dave Cole Knitting with Loaded Shotguns (Safeties Off), 2008and Kevlar Snowsuit, 2008
spun statuary bronze with 12 gauge shotguns and Kevlar (used Gulf War bullet proof vest) cut, sewn, and hand knit
72" x 66" x 10" and 21" x 19" x 6"
Courtesy of and judi rotenberg gallery
Judi Rotenberg Gallery
130 Newbury Street
MA 02116
Boston, MA
+1 617 437 1518

Judi Rotenberg Gallery
Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels
Gavin Turk, Diptych Silver Elvis, 2007 



New Art from London

20 Sept 2008 to 8 Nov 2008
AEROPLASTICS Contemporary has the pleasure to present, for the first time in Belgium, a selection of works by British artist GAVIN TURK. In parallel Gavin Turk has invited the public to discover the work of four young London-based artists in an exhibition entitled « I know, you know, they know, we know ». The sculptures of Toby CHRISTIAN explore the concept of artifice, the installations of Tom CRAWFORD examine the conceptual manipulation of the pictorial image, Ross DOWNES introduces us to his art « Brit Povera », and Jim Hollingworth (JIMP) draws morbid fascinations from daily life.

Gavin Turk's exhibition on the ground floor and 1st floor of the gallery brings together a painstaking selection of his works, from sculptures depicting himself in wax to recent works in painted bronze, while also casting an eye to his self-portraits silkscreened on canvas and his aquarelles.

His work questions the value, the authenticity, the originality and the integrity of art. To this end, the artist parodies famous contemporary art-works, and examines the validity of personality cults devoted to certain of his confrères. What is the influence of celebrity on how art is seen? Can a work of art still have intrinsic value?
Entering the arena of this debate, Turk cultivates ambiguity. Yes, he is the apparent subject of his oeuvre. But who is really hiding behind this de-multiplied image of Gavin Turk, be it via his superb wax self-portraits (Somebody's Son) or his silkscreens (Elvis Dyptich)?

Furthermore, the artist draws from everyday street life, once again, casting an ironic eye on the question of value and appearance. He works bronze and polyester to hyper-realistic effect, here revisiting the most trifling of objects, not to have them exist as souvenirs but to underline the contradiction of their existence and to call into question received ideas and beliefs born of habit. The tube from a toilet-paper roll (Manzonian Tube) is far from being the piece of cardboard that is seems to be, and his sleeping bags (Habitat - Ziggy Purple) are heavy with all the weight of this society that ignores its homeless habitants.

Here, too, we have an artist revealing to us the finesse of a watercoloured cardboard box (Open Box), and exploits the urinary stream upon metallic paint as just another mode of anointing the canvas (Untitled Anthropomorphic Piss Painting).

In sum, if one knows nothing of him, the man, obscure behind this alter-ego that is Gavin Turk, the artist, the range of works on view at AEROPLASTICS Contemporary offers a fine panorama of the history of contemporary art, from Marcel Duchamp, Yves Klein, Piero Manzoni, Marcel Broodthaers, Joseph Beuys, to Andy Warhol..  among others.

Gavin Turk was born in England in 1967, and continues to live and work there. He studied at London's Royal College of Art, an institution which refused to validate his work for the year 1991, consisting simply of a plaque (like those seen outside historic buildings) commemorating the artist's presence within the school's walls between 1989 and 1991. This work, and its consequences, secured him immediate notoriety. As one of the Young British Artists (YBAs) he participated in numerous group exhibitions (from « Sensation Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection », Royal Academy of Arts, London (1997), « Century City », at the Tate Modern, London (2001), « Remix: Contemporary Art and Pop », at Tate Liverpool (2002), « Superstars! The Celebrity Factor. From Warhol to Madonna » at Vienna's Kunsthalle (2005)) and individual shows (Jay Jopling/White Cube, London; the Centre d'Art Contemporain de Genève; Sean Kelly, New York; Krinzinger, Vienna; Magasin, Grenoble).
Gavin Turk, Diptych Silver Elvis, 2007
Silkscreen on canvas
129 x 184 cm
Courtesy of Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels 

Aeroplastics Contemporary
32 rue Blanche
Brussels 1060
+32 2 537 22 02
Caroline Pagès Gallery, Lisbon
Armanda Duarte, Fragment of Sobras de Uma Combinacao and Menos Quinze 

Armanda Duarte

September 25 - October 31, 2008
Entitled Subtracções (Subtractions), this exhibition by Portuguese artist Armanda Duarte offers a body of work revealing situations that focus on the specific, where experience is not the result of chance, but rather the fruit of a close observation of life and the construction of things. The approach to selected objects occurs through various installations which have been carefully chosen, in which they and the moments in which they occur are part of and represent a particular system of established relationships. The works are explorations constructed from a series of imperceptible steps governed by a logic and rules of their own, embracing a timeframe, which although essential to the artist for their creation, is not necessarily their own. Between the colour and the design itself - the main motivation for the juxtaposition of three adjacent perspectives - and the conceptualization of the scene, condensed in terms of subject matter and composition, the works selected formalize the gathering together of elements that provide a structure for each object, whether as a form of mental or physical exercise.

Armanda Duarte has paid close attention throughout the work to the mathematical principles that underlie the essence of each object. Submitting parallel processes to an almost scientific logic, the works become on the one hand subjects of study, and on the other, producers of this perspective to which, in fact, exercises in subtraction and addition or the reference to units of measurement are frequently associated as an elementary form of organization and an ordering of the materials used. In so far as these mathematical exercises allow, at the level of the sciences, wherein alternative responses, observations and ideally conclusions can be found, so in the artist's work there exists the intention to equate the perception that develops from the real, without, however, ignoring the possibilities defined by the senses. Circumscribing the situations and places, the creation of limits according to the outcome of cycles sets up an urgent tension, from which the sentient/emotional world cannot disassociate itself. As a result, the design emerges as a privileged instrument of investigation, essential to the process of abstraction through which conceptual evidence is strengthened, projecting it structurally in a preferential amplitude of pre-existing formal possibilities, but one which Armanda Duarte lays open to discovery.

Armanda Duarte (1961) completed her degree in Communication Design at the Lisbon Faculty of Fine Arts (FBAUL). Since the late eighties, her work has been shown regularly in institutions, biennials, galleries, and independent spaces in Portugal and abroad. Among the recent exhibitions, one can distinguish her latest solo exhibition at the beginning of 2008 at the space Plataforma Revolver in Lisbon (Uma Combinação, curated by Francisco Vaz Fernandes), her two solo exhibitions at the National Museum of Natural History in Lisbon (Sala do Veado, 1993 and 1999), and her latest two collective exhibitions: one at the Lagos Cultural Centre (Armanda D., Ângela F., Ana V., Fernanda F., Maria L., Susanne T., curated by Alexandre Barata, 2007) and the other at the Presidential Palace in Belém (Jardim Aberto, curated by Filipa Oliveira, 2007). Since 2000, the artist took part in many collective exhibitions among which the one at the JAP Modern Art Centre in Lisbon (Meeting Points, 2004), the ones at Culturgest Lisbon (Mediterrâneo: um novo muro?, curated by Fátima Ramos & António Pinto Ribeiro, 2001 and Um oceano inteiro para nadar, 2000), the ones at Culturgest Porto (A colecção Ivo Martins, 2004 and Novas aquisições da CGD, 2002), and the one at the D. Luis I Foundation in Cascais (City Desk Sculpture Prize 2001).

Her work can be seen in the public collection of the Caixa Geral de Depósitos (Culturgest Portugal) and is represented in the private collections of Ivo Martins and artist Pedro Cabrita Reis as well as of other collectors in Portugal.
Rita Santos, June 2008
Caroline Pagès Gallery
Fragment of Sobras de Uma Combinação and Menos Quinze
© Armanda Duarte, 2008

Caroline Pagès Gallery
Rua Tenente Ferreira Durão, 12 - 1° Dto.
+351 213873376
CRG Gallery, New York
 Tonico Lemos Auad, Quatro Ventos
Silent Singing

SEP 13 - OCT 18

CRG begins its season with the first New York solo exhibition of London-based Brazilian artist Tonico Lemos Auad. The installation includes an arrangement of cast graphite pigeons on the gallery floor titled "Quatro Ventos" four winds. In this work some of the dulled metallic birds are mounted atop loaves of blackened burnt bread while others, that form an interactive component, are loose and meant to engage the viewer -who is invited to use them to draw or write on the gallery wall. In addition, a series of portraits, also depicting pigeons, hang on the gallery wall, each adorned with a semi-irregular bulging picture frame made from baked bread. Other works include an arrangement of sprouting sweet potatoes that spell out the word "CLAIRVOYANT".

Auad engages the transitory through the use of materials that we take as succinctly impermanent and fading; incorporating such things in the past as fruits, vegetables, and plants into his works. The fragile and ethereal presence that these objects provide is amplified even more so by his delicate treatment of them. While such precedents exist like Yoko Ono's distinctively stark "Apple", 1967 -not wholly dissimilar in its quiet and poetic placement, Auad's hand is clearly present in his work that has its foundation in the essentialized creative act of mark making or drawing. Sometimes conventionally and other times not so. With such seminal works as "Drawings on Banana" 2001 -where Auad used a needle to prick the skin of bananas causing them to ripen in areas, revealing over time blackened tattoo-like drawings on the fruit's surface that eventually disappeared as the fruit continued to ripen. Auad's process might seem to focus on the momentary with a capricious disregard for its need of continual replenishment in order to exist at times, though like Ono, that is precisely the point that makes his work resonate with such lucid, though perhaps inaudible, clarity..  "Silent Singing" as it might be. His works are engagements with his environment on the most intimate of levels, even seemingly accidental at times; as if through the busy fray of daily life something as innocuous as a forgotten potato on the kitchen counter -revealed many weeks later to have begun sprouting and perhaps for a moment suggesting an auspicious vision. It is the beauty of the commonly overlooked that can, through Auad's delicate placement and treatment, yield such poetic repositories of a shared personal experience that in their slow impermanence become like memories that have been caught just long enough to appear as if stopped altogether.

The works in this exhibition mark a significant culminating point for Auad where his range of personal process and medium have become combined and accessible through an open invitation with the viewer. The focal work "Quatro Ventos" extends Auad's talent for transforming the everyday through alchemical means to a dialogical one where the viewers themselves become an active agent in the transformation; dissolving the representational object into the abstract and gestural quite literally -as the pigeons eventually will disappear into a specific and current cultural script within the gallery space that eventually vanishes over time as well.
Tonico Lemos Auad
"Quatro Ventos"
cast graphite pigeons
Installation view at CRG Gallery, New York
Courtesy of CRG Gallery

CRG Gallery
535 W 22 ST
New York, NY 10011
+1 212 229 2766
Gladstone Gallery, 530 W 21st Street, New York

 Mario Merz

Mario Merz

18 Sept 2008 to 25 Oct 2008

Gladstone Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of historic work by Mario Merz. A major figure in the Arte Povera movement of the 1960s and 70s, Merz's use of both organic and industrial materials was at the forefront of the movement's artistic identity. Roughly translated as "poor art," Merz along with counterparts such as Alighiero e Boetti and Luciano Fabro wanted to separate the art object from consumer capital, emphasizing conceptual process and everyday forms as the most transcendent methods of universal communication. Best known for his igloos and neon Fibonacci sequences, Mario Merz's shamanistic installations become spaces both primal and technological, where the scientific basis of organic life confronts the roaming imagination of man.

The igloo began appearing in Merz's work in 1967 and continued throughout his life. He saw the mobility of this typical shelter for nomadic wandering as an ideal metaphor for the space of the artist. Delineating interior and exterior, the igloo allows the artist domain anywhere, and for any time, along the spectrum of human existence. In this exhibition, the gallery will show two igloos that incorporate Merz's signature use of metal, neon lights, and animal forms. Often bringing together disparate ideas or forms, the igloos straddle dichotomies: as Merz said: "I work with contradiction - neon and canvas, glass and wax, electrical technology and mud. Everything is a contradiction because without that there is no life."

In addition to the igloo, Merz was fascinated by the Fibonacci sequence, the mathematical pattern (named for the Italian monk who discovered it) that reveals the growth rate of many organic materials (the nautilus shell, leaves, pinecones, antlers, etc.). The pattern is identifiable as a sequence of numbers in which any given number is the sum of the two numbers that precede it: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, etc., ad infinitum. Fashioned in neon and draped along walls, often punctuating the hemispheres of his igloos or marking the facades of buildings, Merz's use of the Fibonacci sequence speaks to the artist's strong belief in the potentiality of growth and the ability to transform through eternity. His belief in the omnipresent domain of the human experience, its continuing power to grow, and his transformation of waste into the conduits of his concepts speaks directly to his empathic embrace of life.

Mario Merz was born in 1925 and died in 2003. He was awarded the Ambrogino Gold Prize, Milan; the Oskar Kokoschka Prize, Vienna; and the Arnold Bode Prize, Kassel. He was the subject of numerous solo exhibitions at institutions around the world, including Fundação de Serralves, Porto; Welhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisberg; Fundación Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. His work is currently on view as part of "Life on Mars: 55th Carnegie International" in Pittsburgh, PA. The Fondazione Merz in Turin, Itlay, regularly displays both the works of its namesake and sponsors exhibitions by living artists.

Mario Merz
Le case girano intorno a noi o noi giriamo intorno alle case?, 1994
Metal structure, glass, stone, clamps, neon
236 1/4 inches diameter
(600 cm diameter)
Copyright Fondazione Merz
Courtesy Gladstone Gallery


Gladstone Gallery
530 West 21st Street
New York
+1 212.206.9300
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Coming Next
September 24-25 - Painting & Drawing
October 1-2 - Photography, Film & Video
October 8-9 - Sculpture & Installation
October 15-16 - Painting & Drawing
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