The Real World - Press Release | David Zwirner

David Zwirner is pleased to present The Real World, a group exhibition that will feature paintings, sculptures, and installations from the 1990s and early 2000s by gallery artists Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Raymond Pettibon, Jason Rhoades, Diana Thater, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Lisa Yuskavage. On view across two floors of the gallery’s Hong Kong location, the selected works exemplify the groundbreaking and alternative approaches these artists pursued in their respective practices as they emerged as major artistic influences within the New York and Los Angeles art worlds. 

Working in a variety of media—from painting and drawing to video and installation—these artists each critically reevaluated the status of their materials and challenged the relationship between art and everyday life by incorporating nontraditional subjects, formats, and ideas into the composition and experience of their work. Responding to growing social concerns that had long been suppressed or overlooked, these artists pioneered approaches to art making that address questions of identity, gender, sexuality, consumerism, and the status of the built and natural environment. Several of the featured artists were among the first to exhibit with David Zwirner, where some of their pioneering and iconic installations and works debuted at the gallery’s original location at 43 Greene Street, New York, which opened its doors in 1993. Presented today against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, these artists’ engagements with the social dimensions of art—whether in the form of the active participation of the viewer or through the shared language of everyday experiences, objects, and cultural references—feel all the more relevant and necessary. 

The gallery’s upper floor will feature Los Angeles–based artist Diana Thater’s (b. 1962) seminal 1998 image and video installation The Caucus Race. Since the early 1990s, Thater has created groundbreaking films, videos, and installations, the primary theme of which is the tension between the natural environment and mediated reality. Many of Thater’s works explore the temporal qualities of video and its capacity to construct perception and shape the way we think about the world. The Caucus Race exemplifies the artist’s ability to integrate image and architecture so as to create immersive and engaging installations that activate the physical space in which they are presented. In this work, text and video are projected onto two walls with four video monitors placed on the floor in the gallery space. The work begins with a text from a scene in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland (1865) that describes a chaotic animal race, which is projected one word at a time onto the gallery wall. After the text concludes, clips of animals play on the monitors arranged on the ground, ending with a large projection of a video looking down at a pool of water as a dolphin leaps upward toward the camera before diving back downward.

Complementing Thater’s meditations on nature and humanity’s fragmented relationship to it is a selection of sculptures by Jason Rhoades (1965–2006), including Chandelier 39 and Chandelier 32 (2006), a unique work composed of neon lights and found materials. Rhoades emerged in the 1990s as one of the most formally and conceptually rigorous artists of his time. During his short but prolific career, he became known for highly original, large-scale sculptural installations, which incorporate various materials inspired by Los Angeles car culture and his upbringing in rural Northern California as well as by a mixture of historical and contemporary global and regional influences that he explored throughout his life. Originally included in the artist’s large immersive installation Tijuanatanjierchandelier (2006), the chandelier-like sculpture addresses the conditions of consumerism and global tourism that have come to dramatically shape the physical environment. The use of language was central to Rhoades’s practice, and prominent within the sculpture are Spanish and English euphemisms and slang words for “vagina,” rendered as glowing neon signs that are at once elevatory, transgressive, misogynist, and comically absurd.

The presentation on the lower level will include a gallery with a focused installation of works by Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957–1996). One of the most significant artists to emerge in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Gonzalez-Torres employed simple, everyday materials in his work, including stacks of paper, puzzles, candy, strings of lights, and strands of beads. His evocative work, which purposefully references the languages of minimalism and conceptualism, resonates with meaning that is at once specific and mutable, rigorous and generous, poetic and political. Among the artist’s works that will be presented is “Untitled” (Ross in L.A.) (1991), one of his paper stacks. The large sheets of paper that make up the manifestation of this work each contain a metallic silver rectangle printed on their surface. Viewers may take individual sheets from the stack, which in turn can be replenished by the exhibitor. A selection of photographic jigsaw puzzles that Gonzalez-Torres produced as editions between 1987 and 1992 will also be displayed on the gallery’s walls. These works speak to Gonzalez-Torres’s interest in commercial and readily available production methods as well as questions about how to imbue emotionality, political content, and personal experience within unconventional formats that remain at a disconnect from the artist’s hand. As with his paper stacks, the puzzles exemplify Gonzalez-Torres’s sensitivity to the fragment and the whole, presence and absence.

Also on view on the lower floor will be Rirkrit Tiravanija’s (b. 1961) untitled 1990 (pad thai), which will mark the first presentation of the artist’s work at David Zwirner since the recent announcement that the gallery will be working with him in Asia. Tiravanija is best known for his intimate, participatory installations that revolve around personal and shared communal traditions, such as cooking authentic Thai meals, that are, in the words of curator Rochelle Steiner, “fundamentally about bringing people together.”1 At the forefront of the shift in avant-garde art practices in the 1990s away from traditional art objects and toward “relational aesthetics” that incorporate diverse cultural spaces, practices, and temporalities, Tiravanija has continually challenged and expanded the social dimension of art, inviting people from all walks of life to inhabit the special and personal spaces that he constructs and to communally engage in shared rituals and actions. A seminal and early piece by Tiravanija, untitled 1990 (pad thai) was first presented at the Paula Allen Gallery, New York, in 1990. It was the artist’s first live participatory installation and involved him preparing and serving food to visitors and then gathering the remnants of the meal as evidence of the event. In Hong Kong, the work will be activated with Tiravanija’s pad thai recipe prepared on site and served to visitors with the remnants gathered from the meal. The public is invited to make a reservation to attend the activation by visiting the David Zwirner website.

On the gallery walls surrounding untitled 1990 (pad thai) will be a large-scale installation of work by Raymond Pettibon (b. 1957) from the 1990s. Intermixing image and text, Pettibon’s drawings address a wide spectrum of American iconography pulled from literature, art history, philosophy, religion, politics, sports, and alternative youth culture, among other sources. His work engages the visual rhetorics of pop and commercial culture while incorporating language from mass media as well as classic texts by writers such as William Blake, Marcel Proust, John Ruskin, and Walt Whitman. Pettibon’s drawings from the 1990s, a formative period for the artist, speak to the growing disillusionment with capital markets, the collapse of American idealism, and lingering anxieties from the Cold War. The installation of these works in Hong Kong will be presented in cloud-like clusters, creating a frenetic network of imagery and visual and textual references that mirrors the artist’s own working process. 

Concluding the exhibition will be a seminal, early painting by Lisa Yuskavage (b. 1962) titled Big Marie (1993). Over the past thirty years, Yuskavage has challenged and expanded the parameters of painting and portraiture through a singular visual practice that blends traditional and contemporary painterly techniques and ideas with a unique and studied sensitivity and treatment of color and figuration. In her portraits, Yuskavage combines personal, art-historical, and pop-cultural references as well as iconography to conjure vast, enigmatic and constructed worlds featuring highly sexualized or erotized subjects rendered in the artist’s distinctive manneristic style. Big Marie belongs to the artist’s Babies series, a major group of works begun in the early 1990s. The works in this series depict young, often nude women, who are constructs of the artist’s imagination, in the center of the composition, their erotized bodies seemingly materializing from brightly colored, monochrome mist—in this case tones of green. To achieve the immersion of figure and field, Yuskavage adapts the Renaissance technique of sfumato, in which different hues and gradations of a color are shaded gradually into one another, softening the outlines of forms. As with her portraiture practice more broadly, Big Marie simultaneously engages with art-historical precedents while also stripping away and exposing the conventions and traditions of the genre.

Image:  Felix Gonzalez-Torres, "Untitled", 1987 (detail)

1 Quoted in Calvin Tomkins, “Shall We Dance?,” The New Yorker (October 17, 2005), p. 82.

真實世界
The Real World
 
2021年5月18日 - 7月31日
香港中環皇后大道中80號
H Queen’s 5-6樓

卓納畫廊欣然呈現《真實世界》,此次群展將包括費利克斯·岡薩雷斯-托雷斯(Felix Gonzalez-Torres)、雷蒙德·帕提伯恩(Raymond Pettibon)、傑森·羅德斯(Jason Rhoades)、戴安娜·塔特爾(Diana Thater)、里克利·提拉瓦尼(Rirkrit Tiravanija)和麗莎·約斯卡瓦吉(Lisa Yuskavage)等畫廊藝術家們創作於1990年代和2000年代初的繪畫、雕塑及裝置作品。展覽將於卓納香港舉辦,在兩層畫廊空間中呈現精選的作品,它們極佳地體現了藝術家們各自追求藝術與個人實踐過程中極具突破性、又另闢蹊徑的方式。這些創作使他們在紐約和洛杉磯的藝術界嶄露頭角,奠定了深遠而重要的影響。
 
六位藝術家以不同的媒介進行創作——從繪畫到視頻和裝置——通過將非傳統的主題、形式和思想納入各自作品的構圖和體驗之中,對媒介的狀態進行批判性的重新評估,並挑戰著藝術與日常生活間的關係。為了呼應日益增長又被長期壓迫或忽視的社會問題,藝術家們開拓了藝術創作的方式,以探討身份、性別、性、消費主義以及建築與自然環境等相關問題。展覽中有數位藝術家都是在卓納畫廊1993年成立之初,便在畫廊最早期的紐約格林街43號的空間裡亮相,他們極具開拓性的代表裝置及作品。至今仍發人深省。在當下新冠疫情的大背景之下,這些藝術家們對藝術於社會層面的深入互動——無論是涉及觀眾的積極參與,還是通過日常經驗、物件與文化參考的共享語言形式——在今天都顯得尤為相關且必要。
 
畫廊上層空間將展出常駐洛杉磯的藝術家戴安娜·塔特爾(b. 1962)的《無謂的競賽》,這件圖像與視頻裝置作品創作於1998年。自1990年代早期起,塔特爾便開始創作先鋒電影、視頻和裝置,主題圍繞在自然環境與被調解的現實之間的張力。塔特爾的許多作品都在探索視頻的時間特質,以及其建構我們對世界的理解和感知能力。 《無謂的競賽》彰顯了藝術家將圖像與建築相結合的能力,以此營造沉浸式的裝置體驗,從而激活了呈現作品的物理空間。在這件作品中,文字和視頻通過四台放置於地面的顯示器投射到展廳的兩堵牆面上。作品的開篇是一段出自劉易斯·卡羅爾(Lewis Carrol)《愛麗絲夢遊仙境》(1865)的內容,文字被逐字地投影在展牆上,描述了一場混亂的動物賽跑。過後,展廳地面的顯示器播放了一系列動物的片段,最後則是一段由大型投影儀播放的視頻,俯視拍攝了一個水池,一隻海豚衝著鏡頭向上躍起,隨後再次潛入水中。 
 
塔特爾對自然與人類之間的破碎關係進行沉思,與之互補的是傑森·羅德斯(1965–2006)的雕塑,如2006年的《水晶燈39》與《《水晶燈32》,這件別具一格的作品由霓虹燈和各種既得物所組成。羅德斯漸起於1990年代,是當時在形式和觀念上最嚴格縝密的藝術家之一。在他短暫但高產的職業生涯中,羅德斯憑藉其高度原創的、大尺幅雕塑裝置而廣為人知,這些創作融合了深受洛杉磯汽車文化以及藝術家土生土長的北卡羅來納州鄉村生活相互影響的各種媒介,雜糅了他一生都在探索的歷史性、當代性的全球及地方影響因素。這兩件水晶燈狀的作品,最初出自藝術家的大型沉浸式裝置《蒂華納丹吉爾水晶燈》(2006),戲劇性地重塑了消費主義及全球化的旅遊產業。羅德斯實踐的核心充斥著對語言使用的嚴謹,雕塑作品顯著地出現了「陰道」(vagina)一詞在西班牙語和英語中的委婉說辭及俚語。這些閃閃發光的霓虹燈標牌,凜然激發了具冒犯性又滑稽荒誕的厭女特質。
 
畫廊下層空間的首個展廳聚焦了費利克斯·岡薩雷斯-托雷斯(1957–1996)的創作。身為1980年代晚期至1990年代初期最重要的藝術家之一,岡薩雷斯-托雷斯在他的作品中運用簡單的日常物件,包括紙堆、拼圖、糖果、燈串和珠子等。極具啟發性的作品刻意地參照了極簡主義和觀念主義的視覺語言,同時又將作品嵌入特定而多變、廣泛而嚴謹、富有詩意又包含政治色彩的內容之中。展出作品包括藝術家紙堆作品之一的《「無題」(在洛杉磯的羅斯)》(1991)。大張的紙本上印有銀色金屬質地的矩形。觀眾可以任意拿取紙張,而展方會在相應地補足。展廳的牆面上,還將呈現一組岡薩雷斯-托雷斯於1987至1992年間創作的限量拼圖。這些作品講述了岡薩雷斯-托雷斯對商業和現成生產方式的興趣,以及如何在非常規的形式中灌注情感、政治內容以及個人經驗。這些形式往往與藝術家親手參與的製作方式存在一定的距離。就像他的紙堆作品一樣,拼圖也例證了岡薩雷斯-托雷斯對局部與整體、在場與缺席之間關係的探討。 
 
下層空間的另一個展廳中呈現的是里克利·提拉瓦尼(b. 1961)的作品《無題1990(泰式炒金邊粉)》,這是畫廊在近期宣布了與藝術家展開亞洲合作以來,畫廊首次呈現提拉瓦尼的作品。提拉瓦尼以私密而具廣泛參與性的裝置作品蜚聲國際,以個人及共享的公共傳統為核心,例如烹飪正宗的泰式食物,用策展人羅謝爾·施泰納(Rochelle Steiner)的話來說,「本質上,[作品]讓人們歡聚一堂。」 [1] 1990年代的前衛藝術實踐,從傳統的藝術物件轉向融合各種多元文化空間、實踐及時空的「關係美學」,提拉瓦尼身處這一轉變的前沿,持續挑戰並拓展著藝術的社會維度,邀請各界人士棲居於由他建構的、特別而又私密的空間裡,協同參與到共享的儀式和行動之中。作為提拉瓦尼重要的早期創作,《無題1990(泰式炒金邊粉)》最早於1990年在紐約的寶拉·艾倫畫廊(Paula Allen Gallery)首次展出。這是藝術家首件現場參與性的裝置創作,他在現場準備食物並提供給到訪者,隨後將剩餘的物品保留下來作為活動曾經在場發生過的證明。卓納香港的這次展覽,將再次啟用提拉瓦尼的泰式炒金邊粉的食譜重塑作品,直接在展覽現場準備食材提供給觀眾,並保留殘餘的物品。公眾可以通過訪問卓納畫廊的網站預約參與。
 
圍繞在《無題1990(泰式炒金邊粉)》四周的牆面,將呈現一件大型裝置作品,是雷蒙德·帕提伯恩(b. 1957)於1990年代的創作作品。帕提伯恩的畫作將圖像與文字融合在一起,兼容了諸多美國標誌性的文化元素,從文學、藝術史、哲學、宗教、政治、體育,到離經叛道的青年文化等等。他在作品中加入了流行和商業文化的視覺修辭,也同時囊括了大眾媒體的語言以及威廉·布萊克(William Blake)、馬塞爾·普魯斯特(Marcel Proust)、約翰·羅斯金(John Ruskin)和沃爾特·惠特曼(Walt Whitman)等作家的經典文字。 1990年代是藝術家創作的塑形階段,帕提伯恩在此期間的創作以獨特的風格進行探索,講述了這個時代日漸幻滅的美國理想主義,以及冷戰帶來的不安焦慮。這些裝置作品將在香港以雲朵團簇的形態呈現,營造出圖像、視覺、文本的參照交相呼應的紛繁網絡,也鏡像地映射出藝術家的創作方式。
 
麗莎·約斯卡瓦吉(b. 1962)開創性的早期畫作《大幅瑪麗》(1993)將作為展覽的尾聲。過去三十多年來,約斯卡瓦吉通過獨特的視覺實踐,挑戰並拓寬了繪畫及肖像門類的範式,她的創作對色彩和形象的處理有著別具一格的鑽研與敏銳,融合了傳統與當代繪畫的技法和思考。她肖像作品結合了個人理念、藝術史、流行文化的參考與圖像,憑藉獨特的風格主義手法,創造出巨大神秘的建構世界,渲染出富含性別特徵或情色意涵的人物形象。作品《大幅瑪麗》出自藝術家始於1990年代早期的重要係列《嬰兒》。作品描繪了時常赤身裸身出現的年輕女性,她們是藝術家想像的構建體,人物的身體位居畫面中心,帶著情色化的處理,看起來彷彿由鮮豔、單色的——在這幅作品中,是瑩綠的色調——迷霧化身而來。為了實現形象與色塊的糅合,約斯卡瓦吉採用了文藝復興時期「暈塗渲染層」(sfumato)的技法,讓不同的色調與顏色的漸變相織共融,並且柔化形態的輪廓線條。與藝術家更廣泛的肖像實踐一致,《大幅瑪麗》在參考藝術史前例的同時,也剝離並揭示了肖像門類的傳統。
 
注释:[1] 引語出自卡爾文·湯姆金斯(Calvin Tomkins)的《我們能否共舞? 》,發表於《紐約客》雜誌(2005年10月17日),第82頁。

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