Vessels | David Zwirner
A detail of a work on paper by Marlene Dumas titled Transparent Magdalena (without head), dated 1996

Vessels

The exhibition is organised around three themes: Earthen Vessels, Cyborg Vessels, and Psychological Vessels. Drawing on a wide range of ideas, from spirituality to folklore, from sexuality to psychology, the works presented explore the limits of the human experience in their depictions of bodies as lived vessels as well as the issues at stake when the body is signified as a vessel.

Across all of these categories, there are slippages where the works become sites in which the human experience has taken place but also onto which social and cultural ideas are projected.

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Image: Marlene Dumas, Transparent Magdalena (without head), 1996 (detail)

Dates
March 2April 2, 2022
Artist
Ruth Asawa, Huguette Caland, Seyni Awa Camara, Marlene Dumas, Geumhyung Jeong, Shio Kusaka, Maria Lassnig, Mrinalini Mukherjee, Alice Neel, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Magdalene Odundo, Berenice Olmedo, Pamela Rosenkranz, Andra Ursuţa, Portia Zvavahera
Installation view of Vessels, at David Zwirner, London, dated 2022

Installation view, Vessels, David Zwirner, London, 2022

Installation view, Vessels, David Zwirner, London, 2022

A number of the works on view can be considered Earthen Vessels, which embody a dialogue between the inside and outside. Through their use of organic materials, artists such as Shio Kusaka, Magdalene Odundo, Mrinalini Mukherjee, and Seyni Awa Camara explore in their forms the dichotomy between function and shape as well as solid and empty, with the architectonic structure of the vessel often evoking a spiritual resonance.

A terracotta sculpture by Seyni Awa Camara, called Untitled, dated 2011.

Seyni Awa Camara

Untitled, 2011
Terracotta
81 1/8 x 15 3/8 x 13 3/8 inches (206 x 39 x 34 cm)
$45,500
A hemp artwork by Mrinalini Mukherjee, titled Kusum, dated 1996.

Mrinalini Mukherjee

Kusum, 1996
Hemp
58 7/8 x 39 5/8 x 51 5/8 inches (149.5 x 100.5 x 131 cm)

“It is astonishing how the manually made knot that is the basic micro unit of the sculptural syntax of [Mukherjee’s] works in rope fiber could yield such baroque and imposing floral and arboreal totems.… Their suggestive folds and rents, protrusions and openings, are poised at the wondrous moment that precedes a dehiscence.”

 

—Deepak Ananth, Artforum

A stoneware sculpture by Shio Kusaka, titled (line 139), dated 2020.

Shio Kusaka

(line 139), 2020
stoneware
33 1/2 x 18 7/8 x 18 7/8 inches (85 x 48 x 48 cm)
A detail of a stoneware sculpture by Shio Kusaka  titled (line 139), dated 2020

Shio Kusaka, (line 139), 2020 (detail)

Shio Kusaka, (line 139), 2020 (detail)

A terracotta sculpture by Magdalene Odundo, called untitled, dated 1986.

Magdalene Odundo

Untitled, 1986
Terracotta
13 3/8 x 9 1/4 inches (34 x 23.5 cm)

“Mottled in gradations of onyx and orange in patterns that resemble dyed fabrics, [Odundo’s] pieces reward the careful observer with surprising shifts in color, pattern and detail.” 

 

—Tausif Noor, The New York Times

An untitled terracotta sculpture by Magdalene Odundo dated 1986

Magdalene Odundo, Untitled, 1986 (detail)

Magdalene Odundo, Untitled, 1986 (detail)

Cyborg Vessels—as represented by the work of Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Geumhyung Jeong, Pamela Rosenkranz, and Berenice Olmedo—hint at the presence of a human form. These artists subvert that very presence through the use of a technical, mechanical, or robotic gesture, which often reads as a defect or ‘glitch.’ What then appears are remnants of different realities and temporalities.

In her 2020 book Glitch Feminism, curator Legacy Russell refers to the glitch as a structural failure, one that represses viewpoints outside of the dominant culture, but through which a new space can be opened up, and thus a site of potential that allows us to reinvent our humanity apart from traditional notions of race, gender, and sexuality.

A leather lineman harness, steel, leather dye, Saphir shoe polish, and spit artwork by Tiona Nekkia McClodden, titled A.B. 5_Dull 1299, dated 2021.

Tiona Nekkia McClodden

A.B. 5_Dull 1299, 2021
Leather lineman harness, steel, leather dye, Saphir shoe polish, spit
10 x 44 7/8 x 2 3/4 inches (25.5 x 114 x 7 cm)
$25,000
A detail of a leather harness made by Tiona Nekkia McClodden titled A.B. 5_Dull 1299, dated 2021

Tiona Nekkia McClodden, A.B. 5_Dull 1299, 2021 (detail)

Tiona Nekkia McClodden, A.B. 5_Dull 1299, 2021 (detail)

“[McClodden’s] background in film and the medium’s attendant concerns with time and narrative have remained central to the work she makes, while allowing her to examine content as diverse as BDSM, Santeria, Autism, the erasure of Black queer artists from the canon of art history, and the multiple potentials of readymades.”  

 

—Sara Roffino, The Brooklyn Rail

A polyurethane milled on Rodin 4D and anthropometric calibrators cast in aluminum and stainless steel artwork by Berenice Olmedo, titled héxis, dated 2019.

Berenice Olmedo

héxis, 2019
Polyurethane milled on Rodin 4D and anthropometric calibrators cast in aluminum and stainless steel
21 5/8 x 9 1/4 x 22 1/2 inches (55 x 23.5 x 57 cm)
$15,000
A detail of an aluminum and stainless steel sculpture by Berenice Olmedo titled héxis, dated 2019

Berenice Olmedo, héxis, 2019 (detail)

Berenice Olmedo, héxis, 2019 (detail)

An acrylic paint on emergency blanket artwork by Pamela Rosenkranz, titled Express Nothing (My Body), dated 2021.

Pamela Rosenkranz

Express Nothing (My Body), 2021
Acrylic paint, emergency blanket
86 5/8 x 55 1/2 inches (220 x 141 cm)
$80,000
A detail of a painting by Pamela Rosenkranz titled Express Nothing (My Body), dated 2021

Pamela Rosenkranz, Express Nothing (My Body), 2021 (detail)

Pamela Rosenkranz, Express Nothing (My Body), 2021 (detail)

An installation with DIY robotic sculptures made of various materials including aluminum profiles and DC motors, tools and parts arranged on the platform, and the five channel video screens by Geumhyung Jeong, titled Under Maintenance, dated 2021.

Geumhyung Jeong

Under Maintenance, 2021
Installation with DIY robotic sculptures made of various materials including aluminum profiles and DC motors, tools and parts arranged on the platform, and the five channel video screens
Dimensions variable

“An artist, choreographer and trained dancer, Jeong knows how to move and choreograph bodies, including those of this artificially assembled social fabric. The result is a dance between different actors who are completely reduced to movement and can thus transcend their own origins.”

 

—Fabian Schöneich, Frieze

Installation view of Vessels in David Zwriner in London

Installation view, Vessels, David Zwirner, London, 2022

Installation view, Vessels, David Zwirner, London, 2022

Psychological Vessels bring into question the presence of consciousness, an experience explored in the work of Marlene Dumas, Maria Lassnig, Portia Zvavahera, Huguette Caland, and Alice Neel. These artists in different ways explore the limits of the body as a life-containing vessel, the physical presence of the body in a dreamscape, or the mental perception of feelings or even expressions.

An oil on linen painting by Huguette Caland, titled Espace Blanc II, dated 1984.

Huguette Caland

Espace Blanc II, 1984
Oil on linen
78 3/4 x 78 3/4 inches (200 x 200 cm)
Framed: 81 1/2 x 81 1/2 inches (207 x 207 cm)
An oil on linen painting by Huguette Caland, titled Espace Blanc I, dated 1984.

Huguette Caland

Espace Blanc I, 1984
Oil on linen
78 3/4 x 78 3/4 inches (200 x 200 cm)
Framed: 81 1/2 x 81 1/2 inches (207 x 207 cm)
A detail of a painting by Huguette Caland titled Espace Blanc 1 dated 1984
 Huguette Caland, Espace Blanc I, 1984 (detail)
 Huguette Caland, Espace Blanc I, 1984 (detail)

“Instead of celebrating female empowerment per se, Caland’s work seems intent on exploding binaries such that the categories male and female, and power and resistance, cease to make sense.”

 

—Claire Gilman, curator

An oil based printing ink and oil bar on canvas artwork by Portia Zvavahera, titled Woman in pain, dated 2021.

Portia Zvavahera

Woman in pain, 2021
Oil based printing ink and oil bar on canvas
80 7/8 x 61 3/4 inches (205.7 x 156.8 cm)
Framed: 82 5/8 x 63 1/4 inches (209.9 x 160.7 cm)
A detail of a painting by Portia Zvavahera titled Woman in pain, dated 2021

Portia Zvavahera, Woman in pain, 2021 (detail)

Portia Zvavahera, Woman in pain, 2021 (detail)

An ink and pastel on paper by Marlene Dumas, titled Transparent Magdalena (without head), dated 1996.

Marlene Dumas

Transparent Magdalena (without head), 1996
Ink and pastel on paper
39 5/8 x 27 3/8 inches (100.6 x 69.5 cm)
Framed: 43 3/4 x 31 1/2 inches (111.1 x 80 cm)
A detail of a work on paper by Marlene Dumas titled Transparent Magdalena (without head), dated 1996

Marlene Dumas, Transparent Magdalena (without head), 1996 (detail)

Marlene Dumas, Transparent Magdalena (without head), 1996 (detail)

“Colour, form, figure, backdrop [in Lassnig’s paintings]—everything here works towards the same goal: to capture the interface between our internal and external realities, how each is transformed by the other.”

 

—Gabrielle Schwarz, Apollo

An oil on canvas painting by Maria Lassnig, titled Nabelschiff (Navel Boat), dated 1991.

Maria Lassnig

Nabelschiff (Navel Boat), 1991
Oil on canvas
Framed: 78 3/4 x 57 1/2 inches (200 x 146.2 cm)
A detail of a painting by Maria Lassnig titled Nabelschiff (Navel Boat), dated 1991

Maria Lassnig, Nabelschiff (Navel Boat), 1991 (detail)

Maria Lassnig, Nabelschiff (Navel Boat), 1991 (detail)

A painting by Alice Neel, titled Ruth Nude, dated 1964.

Alice Neel

Ruth Nude, 1964
Oil on canvas
40 1/8 x 48 inches (101.9 x 121.9 cm)
Framed: 43 3/8 x 51 3/8 inches (110.2 x 130.5 cm)

“I don’t do realism.… I hate equating a person and a room and a chair. Compositionally, a room, a chair, a table, and a person are all the same for me, but a person is human and psychological.”

 

—Alice Neel

A detail of a painting by Alice Neel titled Ruth Nude, dated 1964
Alice Neel, Ruth Nude, 1964 (detail)
Alice Neel, Ruth Nude, 1964 (detail)
Installation view of Vessels at David Zwirner, London dated 2022
Installation view, Vessels, David Zwirner, London, 2022
Installation view, Vessels, David Zwirner, London, 2022

Inquire about the works in Vessels

An oil based printing ink and oil bar on canvas artwork by Portia Zvavahera, titled Woman in pain, dated 2021.

Portia Zvavahera

Woman in pain, 2021
Oil based printing ink and oil bar on canvas
80 7/8 x 61 3/4 inches (205.7 x 156.8 cm)
Framed: 82 5/8 x 63 1/4 inches (209.9 x 160.7 cm)
A stoneware sculpture by Shio Kusaka, titled (line 139), dated 2020.

Shio Kusaka

(line 139), 2020
stoneware
33 1/2 x 18 7/8 x 18 7/8 inches (85 x 48 x 48 cm)
An oil on linen painting by Huguette Caland, titled Espace Blanc I, dated 1984.

Huguette Caland

Espace Blanc I, 1984
Oil on linen
78 3/4 x 78 3/4 inches (200 x 200 cm)
Framed: 81 1/2 x 81 1/2 inches (207 x 207 cm)
An oil on linen painting by Huguette Caland, titled Espace Blanc II, dated 1984.

Huguette Caland

Espace Blanc II, 1984
Oil on linen
78 3/4 x 78 3/4 inches (200 x 200 cm)
Framed: 81 1/2 x 81 1/2 inches (207 x 207 cm)
An acrylic paint on emergency blanket artwork by Pamela Rosenkranz, titled Express Nothing (My Body), dated 2021.

Pamela Rosenkranz

Express Nothing (My Body), 2021
Acrylic paint, emergency blanket
86 5/8 x 55 1/2 inches (220 x 141 cm)
$80,000
A leather lineman harness, steel, leather dye, Saphir shoe polish, and spit artwork by Tiona Nekkia McClodden, titled A.B. 5_Dull 1299, dated 2021.

Tiona Nekkia McClodden

A.B. 5_Dull 1299, 2021
Leather lineman harness, steel, leather dye, Saphir shoe polish, spit
10 x 44 7/8 x 2 3/4 inches (25.5 x 114 x 7 cm)
$25,000
A polyurethane milled on Rodin 4D and anthropometric calibrators cast in aluminum and stainless steel artwork by Berenice Olmedo, titled héxis, dated 2019.

Berenice Olmedo

héxis, 2019
Polyurethane milled on Rodin 4D and anthropometric calibrators cast in aluminum and stainless steel
21 5/8 x 9 1/4 x 22 1/2 inches (55 x 23.5 x 57 cm)
$15,000
A painting by Alice Neel, titled Ruth Nude, dated 1964.

Alice Neel

Ruth Nude, 1964
Oil on canvas
40 1/8 x 48 inches (101.9 x 121.9 cm)
Framed: 43 3/8 x 51 3/8 inches (110.2 x 130.5 cm)
A terracotta sculpture by Seyni Awa Camara, called Untitled, dated 2011.

Seyni Awa Camara

Untitled, 2011
Terracotta
81 1/8 x 15 3/8 x 13 3/8 inches (206 x 39 x 34 cm)
$45,500
An ink and pastel on paper by Marlene Dumas, titled Transparent Magdalena (without head), dated 1996.

Marlene Dumas

Transparent Magdalena (without head), 1996
Ink and pastel on paper
39 5/8 x 27 3/8 inches (100.6 x 69.5 cm)
Framed: 43 3/4 x 31 1/2 inches (111.1 x 80 cm)

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