Georg Baselitz at Gagosian West 24th Street New York

Georg Baselitz’s studio, Ammersee, Germany, 2018. Artwork © Georg Baselitz. Photo: Martin Müller, Berlin
Georg Baselitz’s studio, Ammersee, Germany, 2018. Artwork © Georg Baselitz. Photo: Martin Müller, Berlin

A pioneering Neo-Expressionist, Baselitz employs raw, painterly gestures to create visceral compositions with an intense emotional charge. By continually reinterpreting artistic precedents—his own previous works included—he has returned the figure to a central place in painting while expanding the very definition of abstraction.

Baselitz’s interest in portraiture emerges from his fascination with memory and its inconsistencies, as well as his observation that every painting—even a portrait of another person—is the artist’s self-portrait. At the Kunstmuseum Basel, he saw Henri Rousseau’s The Muse Inspires the Poet (Marie Laurencin and Guillaume Apollinaire) (1909) and assumed that the depicted couple was Rousseau and his wife—only to discover later that the painting shows the poet Apollinaire and his muse, painter Laurencin. This realization gave rise to a new line of inquiry for Baselitz. Over the past year, he has intensified his ongoing engagement with images of the past, producing paintings and drawings based on artists’ self-portraits. As he works, in paint or ink, he recalls the effects of each portrait and captures them in his own unique style.

In this exhibition, Rousseau reappears, this time alongside the monumental heads of Frank Auerbach, Cecily Brown, Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning, Otto Dix, Nicole Eisenman, Tracey Emin, Philip Guston, Erich Heckel, Joan Mitchell, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Piet Mondrian, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Arnold Schoenberg, Clyfford Still, Andy Warhol, and others.

Devotion is much more than an acknowledgement of Baselitz’s inspirations. Each source painting slides through the complex filter that is Baselitz’s eye. And as the portraits materialize before him, Baselitz brings them into physical permanence—uniting past, present, and future at the intersection of formal precision and sincere homage.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with a text by Baselitz and an essay by Morgan Falconer.

Georg Baselitz was born in 1938 in Deutschbaselitz, Germany, and lives and works between Ammersee, Germany; Basel, Switzerland; Imperia, Italy; and Salzburg, Austria.

GEORG BASELITZ: Devotion
Exhibition Dates: January 24 – March 16, 2019
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 24, 2019 from 6pm – 8pm

Gagosian
555 West 24th Street
New York, New York

Urs Fischer At Gagosian Beverly Hills

© Urs Fischer
© Urs Fischer

In Fischer’s work, images emerge from an odd liminal space between the real and the imagined, between what does, and could, exist. Over the past year, he has been creating paintings digitally, inventing things, rooms, and spaces using color and light. On a screen, as opposed to paper or canvas, Fischer is able to paint with light itself—moving illuminated pixels around, juxtaposing clean lines and gradients, and reflecting on the subtle atmospheric changes across day and night, summer and winter, Los Angeles and New York.

Silkscreened onto aluminum panels, the paintings in this exhibition—vertical compositions broken up into multiple rectangular passages—take on the scale of modern abstraction, yet they all describe imaginary interior and exterior worlds. Windows appear often: one glows behind a gauzy white curtain, looking onto swaying palm trees; another reflects a sunrise or sunset, with a still life on a table barely visible through fingerprints on the glass; and another frames a building across the street, where nine more windows reveal smeared and fragmented California views. In other paintings, Fischer imagines canvases hanging on walls, hit with swathes and squares of light pouring in from an unseen source. The fictional paintings and sculptures depict animals, food, city streets, or messy brushstrokes, but they—like the light—only exist within Fischer’s constructed environments; they need not adhere to any history, law, or logic.

Fischer presents characters and drawings that seem capable of disappearing at any moment. In one painting, a small orange bird sits on a branch, floating in a dark gray sky. Though its legs are in sharp focus, its body becomes a vaporous orb, glowing within the surrounding clouds. And in an uncanny sculptural ecosystem below, two motorized snails slowly wander through the gallery, leaving trails of slime in their wake. These gleaming lines, which evaporate over time, wind across the floor, uniting the other sculptures—a smoking volcano, a snowman, a palm tree—within a swirling, ephemeral landscape. Looming over the scene, the surrounding paintings form vivid, even cinematic, backdrops: a montage of disparate settings for a small, peculiar world.

Urs Fischer was born in Zurich in 1973 and lives and works in New York.

URS FISCHER: Images
Exhibition Dates: January 11 – February 9, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, January 11, 2019 from 6pm – 8pm

Gagosian Beverly Hills
456 North Camden Drive
Beverly Hills, CA

Object Permanence: Contemporary Still Life Painting At CK Contemporary

#154, Oil on linen, 39.50 x 51 in 2018 by David De Biasio
#154, Oil on linen, 39.50 x 51 in 2018 by David De Biasio

Movements in art have come and gone over the past five-hundred years, yet the genre of still life has remained ever-present. Based in a rich tradition which emphasizes adept artistry and perceptual acumen, the success of the still life relies on the ability of the artist to faithfully re-present his subject while at the same time create an artwork that reveals more than simply the objects depicted. This selection of painters build upon this history, creating hauntingly realistic tributes to truth, beauty, and the sublimity of the human experience.

Still lifes are more than solely works of beauty; historically the genre has always reflected the contemporary values of its society. This exhibition highlights this introspection, with each artist creating specific, yet timeless, tributes to the world we live in. The paintings are self-reflective, combining traditional ideas of vanitas with contemporary concerns—revealing that life, objects, and even the artworks themselves are transient. These concepts emerge in De Biasio’s lush oils of ripened fruits paired with artifacts of man-made detritus, which serve to anchor them firmly in the current day. Beck’s objects have had lives, not only hinting at the untold stories of their past, but also making space for themselves in our collective sentimental psyche, creating underpinnings of social and political themes in his version of deteriorating nostalgia. Conor Walton’s “bread and butter” paintings also examine the vanitas tradition while his more allegorical compositions hint at ecologic and economic attitudes. Ottorino De Lucchi’s exquisite dry brush watercolors as well as Bo Markenholm’s and James Hollinsgworth’s faultless oils, explore ideas of abundance and the pristine through a contrasting minimalistic model.

The success of these works comes from the artists’ ability to truly observe—to see their subjects not simply as moments in time, but as symbols for something beyond the ordinary. Still life continues to be an essential, and ever-evolving genre. This is attributable to the ambitious and forward-thinking works presented in this exhibition. Through their keen observation and impeccable skill, these six artists are progressing the genre, and painting as a media, into the future.

Object Permanence: Contemporary Still Life Painting
Exhibition Dates: Through October 31, 2018
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 13, 2018 from 6pm – 9pm

CK Contemporary
357 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Robert Irwin At Chinati Foundation Marfa

chinati1

On Saturday, July 23, 2016, from dawn to dusk, the Chinati Foundation/La Fundación Chinati will open a new large-scale artwork by Robert Irwin. Sixteen years in the planning, this long- awaited installation further elaborates Donald Judd’s vision of Chinati as a singular place for contemporary art and is the first major addition to the collection since the opening of the Dan Flavin project in 2000 and the opening of the John Wesley gallery in 2004. Irwin’s largest work to date, it represents the culmination of his decades-long investigation into the act of perception through poetic manipulation of space and light.

While Robert Irwin is recognized as one of the outstanding artists of his generation, much of his past work was created and installed on a temporary basis. His new project for Chinati is the only permanent, freestanding structure that has been conceived and designed by Irwin as a total work of art. In 1999, Irwin was invited to create a work for the site of a long-abandoned army hospital adjacent to the museum’s main campus. Over the ensuing years, Irwin developed and refined a design that was informed by the open conditions of the derelict building, the surrounding landscape, and the sky overhead. The completed work fuses indoors and outdoors, art and architecture, the past and the present, nature and the man-made, and creates an ideal complement to Chinati’s permanent collection.

Donald Judd collected and supported Robert Irwin’s art and hoped to include it at Chinati. This ambitious project realizes that goal and will also contribute to the growing reputation of Marfa, Texas as one of America’s unique cultural places.

What Irwin has contributed to Chinati is an artwork in the form of a building, with light and shadow as its primary subjects. The original building that occupied the site was a dilapidated C-shaped concrete structure, lined on all sides with a long sequence of windows that surrounded a central courtyard. It sat on a gentle slope and when Irwin first visited, the building’s floors had been removed, raising the window sills to eye level and offering what Irwin later described as a “Dutch landscape-like view” of the surrounding West Texas land and sky. He chose to cut the newly constructed building into the existing slope to retain the same physical relationship.

As visitors enter from the street, gravel-lined walkways offer an option of directions. Antechambers to the right and the left are open to the sky—referencing the historic structure’s previous ruined state. The building is formally divided in half, with one side dark, the other light. Inside, transparent scrim walls are stretched taut from floor to ceiling in black or white respectively, bisecting each long wing and capturing the always-changing natural light, appearing opaque one moment and transparent the next.

The connecting corridor has a progression of scrim walls that sequentially cross and fill the space, with an enfilade of doors for passage. The courtyard has been transformed into a garden defined by concrete paths running along Corten steel-lined raised beds with two rows of Palo Verde trees. Niches with benches flank the central planter, where Irwin has created a tableau of large basalt columns. The surrounding fields of grasses, wildflowers, mesquite, scrubs, and cactus are left in their natural state.

In 1973, Robert Irwin discussed his artistic principles in words that aptly describe his approach to this new work for Chinati:

The sculptural response draws all of its cues (reasons for being) from its surroundings. A quiet distillation of all this—while directly experiencing the site—determines all the facets of the sculptural response: aesthetic sensibility, levels and kinds of physicality, gesture, dimensions, materials, kinds and level of finish, details… whether the response should be monumental or ephemeral, aggressive or gentle, useful or useless, sculptural, architectural, or simply the planting of a tree or maybe doing nothing at all.

Opening Weekend

The inauguration of Robert Irwin’s new work for Chinati will be held on Saturday, July 23, 2016, from sunrise to sunset. The building is located at the corner of Bonnie and South Yale Street in Marfa, Texas. Everyone is invited to attend. There will be a free community-wide barbecue dinner with Mariachi music at the Arena from 6:30 until 9:00 PM, and a public talk about the development of Irwin’s work at the Crowley Theater in downtown Marfa at 3:30 PM. Selected works from The Chinati Foundation’s permanent collection will be open throughout the weekend, and there will be a sunrise viewing of Judd’s works in mill aluminum and works in concrete on Sunday morning.

Robert Irwin

Robert Irwin was born in 1928 in Long Beach, California. He attended Otis Institute and Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. Although Irwin began as an abstract painter and exhibited his work at the Ferus Gallery, Los Angeles, in 1970 he began to pursue a more philosophical and critical inquiry and his work shifted away from traditional paintings and objects to focus on a new type of environmental or experience-based art Irwin called “conditional”—room-filling installations that reconfigured light and space, created in direct response to existing architectural situations.

Neon At Transmission Gallery Oakland

transmission1

Transmission Gallery is presenting an invitational exhibition of Neon Art featuring work by Bill Concannon, Roger Daniells, Meryl Pataky, Shawna Peterson and Bruce Suba. These artists work in the realm of physics and alchemy, harnessing neon, argon and, sometimes, krypton in colorful display and controlled light. As veterans of working with these noble gasses, often in the commercial world, they’ve taken the opportunity to play with glass, chemical elements, power sources and other materials to execute their own creative visions.

Exhibition Dates: June 3 – July 23, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, June 3, 2016 from 6 – 9pm
Closing Reception: July 23, 2016 from 2 -5pm

Transmission Gallery
770 West Grand Ave.
Oakland, CA 94612