Urs Fischer, Adam Pendleton et al.
If on a Winter's Night a Traveler (group show)
Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv
17 December 2019 – 31 October 2020
Mirosłav Bałka – Jean-Michel Basquiat – Max Ernst – Urs Fischer –
Rashid Johnson – Michael Joo – Adam McEwen – Adam Pendleton
– Ugo Rondinone – Henry Taylor
This small-scale group exhibition borrows its name from the title of Italo Calvino’s novel, published in 1979, towards the end of the Italian author’s life (1923–1985). If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler was written as an act of wandering through reading, during which the author leads us through various tales that remain unfinished, and never become a coherent plot together. It is written in the second person, making us, the readers, not only his companions on the literary journey but actual protagonists of the reading course. Inspired by the novel, the exhibition “If on a winter’s night a traveler” (in Hebrew it is a female traveler) aims to offer the viewer a journey following observation of art. The viewer (that is, you) is invited to wander along, opposite, beside and around 13 works of art created by ten artists: two lived and worked in the 20th century, the others live and work in the early 21st century. The links between the works will hopefully be revealed along the journey: questions of identity, masculinity (old and new), cruelty (between people and in relation to nature), figuring the humanbody and the way in which cultures nurture and enrich each other. “If on a winter’s night a traveler” invites you to wander through the gallery and compose your own story of the exhibition from layers of clues, meanings and sub-plots that the works bring forth.
Tel Aviv Museum of Art
Consortium Museum, Dijon (solo show)
13 March – 18 October 2020
Adam Pendleton is a multidisciplinary conceptual artist whose work includes installation, performance, video, and text. He recontextualizes various art historical movements, from Dada to Minimalism to contemporary ballet and literature, combining them with elements highlighting historical figures and events of the civil rights era and the Black Power movement, from Martin Luther King to Malcom X and Stokely Carmichael, as well as today’s Black Lives Matter movement.
His practice is centered on the concept of “Black Dada” borrowed from Black Dada Nihilismus, a 1964 poem by political activist, poet, playwright, and jazz writer Amiri Baraka (1934-2014, formerly known as Leroi Jones). Yet Black Dada is an ever-evolving concept for Pendleton, a space in which viewers can establish new relationships to both language and image, where the body occupies both a physical and intellectual site. It allows the artist to find ways to deconstruct, reconfigure, and reimagine existing images and texts into something new, aligning aesthetics and political distinctions.
Pendleton’s art, which formally relates to modernist painting and the history of the monochrome, is often characterized by a limited palette of shades of black, white, and gray, combining texts and abstract motifs and using techniques such as enlarged Xeroxes, spray paint, digital prints and silkscreen prints. These feature in paintings as well as large-scale installations. He quotes variously from writers and poets such as Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, June Jordan, Adrienne Rich, Joan Retallack, Ron Silliman, Leslie Scalapino, and Charles Bernstein. His work broadly strives to find a “way to talk about the future while talking about the past,” but also to create a productive overlap between language, conceptual art, lyrical poetry, and social and political activism.
For me, the object itself is not finite or complete. It’s really a point of departure. It’s this idea I always come back to, which is about viewing the object as a site of engagement. I’m interested in finding a mid-space location, which is maybe how revolutions start.
For his exhibition at the Consortium Museum, the first ever solo show devoted to his work in France, he will present a new monumental artwork specifically conceived for its “White Box” space, an installation designed to unveil What Is Your Name? Kyle Abraham, A Portrait, 2018-2019, a single channel video in which interviews the choreographer and 2013 recipient of a McArthur Fellowship (commonly known as a “genius” grant). This brand-new work is a continuation of earlier video portraits Pendleton made of former Black Panther Party Chief of Staff David Hilliard and artist Lorraine O’Grady, which are in part influenced by Gertrude Stein’s textual self-portraits, furthering Pendleton’s interest in language as material.
Elements of Me (solo show)
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
13 February – 27 September 2020
Adam Pendleton’s exhibition considers the relations between (geometric) abstraction, blackness, and languages of collectivity. Three basic shapes—square, triangle, and circle—are the refrains in this room-sized installation.
Pendleton is a New York-based artist known for work animated by what the artist calls “Black Dada,” a critical articulation of blackness, abstraction, and the avant-garde. Drawing from an archive of language and images, Pendleton makes conceptually rigorous and formally inventive paintings, collages, videos, and installations that insert his work into broader conversations about history and contemporary culture. His work is held in public collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; and Tate, London, among others.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
The Lyrical and the Prosaic (solo show)
Aïshti Foundation, Jal El Dib
20 October 2019 – 30 September 2020
The Aishti Foundation is proud to present “Urs Fischer: The Lyrical and the Prosaic”, a major exhibition by Swiss born, New York based artist Urs Fischer.
In the past two decades Urs Fischer has been recognized as one of the most respected artists of his generation, having exhibited at prestigious institutions such as the Legion of Honor, San Francisco (2017), Garage Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow (2016), Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2013), Palazzo Grassi, Venice (2013), New Museum, New York (2009), Kunsthaus Zurich (2004), and Centre Pompidou, Paris (2004), as well in numerous era defining exhibitions such as the 10th Gwangju Biennale (2014), the 54th Venice Biennale (2011), and the 2006 Whitney Biennial. His work is featured in some of the most important collections in the world including: the Pinault Collection, the Dakis Joannou Collection, the Brant Collection.
Conceived and choreographed by the artist, this will be Fischer’s first museum exhibition in the Middle East.
This exhibition brings together a selection of recent works shown along pieces from the Aishti Collection and a series of appositely realized new installations, paintings, and interventions.
Recurring throughout the exhibition is Fischer’s fascination with frequent subversions of scale and constant shifts from the monumental to the minuscule, and, as the title of the exhibition suggests, from the sublime to the prosaic.
Central to the exhibition is Fischer’s new and largest rain-storm installation composed of thousands of individually painted water drops dramatically suspended from the ceiling of the exhibition space.
The exhibition also features a new total environment with a wallpaper installation reproducing thousands of drawings originally created as part of Headz, an informal collaborative project Urs Fischer had initiated in New York in 2018 with Spencer Sweeney and Brendan Dugan.
Including a series of polychrome miniature bronzes, kinetic and wax sculptures, paintings and drawings, the exhibition confirms Fischer as a restless experimenter whose work reconnects to a lineage of contemporary sculptors and artists such as Claes Oldenburg, Martin Kippenberger, and Isa Genzken, all equally fascinated by the unstable beauty of humble materials and the tension between order and disorder.
This survey follows the major exhibition “Trance” by Albert Oehlen, and a trilogy of exhibitions (“New Skin”; “Good Dreams, Bad Dreams”; and “The Trick Brain”) devoted to works from the Aishti Collection.
The Aïshti Foundation