NEW YORK, NY.- Gagosian Gallery
will present a single sculpture by Franz West.
West began his career in mid-1960s Vienna when a local movement called Actionism was in full swing. His earliest works were a reaction to this movement in which artists engaged in displays of radical public behavior and physical endurance meant to shake up art-world passivity. In the early 1970s, West began making a series of small, portable sculptures called "Adaptives" ("Paßstücke"), awkward-looking plaster objects that he only considered completed as artworks when the viewer physically interacted with them. In many ways, his large-scale aluminum sculptures are simply overgrown versions of the "Adaptives."
Gekröse (2011) is a leviathan of a sculpture which is simultaneously monumental and playful; it is imposing in scale but whimsical in its cheery rose hue and dynamic sense of movement. The complexly intertwining pink coils may be reminiscent of any number of diverse forms--perhaps a gargantuan primordial cephalopod, or a greatly enlarged model of the human digestive tract. Gekröse is West's largest outdoor sculpture to date.
Gagosian Gallery will also present Henry Rebel: Drawing and Burning (2011), a major film installation on two screens by Douglas Gordon.
Gordon is a conjurer of collective memory and perceptual surprise whose tools include the everyday commodities of popular culture: Hollywood films, found scientific footage, photographs of rock-stars, or poetic and ambiguous phrases. Into a diverse body of work - which spans video and film, sound, photographic objects, and texts both as installation and printed matter - he infuses a combination of humor and trepidation to manipulate reactions to the familiar.
Henry Rebel: Drawing and Burning is Gordon's response to a proposal by James Franco to create a work based on the classic 1955 film "Rebel without a Cause." Henry Rebel features actor Henry Hopper, whose father Dennis made one of his first appearances in the original film alongside James Dean. In Gordon's film, Henry Hopper enacts two scenarios which were part of the original film's screenplay, but never shot. In the first, he engages in a disturbing improvised performance of a man burning alive. In the second, he repeatedly draws on his own body with a red marker; an affected eradication of the body's surface reflecting a desire to obliterate the self.
Gagosian Gallery will also present First Point, a new film by Richard Phillips.
Within the last year, Richard Phillips has been exploring the production of film and photographic media as a means of expanding beyond the appropriation strategies that have defined his work in the past. Through the process of staging, shooting, and eventually painting from his own images, Phillips is creating a new body of work that hinges on a sense of self-awareness and interdependence. He completed his first two films, Lindsay Lohan and Sasha Grey, in the spring of 2011 for the Commercial Break film project presented concurrently to the Venice Biennale. Phillips considers these films to be motion portraits of the actors engaging in roles that simultaneously reveal an emotional awareness of their own recent pasts, and point toward a transformative creative potential centered in fictional narrative action and framed by their own unparalleled beauty.
First Point-Phillips' third film-is a collaboration between the artist, Lindsay Lohan, and the legendary surf filmmaker Taylor Steele. The film visits two locations: a private beach surf compound and Malibu's iconic Surfrider Beach, accessible to the public, which boasts some of California's most perfect waves. First Point presents a postmodern take on the surf film genre through an abstract framework of imagery in which the actress engages in cinema performance tropes inspired by contemporary film noir. Eerie nocturnal imagery is juxtaposed with surf sequences performed by female pro-surfer Kassia Meador (who is featured as Lohan's acknowledged stunt double) and by Lohan herself.
First Point inverts the format of the iconic adrenalized surf film. The diversions of beach culture-which typically comprises a small portion of footage-dominate the film. Adding to the reversal of tableaux are unplanned confrontations between the actress and a predatory fleet of paparazzi snapping her as she surfs onto Malibu shores. Phillips and Steele explore the psychologically charged tension that arises when a sport of individualism is pursued by a celebrity persona stepping in and out of a characterized state. What results is an existential hall of mirrors wherein fractured identity emerges as Lohan assumes a range of emotionally charged characters with varying degrees of similarity to her own pop-culture persona. In the tradition of the surf genre, the film is free of dialogue and features an original score by Thomas Bangalter (Daft Punk, Enter the Void, Irreversible).
Born in Massachusetts in 1962, Richard Phillips lives and works in New York. He has exhibited his work in individual and group exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe, including important survey exhibitions and catalogues at Le Consortium, Dijon in 2004; Kunsteverin, Hamburg in 2002, and Kunsthalle Zurich in 2000. He is represented in important public and private collections such as the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; the Denver Museum, CO; the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami; UBS Paine Webber Art Collection, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Tate Modern, London; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
2012 will mark Phillips's first exhibition at Art Unlimited and the world premiere of First Point.
This year's Art Unlimited sector will for the first time be curated by Gianni Jetzer, Director of the Swiss Institute in New York. The sector will feature 62 projects by artists representing a cross-section of the leading figures from several generations of today's international art scene. Many pieces have been created especially for Art Unlimited and are marked both by their ambition and the relative youth of the artists creating them. The new curation will also be expressed in a very new design and architecture for the sector.
In the 17,000-square-meter exhibition space of Hall 1, Art Unlimited offers artists and galleries a platform for works that surpass the possibilities of the conventional gallery booth, showcasing outsize sculptures, video projections, installations, wall paintings, photographic series, and performance art.
Since its launch in 2000, many of the world's leading contemporary artists have exhibited in the Art Unlimited sector, which is generously supported by UBS. The number of projects proposed by gallerists for this edition increased significantly, signaling the importance of these works and the sector, a third of those proposals were selected for this year's edition.
This year, works by artists including Jeremy Deller, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Hamish Fulton, Gilbert & George, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Tristan Bera, Douglas Gordon, Roni Horn, Anthony McCall, Ryan McGinley, Bruce Nauman, Mike Nelson, Olaf Nicolai, Richard Phillips, Walid Raad, Ugo Rondinone, Sterling Ruby and Franz West will be on show.
Projects by the artists have been chosen by the Art Basel Selection Committee.