Summer in the City 2008
July 10 - August 2008
John Berggruen Gallery is pleased to present Summer in the City 2008, an exhibition of paintings, drawings, sculpture and photography by a selection of emerging and prominent artists. Summer in the City 2008 will occupy both floors of gallery space. This exhibition opens July 10, 2008.
Artists included in Summer in the City 2008 are: Darren Almond, Gregory Crewdson, Mark di Suvero, Richard Diebenkorn, Jim Dine, Barry Flanagan, Isca Greenfield-Sanders, Anton Henning, Damien Hirst, Anish Kapoor, Agnes Martin, Albert Oehlen, Nathan Oliveira, George Rickey, Joel Shapiro, Robert Therrien, Richard Tuttle, and Rachel Whiteread.
Highlights include works by: Darren Almond (British, b. 1971) works in a variety of media, including video, drawing, photography, and sculpture to explore themes of how time and universal symbolism effect the human experience. These themes are harnessed in his full moon photographic series, as seen in Fullmoon@Oregon - where with an exposure time of 15 minutes, the full moon reveals a beautiful geography drenched in a light similar to day. Almond is also known for his culturally specific points of arrival and departure. 1 This tendency is reflected in his sculpture, Panchen Lama, which refers to the second highest ranking Lama (after the Dalai Lama), who was arrested by the Chinese government in 1995 and has not been seen in public since. Both examples portray an experiences' emotional potential. Since Almond's first solo exhibition at White Cube in 1997, his work has been the focus of solo exhibitions internationally at White Cube, Galerie Max Hetzler, and Matthew Marks Gallery. He has also been an integral component of group exhibitions including the Berlin Biennale, Venice Biennale, and the Busan Biennale. Almond was born in Wigan, England, attended Winchester School of Art and the University of Southampton, and currently lives and works in London.
The large and highly theatrical photographs of New York based artist Gregory Crewdson (American, b. 1962) have established him as the leader of the "directorial style" of contemporary photography. Crewdson combines reality with imagination by building sets of extraordinary narrative detail for his photographs. These sets breathe a hint of mystery and intrigue into scenes of mundane suburban America. Crewdson, whose resume includes a teaching position in the photography department at Yale's graduate School of Art and various stints in the role of curator, has been the subject of numerous monographs and museum exhibitions of both national and international scope, including a 2005 retrospective at the Kunstverein Hannover.
Jim Dine (American, b. 1935) is best known for playing a substantial role in the American Pop movement, first earning recognition in the late 1950s/early 1960s with his Happenings–chaotic art performances that he pioneered in association with Allan Kaprow, John Cage, and Claes Oldenburg. Dine was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1935, attended the University of Cincinnati and the Boston Museum School and received his B.F.A. in 1957 from Ohio University, Athens. Following graduate study at the University, Dine moved to New York City in 1958. He held his first solo exhibition in 1960 at the Judson Gallery. His work has since been the subject of nearly 200 solo shows, including three major museum retrospectives. Jim Dine's work can be found in numerous private and public collections throughout the United States and abroad including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Hakone Open-Air Museum, Hakone-machi, Japan, the Tate Gallery, London, England, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.
The work of Anton Henning (German, b. 1964) is often self-referential, self-consciously art-historical and almost always tongue-in-cheek. In any given canvas, Henning might schizophrenically switch between styles, borrowing snippets of imagery from artists like Picasso, Modigliani, Van Gogh and Matisse to produce pseudo-Cubist-Expressionist-Constructivist paintings. In a solo exhibition at the Zach Feuer Gallery in New York in 2006, Henning created a multimedia explosion of art that transformed the gallery into an over-the-top salon while simultaneously referencing and critiquing the salons of a bygone era. Included in this exhibition were not only the paintings and sculptures that have catapulted Henning into the realm of cult hero, but also video and multimedia installations including self-composed piano music.
His works have garnered much critical attention and have been exhibited internationally in museums, galleries, and biennales. Pray is a prime example of Damien Hirst's (British, b. 1965) iconic utilization of butterflies as an artistic medium. First appearing in his work in 1991's exhibition In and out of love at London's Woodstock Street Gallery, butterflies have since made their way into Hirst's oeuvre in various shapes and forms. Most recently, they were the focus of Hirst's intensely popular and critically important 2007 exhibition titled Superstition, which saw the apex in his use of butterflies in the production of religiously informed compositions-a tendency of Hirst's that is explicit in the title of Pray, and implicit in the large-scale formatting of the work (84 x 84 inches), its sparse composition, and the overall placidity of the painting. For Hirst, these butterflies represent the complex and fragile nature of life and death and the inherent beauty within both. While still a student at Goldsmith's College in 1988, he curated the now renowned student exhibition, Freeze. In 1992, he was part of the ground breaking Young British Artists exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, where he first exhibited his famous Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living. That same year he was nominated for the prestigious Tate Gallery Turner Prize, which he won in 1995.
Anish Kapoor (Indian, b. 1954) is a Turner Prize winning sculptor who lives and works in London. Kapoor is best known for his brightly colored, highly reflective, monochromatic curved forms. Since the late 1990's, Kapoor has frequently experimented in the production of massive, architecturally derived sculptures including the large steel Marsyas (2002) installed at the Tate Modern in London, 2004's bean-shaped Cloud Gate in Millennium Park, Chicago, and Sky Mirror (2006) at Rockefeller Center in New York.
Albert Oehlen (German, b.1954) is best known for creating paintings that exist in a domain between figuration and abstraction, neo-expressionism and modernism - regularly displaying elements as well as critiques of each aesthetic on one canvas. Oehlen graduated from the Hochschule fur Bildende Kunst, Hamburg, in 1978. Closely associated with the Cologne art scene, he was a member of the Lord Jim Lodge along with Martin Kippenberger, and today has been called the "kingpin of the punk-era Hamburg school." Oehlen has exhibited internationally at such institutions as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Reina Sofia in Madrid, and was recently the focus of a solo exhibition at John Berggruen Gallery.
Nathan Oliveira' s (American, b. 1928) scope as an artist reaches into the disciplines of painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture. While he has garnered an incredible amount of success and recognition in all of these areas, his work is represented in Summer in the City 2008 by his paintings and sculptures specifically. Most notable are his sculptures Figure IV , the masks series, and his painting Cobalt Racer, which all take the human form as their subject matter and showcase Oliveira's celebrated predilection for depicting bodies in various states of movement. Unconstrained by medium, Oliveira has continued to create solitary figures which captivate us with their rich earth colors, deeply textured yet balanced compositions, and vibrant spirituality. Nathan Oliveira was born in Oakland, California and has been closely associated with the Bay Area Figurative Movement since the 1950's.
The work of Robert Therrien (American, b. 1947) - his sculpture, in particular - bears the unmistakable mark of an artist acutely preoccupied with issues of size and proportion. As evidenced here by Therrien's monumental eight foot tall stainless steel No title (oil can), Therrien approaches these interests through the fabrication of large-scale versions of commonplace things. The results are immense, often times beautiful and always recognizable works of art. Therrien was born in Chicago and grew up in San Francisco. In 1971 he moved to Los Angeles, where he continues to live today. Highlights of his many solo exhibitions include shows at Gagosian Gallery, New York (2001), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2000), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (1991), and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1984), among others. His work is in the collections of such institutions as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and the Tate Gallery, London. Significant exhibitions have been held in his honor at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and The Reina Sofia, Madrid.
1White Cube Gallery, www.whitecube.com, July 3, 2008.