Almine Rech Gallery Bruxelles: Curtis Mann – 'Something After' | James Turrell - 10 Sept 2010 to 23 Oct 2010
Image © Curtis Mann, courtesy Almine Rech Gallery Bruxelles
Curtis Mann – 'Something After'
Almine Rech Gallery, Bruxelles
Du 10 septembre au 23 Octobre 2010
For the first time, Almine Rech Gallery is devoting an exhibition to recent works by Curtis Mann.
Born in 1979 in Dayton, Ohio, he lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. He was most recently exhibited in the Whitney Biennial, 2010 curated by Francesco Bonami and Gary Carrion-Murayari and recently had a solo exhibition at the Jewish Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, MO. In Mann’s most recent works, found photographs of conflicted and historically complex places throughout the Middle East are subjected to a process of selection and erasure. By painting on portions of enlarged color photographs with a clear varnish and then bleaching away unprotected portions of the image, new and abstract meanings are sought from appropriated family snapshots, travel photographs, and casual documentations. The photograph is physically and contextually altered; as a result, the work oscilates between image and object, photography and painting, real and imagined.
In a recent interview Mann states, “I am constantly trying to force these found images to function outside of their initial utility and use photography’s inherent, malleable nature as a way of coming to an ulterior understanding of the complex and the unfamiliar. Coming from a mechanical engineering background, I have always been curious about the paper, the chemicals and the inks used to produce photographic images. They are the birth of the image and their manipulation holds a lot of potential for disrupting the powers of the flat, conventional image.”
What do we learn from images? How do we come to understand a place or event through the flattened and selective space of a photograph? With important details manipulated, altered and removed, the viewer is encouraged to embrace an exaggerated sense of confusion and anxiety and challenge our learned and subconscious approach to dealing with images.
In a recent essay Kristen Carter writes, “Everything is at stake in Mann’s work; his art slowly reveals to the viewer the intricate, complex and vulnerable layers embedded in the possibilities and limits of photography and truth.”
For his exhibition at Almine Rech Gallery in, Curtis Mann will present a selection of new pieces, including large mural grid works, altered panoramic landscapes and haunting distorted figures all made by chemically altering traditionally photographic prints.
Press contact : Maïlys D'Ursel / firstname.lastname@example.org / T +32 (0)2 648 56 84
Almine Rech Gallery, Brussels
10 September – 23 October 2010
For the first time, Almine Rech Gallery in Brussels is presenting a solo exhibition by James Turrell.
Born in Los Angeles in 1943, James Turrell lives and works in Arizona.
As soon as 1967 he presented his first « Projection Pieces » at the Pasadena Art Museum. These pieces are
« revolutionary » and have been received as such in this time, sparking controversy. They are the first works that use light as a material in itself to be understood and « sculpted ». These works lay foundations that are entirely new in the history of Art through the use of light not as an element used for reflecting or lighting up an object or subject on a certain day or defining shadow and light in the tradition of pictorial studies of depiction from the inception of Western painting, but instead as a true medium.
“My work deals with the concrete nature of light, the contact with it. Light is not ephemeral, it is material. Photons are matter, they produce a wave-like phenomenon, like water.” (1)
Although Turrell’s artistic approach was little understood at the time, except for a handful of critics, institutions and collectors, the scientific component of his reflection caught the attention of the County Museum of Art in Los Angeles, which gave him the means to pursue his work through the “Art and Technology Program” together with artist Robert Irwin and perception psychologist Edward Wortz. Turrell would from the end of the ’60, create experimental spaces, that were either completely black, soundproof or filled with colored light and explore the impact on our perception. These works anticipate later works created in the seventies and eighties which today are a strong source of inspiration in contemporary art.
In 1979, James Turrell acquired a died down volcano in the Arizona desert: Roden Crater. This site was chosen due to its natural landscape and its location under skies whose light is particularly intense, with rare cloud coverage. Eventually, it will comprise more than ten «rooms» : « Sky Spaces » that make use of their minimal architecture, skillfully designed by Turrell, and their orientation: artificial and natural light, the position of the stars. The Roden Crater is the central work of the artist and is included among the large-scale projects supported by the DIA Foundation, along with works such as Smithson’s « Spiral Jetty » and « Lightning Field » by Walter de Maria, to name a few.
The James Turrell exhibition at Almine Rech Gallery in Brussels will be an opportunity to discover a « Projection Piece » from 1968 entitled « Acro Red », and the « Space Division Light Piece » from 1992, « Cherry ». The exhibition will also feature two large-scale holograms crafted by James Turrell with the assistance of a physicist, the last in a series that he has decided to conclude and which are the product of a complex labour of capturing shapes and light, as well as «Transmission Pieces », another project of capturing.
An unconventional and unclassifiable artist, James Turrell incites viewers to look within themselves and question their own perception of light, matter, color, shape and their position as spectator, their role in the definition and the existence of the work of art.
Françoise Claire Prodhon
(1) : Excerpt from Rencontres 9: Almine Rech/ James Turrell, Éditions Almine Rech/ Images Modernes, 2005
Press Contact / Maïlys D'Ursel / email@example.com