BARRY McGEE RETURNS TO THE WAREHOUSE
The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse is pleased to present our 2018-2019 exhibition season. We will be open from October 23, 2018 through April 27, 2019. The Warehouse will open with an additional 5,000 square feet of exhibition space, expanding our facility to a total of 50,000 square feet.
This season, we bring back two Barry McGee installations: his adventurous 2004 truck installation and the earlier painted bottles piece, created between 1998-99. Barry McGee came out of the graffiti movement, which started in the early 1980s. The West Coast artist was among the notable few whose work was appropriated from its original urban setting to galleries and museums. The decontextualization of graffiti art which occurred when it was moved from the streets to institutions marked a point in United States history where counterculture became mainstream. Graffiti art has its roots in hip-hop and urban culture and has served as a longtime platform for disenfranchised young creatives to have their messages seen and heard. Regarding his use of found objects, McGee compares his practice to curating and says “Someone’s probably made the most perfect thing I’m looking for—if I look hard enough or close enough it’s already sitting out in the street or leaning up against something.” McGee’s work is heavily influenced by Surrealism, comic books, and underground youth culture.
THE MARGULIES COLLECTION PRESENTS CATE GIORDANO
After the fire is gone (2017) is a multimedia installation by Cate Giordano which features sculpture, music, and video revolving around the fictional character Dolly Presley. The work is the result of a four-year project which began as a performance piece but as the narrative developed, Giordano began creating sets and surrogate sculptures to populate the scenes as she acted them out.
Dolly is discontent with her life in New York City, waiting tables at a greasy spoon while her husband Anton sells life insurance out of a shoebox office in Queens. When Clayton, the love of her life, happens into the diner, Dolly is overcome with nostalgia for her past life with Clayton, the South, and everything she was before she married Anton. The classic structure of a love triangle is played out in a reflexive melodrama. Giordano performs as the three leads: Dolly, her husband Anton, and her long-lost flame, Clayton.
The installation comprises of three sets: a diner, a living room, and a farm. The viewer is invited to engage with stand-in sculptures of Dolly and Clayton, as well as the cows and chickens which roam the farm. The arch of the narrative is conveyed through TVs which are placed throughout the piece. By using tropes of narrative filmmaking, the project deals with the representation of desire as mediated by television and media. The sculptures further speak to the idea of representation, serving as grotesque send-ups of people, objects, and places, accentuating the isolation of the character and distorting the all-too-familiar narrative.
NEW IMI KNOEBEL INSTALLATION
Imi Knoebel’s comprehensive ouvre incorporates drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, and installations. His enigmatic works are often produced in series or groups and are characteristically simple in form and color. His compositions are typically made out of plywood, aluminum, and fiberboard, and in using such basic materials, Knoebel speaks to the creative possibilities of the commonplace.
This work comprises thirty-nine colorful acrylic works painted on synthetic paper. Within the outer frame of each painting exists a second frame-like structure which further delineates inner from outer. Within each of the frames lies a void. This structure is repeated in a wide-ranging, seemingly random, yet harmonious pallet.
KISHIO SUGA AT THE WAREHOUSE
The Mono-ha (School of Things) movement emerged from Japan in the late 1960s. The artists involved were looking for a new approach to art by rejecting tradition and exploring the relationship between the viewer’s engagement with a work as it is manifested in real time and space. Kishio Suga, Lee U-Fan and Nobuo Sekine were the group’s founding members. Each were interested in the use of ordinary materials which they saw as having inherent character and value. Mono-ha artists sought to create an opportunity where mono (the object) could be exposed as mono itself through juxtaposition with its surroundings like the floors or a gallery walls. They would repurpose materials from previous works, affording them continuous possibilities to make art that had no beginning or end.
Kishio Suga juxtaposes and contrasts materials to reveal their inner essence and explores the ways in which the characteristics of the work change when confronted with space and time. He is known for simple yet profound installations using materials like wood and stone. His works activate the spaces in which they are placed and challenge the viewer to consider the essence of an object through letting go of preconceived notions about what it is. It is this ‘site of disappearance’ which is the point at which we can regain a new experience of the object.
SOL LEWITT’S EIGHT UNIT CUBE
Beginning in the 1960’s and into the early 70’s Sol LeWitt’s mission to reduce art to its essentials lead to his exploration of the most basic form of all, the square. His willingness to forego art historical traditions such as formalism and materiality allowed him to see new possibilities of art. Today, Sol LeWitt is largely credited as the leader of the Conceptual Art and Minimalist movements. Minimalism was a calculated and intellectual response to the intuitive, emotional practices of expressionism and became a place artists used to take off and pursue their ideas. The works that came out of the movement are characterized by an austere industrial aesthetic which made the pieces seem cold, intellectual, and urban. The viewer was asked not to pay attention to the way a thing looks, but the idea which it represents.
His structures took the form of cubes, pyramids, and spheres with the square as the common denominator. The nature of these simple forms demonstrates the idea that no one part is more important than any other. Later, LeWitt would become known for his “wall drawings,” which is the body of work for which he alone is responsible for producing. His practice asserted the suprematism of ideas over form and sought to create an art free of iconographic association. LeWitt did not make his own sculptures or paintings, instead, his body of work exists as a set of instructions and the actual creative process was left up to scores of assistants and fabricators who did the labor of realizing his pieces.
The Eight Unit Cube (1976) offers a rich visual experience to the viewer who is able to look into and through the structure and observe the shadows and lines which appear and disappear depending on the body’s positioning.
GERMAN OBJECTIVITY: ALBERT RENGER-PATZSCH
Albert Renger-Patzsch’s work defined the photographic style of the New Objectivity movement which came out of Germany in the 1920s as a reaction against expressionist art. Renger-Patzsch’s stoic photographs of cities, nature, and architecture documented in a realistic way, the monumentality of industry and the changing landscape of the time. He believed the object was the basis of all photography and sought to show things as they were. The camera provided its users with the ability to show the details, textures, and shadows in way which paint could not.
The artist sought to capture the essence of the object through photographic means alone. Industrial innovation and production provided Renger-Patzsch with subjects whose beauty had not yet been considered, much less appreciated. The subjects of his photos, including those in this exhibition range from forests and landscapes to machines and industrial architecture as well as everyday objects. Renger-Patzsch referred to photography as a procedure of documentation and replication and relied on formal tools such as contrast, line, light and dark values, and nuance. We see the influence of Renger-Patzsch’s work on photography throughout the 20th-Century and most notably, in in the work of German photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher.
Fellow New Objectivist, Werner Manz, took a similar approach to Renger-Patzsch in his practice. His photographs of German architecture veer towards abstraction in their simplicity and emphasis on form and composition. We are pleased to present a selection of Manz’ photographs alongside the work of Renger-Patzsch.
WALKER EVANS AND HELEN LEVITT
In the early 1930s, Walker Evans traveled through the East and South of America capturing the scenes before him. He focused his lens on a range of American icons including vernacular architecture, domestic interiors, the decorative arts, and people on the street. Evans’ photographs bring to light the physical, social, environmental, and industrial structures of everyday life. His iconic Depression-era photographs of tenant farmers and small towns serve as factual records of the period and those who were most affected by the economic and environmental hardships of the mid-1930s. Evans’s photos tell an honest and straightforward story and underscore the quiet dignity of each of his subjects.
This exhibition spans the length of Evans’ career, from his images of Cuba in 1933, to his work for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) during the Dust Bowl, to the iconic Subway Portrait series he completed with the help of Helen Levitt, and finally, to the Polaroids taken in the final years of his life from 1973-1974.
In New York City from the 1930’s onward, the arts flourished. The city’s photographers turned their attention to the world around them and began to document the lives and of its inhabitants. It was in New York City that Walker Evans met Helen Levitt, a high school dropout with a knack for seeing with clarity, the everyday epiphanies that define our experience.
Levitt was born in New York City in 1913 and would spend the rest of her life recording the lives of her urban subjects with tenderness, humor, and wit. Her up-close images of people, especially children, in their most natural and uninhibited state capture the lyrical poetry of urban life. Interested in creative play and everyday life, Levitt turned her gaze to the inhabitants of New York’s poor neighborhoods to create enduring images of ephemeral moments. In 1959, Levitt won a Guggenheim fellowship which allowed her to start taking photographs in color. A decade’s worth of color photographs was stolen from her home in 1970 and stole almost all of her work in color. Not letting this discourage her, Levitt took to the streets with more color film and produced some of the best work of her career. This exhibition includes photographs from her early New York City Street Scenes series, small contact prints, and works in color.
In addition to our feature exhibitions, the Warehouse houses permanent installations of historically significant works by John Chamberlain, Willem de Kooning, Olafur Eliasson, Dan Flavin, Michael Heizer, Donald Judd, Anselm Kiefer, Jannis Kounellis, Ernesto Neto, Isamu Noguchi, George Segal, Richard Serra, Tony Smith and Franz West.