Bill Bollinger, John Divola, Magali Reus
Andrea Rosen Gallery is pleased to present a three-person exhibition of Magali Reus, Bill Bollinger and John Divola. Shifting away from the supremacy of a single object, each artist here acknowledges a more phenomenological experience of material and form. Through strengthening material vernaculars, there is a distinct presence of the body indicated within each of the artists’ works that describes both a presence of artist and viewer, as well as the encounter of material as vessel for meaning. This juxtaposition of unique trajectories is a way to not only contextualize work being made now within the established field of contemporary art, but also a way of showing how artists like Divola and Bollinger remain a vital part of the discourse.
Approximating the scale and basic materiality of fridge and freezer units, Magali Reus’ sculptures, Lukes, as titled “bodies,” combine in anthropomorphic fashion. Stripped of their supposed functionality, these hand-activated vessels of skewed rectangular form deflect our familiarity with an object coded by domesticity, instead offering themselves as hosts in which smaller, more materially luxurious compositions play out. Their skins are phosphate clad, cast concrete, milky raspberry coated – and interior, a printed fleece blanket, strewn packets of mustard condiment, a single flattened white knife – deftly confusing binaries of the human and the mechanical. Made with industrial finishes and contemporary processes, the resulting works puzzle human relationships to inanimate matter and their intended functions. The collision of material preservation and more internalized alchemical detail exposes Reus’ relationship to object making as one which communicates the universal meanings embedded within all materials, but also the transformative strategies we use to mobilize the everyday.
Focused on the gesture of construction, and the physical limits and nature of material, Bill Bollinger too sought to expand experience and perception of materiality and commodity. Graphite Piece, first shown in January of 1969, divides the gallery into two defined spaces of dark and light planes. Traces of the graphite powder dusted between the floor and wall elicit the sweeping gestural distribution of material, the physical performance of construction, while simultaneously communicating an opaque sense of openness and expandability so crucial to the artist in each carnation.
Two photographs from John Divola’s “Dark Star” series accentuate a delicate balance of creation and destruction. Resembling a full stop or black hole, Divola’s spray painted circles, almost as lesions upon the interior walls of a derelict abandoned space, add both a lethal mark to a sinister image of utter abandonment, as well as accentuate the significance and weight of a single material gesture enacted by the artist upon a chosen ground. Engaging two performative mediums, of painting and photography, Divola’s evident participation within such spaces transcends a process of observation or means of documentation, and reflects a more visceral material involvement.
Bill Bollinger (1940-1988) originally studied aeronautical engineering at Brown University and turned to art when he moved to New York City in 1961. His work was included in some of the most historically important exhibitions of the 1960s, including Live in Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form (Kunsthalle Bern, 1969); Anti-Illusion: Procedures/Materials (Whitney Museum of American Art, 1969); Nine at Leo Castelli(Castelli Warehouse, 1969); Information (Museum of Modern Art, 1970) and the Whitney Museum Annual of 1971 and Biennial of 1973. His oeuvre was recently recognized by a international traveling retrospective at the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein; the ZKM Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe; The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh; and The ScultureCenter, New York.
John Divola was born in Venice, California in 1949. His work has been exhibited in key historical exhibitions such as John Szarkowski’s Mirrors and Windows: American Photography since 1960 at The Museum of Modern Art (1978), The Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art (1981) and most recently, Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2010). His work is in the public collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Getty Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; The Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.; The Centre Pompidou, Paris and The Victoria and Albert Museum, London among many others. He is a recipient of multiple National Endowment for the Arts Photography Fellowships as well as a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship.
Magali Reus was born in 1981 in Den Haag, The Netherlands, and currently lives and works in London. Reus’ recent solo shows include DINOSAURS at Circuit, Lausanne; In Lukes and Dregs; The Approach, London (both 2014); Highly Liquid, Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam (2013), Background, La Salle de bains, Lyon and IBID Projects, London (2009). She has been included in recent group exhibitions at Fridericianum, Kassel; Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover; Kunstmuseum St Gallen; David Roberts Art Foundation, London; ZERO, Milan and De Hallen, Haarlem (all 2014). Her work has been shown in screenings at Tate Britain, London; ICA, London; Turner Contemporary, Margate; MK Gallery, Milton Keynes; Cornerhouse, Manchester; Tramway, Glasgow (all 2014) and Oberhausen Film Festival (2013). She has forthcoming solo exhibitions at SculptureCenter, New York, The Hepworth Wakefield and Fondazione Sandretto RE Rebaudengo, Turin (all 2015), as well as an upcoming group show at LUMA Foundation, Zürich.
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