Winner of the 2001 Turner Prize, British artist Martin Creed has pursued an extraordinary path by confounding the traditional categories of art and employing a minimalistic approach that strips away the unnecessary while preserving an abundance of wit, humor, and surprise. Crossing all media including painting, drawing, music, dance, theater, film, sculpture, fashion, and more, Creed’s practice meditates on our everyday existence and the visible and invisible structures that shape our lives.
Creed continues his ongoing exploration into rhythm, scale, and order in his largest installation in the U.S. to date, a survey of his work from its most minimal moments to extravagant, larger-than-life installations. Utilizing both the Wade Thompson Drill Hall and the historic interiors of the building, Creed will reimagine the space with opening and closing doors, curtains, a slamming piano, and balloons, amongst other new works made for this exhibition. These materials and situations, when grouped together, create a playful spectacle within a framework that provides the viewer with a fascinating way to counter our visually overloaded, choice-saturated culture.
In his exhibition Put the Cobwebs Back in Place, Christian Andersson creates a dramaturgically dense ensemble of works. His new installations, sculptures and photographic works unfold a complex network of metaphysical speculations exploring and questioning our seemingly given reality. His multimedia works draw references from diverse fields such as science and science fiction, the history of art and popular culture as well as the canon of western civilisation. His practice is deeply rooted in the legacy of surrealism and a firm trust in a mysterious, hidden aspect of life.
In the first room we are confronted with skilfully crafted wooden objects of a complex nature. For the funnel-shaped objects titled Now Wait for Last Year Andersson worked with a woodturner to excavate the annual rings of 120-year old oak trees. Cutting progressively deeper from the bark to the trunk’s core and vice versa, every single annual ring is being revealed. Due to this process the rings become stretched in their width.
The presentation of the objects on a functional steel shelving system is reminiscent of how artefacts would be tucked away in a museum’s storage or how materials and tools are stored in a workshop. They remain oscillating between measuring tools or precious artefacts from the past. Smaller than table size these objects might also be seen as models of four-dimensional space-time curved by the presence of matter, for example a black hole, as described in the General Theory of Relativity. The work evokes the tradition of the Bicycle Wheel by the great doubter Marcel Duchamp. Not merely a ready made, it was an object of pseudoscientific speculation aiming at visualising the invisible fourth dimension (that —before Einstein—was conceived of as a dimension of space).
The installation Chroma Key Twine has a similar character as a model of thought. Conceptualising time and history as constructs subjected to mediation and debate, a green background paper woven into a grid and supported by two tripods fills the entire visual field of the viewer. The green screen, or chroma key technique is commonly used in film and TV productions to digitally insert virtual backgrounds, merging two images together. A powerful metaphor for our progressively dematerialised, mediated world the work offers an open space for projecting alternative, and in this case parallel, future realities.
In his installation One Day, which is on view behind a curtain in the back room, Andersson gives us a glimpse of the deep personal shock that might be caused by the realisation of the fallibility of established truths about our reality. The installation uses light―an even with current knowledge still not fully explicable phenomena―as medium. Six gobo-lights, casually stored in a crate, seem to live a life of their own, projecting faint light in the shape of texts onto the ceiling and walls of the gallery. The words form the story of a macabre joke or a science-fiction nightmare.
From here the exhibition’s choreography leads back into the first room. Gazing (back) through the bronze-tinted curtain, the front room now appears distant, dreamlike and somewhat unfamiliar.
Christian Andersson, born 1973 in Stockholm, currently lives and works in Malmö.
He recently had solo exhibitions at the Kunstmuseum Thun in 2015, as well as the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, and Moderna Museet, Malmö (both 2011). Lately, his work has been on view in group exhibitions at Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (2016), Medizinhistorisches Museum, Berlin (2015), Magazin 4, Bregenz (2014), Matadero, Madrid and the 12th Biennale de Lyon (both 2013). Later this year, his works will be on view in group shows at the Boimans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam and the Living Art Museum in Reykjavik. He is currently working on an exhibition project in Le Havre curated by Marc-Olivier Wahler and a solo exhibition at CIAJG, Guimaraes in 2017. Put the Cobwebs Back in Place is his fifth exhibition with Galerie Nordenhake.
Diane Rosenstein is happy to announce “All American,” a solo exhibition of new paintings by Harlem-based artist, Mike Shultis. All American will include nine mixed-media paintings, each created in the last year. Shultis, who was born in New Mexico, lives and works in New York. He was recently included in The New New, a group show held at the gallery in Fall of 2015. This is his first solo gallery exhibition.
Mike Shultis explores the contingent nature of masculinity through compositions layered with imagery from childhood, sports, and a hyper-sexualized internet 'culture'. There is intensity to this work - and it sustains the wit and drama of Shultis’ bold palette and exuberant visual style. These paintings employ numerous materials including oil, acrylics, latex, spray paint, ink, glitter, and inkjet prints. The artist works spontaneously and incorporates found objects, clothing, and sports equipment; “Boy Scout” includes tennis balls and a ping pong table; “Fail” offers Astroturf, a hammer, and an inkjet image from the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Often, Shultis will build his compositions on discarded fine art crates, and in a monumental work like “Wild, Wild West,” (2016) an inflatable air dancer flexes and throbs atop a plexi-platform that protrudes over the gallery floor.
Mike Shultis (USA, b. 1987) attended St. Louis Community College in Florissant Valley, Missouri; then received his BFA (2012) from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) in Philadelphia. He had a two-person show with fellow PAFA alumn Aaron Fowler at Thierry Goldberg Gallery, NYC (2013) and recently, was included in Bronx Calling: The Third AIM Biennial, at The Bronx Museum of The Arts, NYC.