November 17 - December 21, 2018
Hauser & Wirth Zürich is delighted to present its end of year show ‘Tables, Carpets & Dead Flowers’, an exhibition bringing together works by modern and contemporary masters that document and record daily activities in the studio. Taking inspiration from Rodney Graham’s 'Dead Flowers in My Studio' (2009) and Dieter Roth's Tischmatten, ‘Tables, Carpets & Dead Flowers’ examines the chance encounters between artist, artwork and the studio space. Taking centre stage of the presentation will be a large, four metre long carpet from Dieter Roth’s Bali studio near Reykjavik. Embedded with traces of studio life, including the scribbles and drawings from his children’s visits, this expanse of material is at once a visual document and a chance product of the artistic process itself. Formally reminiscent of works by Joan Miró or Arshile Gorky, Dieter Roth’s studio carpet is exemplary of a seamless combination of art and life. His renowned Tischmatten (table mats) can also be read as cumulative diary of the artist’s activities. Following on from this line of inquiry, a selection of Paul McCarthy’s White Snow monochromes from 2012 will be on view. Originally these were pieces of plywood which covered the artist’s studio floor during the creation of his White Snow Forest film set and installation. By catching the remnants and residue of the fabrication process, McCarthy’s monochromes become documents of the work’s journey from the studio floor to the gallery wall. ‘Tables, Carpets & Dead Flowers’, organised by Florian Berktold, presents works by artists including Guillermo Kuitca, Sterling Ruby and Ian Wallace. Further important works will include a selection of David Smith's Untitled series of sprayed enamel canvases, Lee Lozano's drawings which depict her studio surroundings, Keith Tyson's 'Studio Wall (Punchcard)' (2017), Isa Genzken’s Basic Research paintings and Roni Horn's 'Pair Object Vis: For Two Locations in One Place' (1998/2007). Horn’s metal cone-shaped sculptures are rolled over the floor, picking up the residue from uneven surfaces and initiating a conversation between the artwork and its environment. Isa Genzken's Basic Research paintings similarly react to the setting of the studio space; by laying monochrome painted canvases on the ground and raking over them, these works become physical impressions of the artist's surroundings. Also on display will be Matthew Day Jackson's 'Lumpenproletariat' (2010), a sculpture made of collected debris from the studio floor and sculpted into a life-size, sci-fi figure. The debris of the studio particularly plays an important role in Otto Muehl's 'Untitled' (1988-91). Before commencing his prison sentence, Muehl destroyed the letters and documents left in his studio by burning them, their ashes were then applied to his canvas. Last but not least, the exhibition explores the artistic possibilities when it comes to cleaning: Dieter Roth's Tuchlauben collages comprise dust and scraps that he swept together from his studio in Vienna on Tuchlaubenstrasse. Günther Förg also finds use for his rubbish in his Untitled assemblages. In this manner, the contents of the studio become base material for the artists.
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Join us for the opening reception of ‘Tables, Carpets & Dead Flowers,’ an exhibition bringing together works by modern and contemporary masters that document and record daily activities in the studio. Taking inspiration from Rodney Graham’s series Dead Flowers in My Studio, the exhibition, organised by Florian Berktold, examines the chance encounters between artist, artwork and the studio space.
Roni Horn’s work consistently generates uncertainty to thwart closure in her work. Important across her oeuvre is her longstanding interest to the protean nature of identity, meaning, and perception, as well as the notion of doubling; issues which continue to propel Horn’s practice.
Born in 1961 in Buenos Aires, where he continues to live and work, Argentine artist Guillermo Kuitca draws on a range of iconography, including architectural plans, maps, theaters, musical scores and domestic spaces to produce an oeuvre that explores themes of history, memory, structured absence, sound and silence and the tension between the empirical and abstract. Shifting from gestural mark-making to linear precision, Kuitca’s work mines varied aesthetic styles and histories, and in the latter half of his career, he has achieved significant acclaim for his deployment of a unique cubistoid style that masterfully reconciles abstraction with an illusionist form of figuration.
Paul McCarthy is widely considered to be one of the most influential and groundbreaking contemporary American artists. Born in 1945, and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, he first established a multi-faceted artistic practice, which sought to break the limitations of painting by using unorthodox materials such as bodily fluids and food. He has since become known for visceral, often hauntingly humorous work in a variety of mediums—from performance, photography, film and video, to sculpture, drawing and painting.
One of the most influential artists of the post-World War II period, Dieter Roth was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1930, to a German mother and a Swiss father, and died in Basel, Switzerland in 1998. Dieter Roth was an artist of an immense diversity and breadth, producing books, graphics, drawings, paintings, sculptures, assemblages, installations, audio and media works involving slides, sound recordings, film and video. He also worked as a composer, poet, writer and musician. He often collaborated with other artists, subverting the principle of authorship. Those partners included such significant figures as Richard Hamilton, Emmett Williams, Arnulf Rainer, and Hermann Nitsch. But it was Roth's long and symbiotic collaboration with his son, artist Björn Roth, that stands as testament to the enormous and enduring potency of his restless, relentless process.
One of the foremost artists of the twentieth century and the sculptor most closely linked to the Abstract Expressionist movement, David Smith is known for his use of industrial methods and materials, and the integration of open space into sculpture. Over a 33-year career, Smith greatly expanded the notion of what sculpture could be, questioning its relationship with the space it was created in and its final habitat; from the artist’s atelier and art foundry into the realms of industry and nature. Spanning pure abstraction and poetic figuration, Smith’s deeply humanist vision has inspired generations of sculptors for the decades since his death.
Arshile Gorky was born an ethnic Armenian in Khorkom, Van, Ottoman Empire (present-day Turkey) in c. 1904. Fleeing the genocide that claimed the life of his mother, he immigrated to the United States as a teenage refugee in 1920. After five years with relatives in Massachusetts, Gorky moved to New York and changed his name in honor of the celebrated Russian poet. Refusing all categories, whether artistic or political, as necessarily reductive, Gorky forsook assimilation in favor of celebrating his otherness, becoming a central figure of the cultural milieu of a city on the brink of Modernism.