May 18 - August 18, 2019
Hauser & Wirth is pleased to present the gallery’s first Los Angeles exhibition with acclaimed Argentine artist Guillermo Kuitca. Evoking the complex geometries and layered information of architectural plans and cartographic maps, Kuitca’s theatrical paintings explore themes of dislocation. Presented in the South Gallery, this exhibition will debut two new series rendered with the artist’s distinctive melding of abstraction and figuration: ‘The Family Idiot’ draws from Jean-Paul Sartre’s three-volume study of Gustave Flaubert, while the 18-part wall piece ‘Missing Pages’ evokes the physical process of book printing, specifically the unexpected combinations of images that ensue during pagination. The exhibition will also include new Theater pieces that build upon Kuitca’s long-standing involvement with the dramatic arts through an idiosyncratic integration of architectural features in two-dimensional space.Since representing Argentina in the 2007 Venice Biennale, Kuitca has engaged in a unique cubistoid style through which he merges the Cubist tendencies of Picasso and Braque with his own abstract vocabulary that evokes isolation and detachment. While this style has dominated Kuitca’s output over the past dozen years, the new works on view at Hauser & Wirth find weaving fresh elements of figuration into his favored themes of domestic space, theater, and literature. Here, Kuitca is forgoing his solely cubistoid meditations to reorient recognizable symbols – a chair, a door, a mirror, a figure – in nonpictorial settings. The results disrupt the viewer’s sense of certainty and, in turn, the temptation to take for granted what is real in the world around us. ‘Retablo’ (2016), the sole sculptural work on view, imbues Kuitca’s signature geometric abstractions with spiritual undertones. Lit from within, this small, inaccessible, altar-like cove is ornamented by a panel painting covered with rhythmic slashes. Kuitca’s thicket of painterly marks is interrupted only by a perspectival road extending into the depths of the picture plane – an imaginary path leading to an unknowable realm. Kuitca’s fascination with imaginary spaces relates to his long-standing engagement with theater and literature. Based upon Jean-Paul Sartre’s three-volume opus ‘The Family Idiot,’ one of the two new series on view takes as its departure point the novel’s core existential question: ‘What at this point in time can we know about a man?’ One of the paintings in this series depicts an unplugged microphone and dim spotlight illuminating an empty expanse, suggesting unanswered questions about authorship, identity, and voicelessness. Kuitca’s paintings collapse, mirror, and fracture the architectural structures and spaces they depict, placing the viewer in spatial and temporal limbo. They resist traditional distinctions between real and illusory space, and perspectival orientation. They do, however, employ a recurring set of motifs that the artist has used since the 1980s. Beds often serve as a sort of stage, suggesting notions of family and the domestic sphere, as seen in ‘The Family Idiot (Sleeper in the mirror)’ (2019); empty chairs provide a distinct feeling of alienation and disintegration, exemplified by those in ‘The Family Idiot’ (2019) diptych; and the appearance of mirrored walls, such as in ‘The Family Idiot’ (2019) triptych, confound distinctions between proximity and distance. Conspicuously absent in many of these paintings is the human figure, yet inconspicuous are the various trap doors, architectural discontinuities, and murky clusters of indiscernible objects – as seen in the monumental ‘Double Eclipse’ (2013) – that suggest human presence and reveal themselves upon prolonged looking. Observing that ‘diagrams are neither abstraction nor successful representation,’ Kuitca employs them to evoke spatial experience in his Theater series. The intimately scaled mixed media works on view draw upon seating maps from theaters around the world, including the Staples Center and the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. By modifying found diagrams, Kuitca highlights the universality of illustrative signifiers while undermining their legibility through mixed media. Another new body of work titled ‘Missing Pages’ (2018) distills Kuitca’s complex visual vocabulary down to its essential elements. The artist’s various preferred motifs appear in an eighteen-canvas grid, which takes its structure from the layout of a printer’s proof. Inspired by the disrupted pagination that ensues from producing such a proof, each page is thrown into a new context that opens the door to fresh interpretations. The process by which ‘Missing Pages’ was created exemplifies but one of the many ways in which Kuitca routinely challenges the time-honored tropes of his medium, effectively devising a new kind of image that is simultaneously representational yet non-mimetic.
Hauser & Wirth is pleased to invite you to the public opening of the gallery’s first Los Angeles exhibition with acclaimed Argentine artist Guillermo Kuitca. Evoking the complex geometries and layers of architectural plans and cartographic maps, Kuitca’s paintings achieve theatrical impact as they explore themes of dislocation. Presented in the South Gallery, this exhibition will debut two new series rendered with his distinctive melding of abstraction and figuration. ‘The Family Idiot’ series draws its title from Jean-Paul Sartre’s study of Gustave Flaubert, while ‘Missing Pages’ – an 18-part wall piece – mines the physical process of book printing, specifically the unexpected combination of images that ensues during pagination. The exhibition will also include new ‘Theater’ pieces, which continue Kuitca’s long-standing involvement with the dramatic arts through an idiosyncratic integration of architectural features in two-dimensional space.
Guillermo Kuitca’s paintings collapse, mirror, and fracture the architectural structures and spaces they depict, placing the viewer in spatial and temporal limbo. On the occasion of the artist’s new work presented in 'Guillermo Kuitca,' join us for a walkthrough with Director & CEO of Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), Hernan Diaz Alonso and renowned Argentine artist Analia Saban to talk about Kuitca’s work through the lens of architecture. This event is free, however, due to limited capacity reservations are recommended. Click here to register. About Hernan Diaz Alonso Hernan Diaz Alonso assumed the role of SCI-Arc director beginning in the 2015 academic year. He has been a distinguished faculty member since 2001, serving in several leadership roles, including coordinator of the graduate thesis program from 2007–10, and graduate programs chair from 2010–15. He is widely credited with spearheading SCI-Arc’s transition to digital technologies, and he played a key role in shaping the school’s graduate curriculum over the last decade. In parallel to his role at SCI-Arc, Diaz Alonso is principal of the Los Angeles–based architecture office Xefirotarch. His multidisciplinary practice is praised for its work at the intersection of design, animation, interactive environments, and radical architectural explorations. Over the course of his career as an architect and educator, Diaz Alonso has earned accolades for his leadership and innovation, as well as his ability to build partnerships among varied constituencies. In 2005 he was the winner of MoMA PS1’s Young Architects Program (YAP) competition, and in 2012 he received the Educator of the Year award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He won the 2013 AR+D Award for Emerging Architecture and a 2013 Progressive Architecture Award for his design of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Pavilion/Museum in Patagonia, Argentina. Diaz Alonso’s architectural designs have been featured in exhibitions at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the London Architecture Biennale, and ArchiLab in Orleans, France, as well as included in exhibitions at such leading museums as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA); the Art Institute of Chicago; and MAK Centre, Vienna. The work has been widely published in magazines, journals, and books, including the Excessive monograph of Xefirotarch. The office is currently working on a new monograph to be published by Thames and Hudson. Diaz Alonso’s work is in the permanent collections of the FRAC Centre, Orleans, France; SFMOMA; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Thyssen-Bornemisza, the MAK Museum, Vienna; and the Art Institute of Chicago. A gifted educator, Diaz Alonso has been acknowledged throughout the years with prestigious appointments; these include Yale University’s Louis I. Kahn Visiting Assistant Professorship of Architectural Design (2010), Visiting Design Studio Faculty at the GSAPP at Columbia University (2004–10), an ongoing appointment as architectural design professor in the Urban Strategies Postgraduate Program at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, and as a Distinguished Faculty Member at SCI-Arc. In spring 2015 he served as Yale University’s Eero Saarinen Professor of Architectural Design. About Analia Saban Analia Saban dissects and reconfigures traditional notions of painting, often using the medium of paint as the subject itself. Blurring the lines between painting and sculpture, imagery and objecthood, her work frequently includes plays on art historical references and traditions. Paintings expand to sculptural forms and sculptures are presented in two dimensions, using the process of trial and error with new techniques and technology. Her unconventional methods such as unweaving paintings, laser-burning wood and canvas and molding forms in acrylic paint remain central to her practice as she continues to explore art-making processes and materials in relation to her daily experience. Dealing with issues of fragility, balance, technique and experimentation, Saban's connection with everyday objects is at the forefront of her investigation of tangible materials and the metaphysical properties of artworks. Born in 1980 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Saban currently lives and works in Los Angeles. She received a BFA in Visual Arts from Loyola University in New Orleans in 2001, followed by an MFA in New Genres at the University of California in Los Angeles in 2005. Saban’s works are represented in the collections of the Hammer Museum at UCLA, Museum of Contemporary Art, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles; Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College in New York; Norton Museum of Art in Florida; Centre Pompidou in Paris, and Fundación Proa in Buenos Aires, among others.
On the occasion of ‘Guillermo Kuitca,’ the Argentine artist’s first exhibition at Hauser & Wirth in Los Angeles, please join us for a staged reading of Jean-Paul Sartre’s masterpiece ‘No Exit’ by the celebrated LA theater company The Actors’ Gang. Taking inspiration from Kuitca’s enduring connection to theatre and drawing from his latest series, ‘The Family Idiot,’ the reading of Sartre’s historic play will examine the claustrophobia of eternal confinement between three strangers, ultimately resulting in a commentary of the human condition that seeks to deepen our understanding of Kuitca’s powerful new body of work. This performance marks the second collaboration between Hauser & Wirth and The Actors’ Gang. 'No Exit’ by Jean-Paul Sartre Directed by Brian Finney Performed by Pierre Adeli, Hannah Chodos, Cihan Sahin, Paulette Zubata Approximate running time 1 hour 15 minutes Tickets to this event are $10. Click here to register. About The Actors’ Gang The Actors’ Gang was founded in 1981 by a group of young actors looking to build a theater that would present relevant and vibrantly entertaining plays. Over the past 38 years, The Actors' Gang has performed for audiences in Los Angeles and throughout the world, on five continents and in 40 U.S. States. Our groundbreaking Prison Project is currently in twelve California prisons, serving incarcerated women, men and children with rehabilitation programs that significantly reduce the recidivism rate. Each year, thousands of children in Los Angeles public schools discover confidence and creativity with our Education Department through in-school immersion and after-school programs and by participating in classes that encourage acceptance, respect and team building in a fun and impactful way. The theater company has presented the work of innovative theater artists including Georges Bigot, Simon Abkarian, Charles Mee, David Schweizer, Bill Rauch and the Cornerstone Theatre Company, Tracy Young, Roger Guenver Smith, Eric Bogosian, Oskar Eustis, Danny Hoch, Beth Milles, Brian Kulick, Stefan Haves, Namaste Theater Company, Culture Clash, Jason Reed, Michael Schlitt and Tenacious D. The Actors’ Gang ensemble has included accomplished actors such as Jack Black, Lee Arenberg, John Cusack, John C. Reilly, Brent Hinkley, Helen Hunt, Kate Walsh, Kyle Gass, Fisher Stevens, Ned Bellamy, Jeremy Piven, Ebbe Roe Smith, Kate Mulligan, and Tim Robbins. The theater company has presented the work of innovative theater artists including Georges Bigot, Simon Abkarian, Charles Mee, Culture Clash, Bill Rauch and The Cornerstone Theatre Company, Tracy Young, Namaste Theater Company, Roger Guenver Smith, Eric Bogosian, Oskar Eustis, Danny Hoch, Beth Milles, David Schweizer, Brian Kulick, Stefan Haves, Jason Reed, Michael Schlitt, and Tenacious D. Guest artists that have appeared on The Actors’ Gang stage include: Jackson Browne, Sarah Silverman, Ben Gibbard, John Doe, Tom Morello, Jenny Lewis, Wayne Kramer, Paul Provenza, Zooey Deschanel, Serj Tankian, David Crosby, Pink, Jill Sobule, William H. Macy, Phillip Baker Hall, Jeanne Tripplehorn, T.C. Boyle. and the late, beloved, Gore Vidal. Recent touring productions include 'The New Colossus, Harlequino: On to Freedom, A Midsummer Night’s Dream,' George Orwell’s '1984,' 'The Exonerated, Tartuffe, Embedded, The Trial of the Catonsville Nine and The Guys.' Over the last thirty years The Actors’ Gang has toured the U.S. in forty-five states and on five continents, performing across the world from London to Milan, Bucharest, Athens, Madrid, Barcelona, Bogota, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Buenos Aires and recently, to Santiago and Concepcion, in Chile.
Monday Evening Concerts, one of the longest running series in the world devoted to contemporary music, joins Hauser & Wirth to present a concert of three existential visionaries of the Germanic classical music tradition: Richard Wagner, Arnold Schoenberg and Helmut Lachenmann. Each performance is a response to Guillermo Kuitca’s long-standing engagement with literature and philosophical thought, bridging degrees of abstraction between painting and sound.
For the May Family Studio Workshop, participants will create collages over pages from antique books using a combination of paint, ink, and rubber stamps, inspired by Guillermo Kuitca’s 18-part piece ‘Missing Pages’ on view in the South Gallery. In ‘Missing Pages,’ Kuitca explores the accidental juxtaposition of images that occurs during the process of printing a book. Workshop participants will construct their own combinations of images using varied materials in their book collages. The workshop will be led by David P. Earle. About ‘Guillermo Kuitca’ On view in the South gallery, ‘Guillermo Kuitca’ is the first Los Angeles exhibition with acclaimed Argentine artist Guillermo Kuitca. Evoking the complex geometries and layers of architectural plans and cartographic maps, Kuitca’s paintings achieve theatrical impact as they explore themes of dislocation. This exhibition debuts two new series rendered with his distinctive melding of abstraction and figuration. ‘The Family Idiot’ series draws its title from Jean-Paul Sartre’s study of Gustave Flaubert, while ‘Missing Pages’ – an 18-part wall piece – mines the physical process of book printing, specifically the unexpected combination of images that ensues during pagination. This drop-in activity is free, however, reservations are recommended. Click here to register.
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.