January 19 - March 2, 2002
With its first exhibition in the New Year, the Galerie Hauser & Wirth is celebrating its tenth anniversary. This group show will present works of all the artists represented by the gallery: Louise Bourgeois, Dan Graham, Mary Heilmann, Eva Hesse, Richard Jackson, On Kawara, Rachel Khedoori, Guillermo Kuitca, Paul McCarthy, John McCracken, Raymond Pettibon, Jason Rhoades, Pipilotti Rist, Anri Sala, Roman Signer and Diana Thater. The first location of the gallery, in 1992, was an art nouveau villa in the middle of Zurich. There the partners, Ursula Hauser and Iwan and Manuela Wirth, bought and sold works of art, concentrating on modern art. The splendid rooms were opened to a wider public twice a year, offering exhibitions of sculpture and painting by Joan Miró and mobiles and gouaches by Alexander Calder. In 1994, the gallery opened additional exhibition rooms (which no longer exist) in the industrial district of Zurich, which was then emerging as a new centre of the city’s cultural life. This move indicated a shift in focus towards contemporary art. The gallery’s new preoccupations resulted in shows like Paik's "Jardin illuminé", "10 Years Parkett – 61 Artists’ Editions" and two exhibitions of the work of Gerhard Richter. In 1996, the gallery moved entirely into a former brewery building in the industrial district. This marked the start of a regular programme of changing public exhibitions and the beginning of the collaboration with the artists represented by the gallery today. Hauser & Wirth see themselves a partners of the artist, offering them organisational assistance and advice and comprehensive support with large-scale projects, most of them outside the gallery’s own rooms. The gallery has also recognised the importance of publishing, having a share in the German art book publisher, Oktagon, with Walther König. 1998 saw the gallery joining in partnership with Eva Presenhuber, who opened the Galerie Hauser & Wirth & Presenhuber in the same building. In New York, where Hauser & Wirth had collaborated closely with gallerist David Zwirner since 1992, they opened Zwirner & Wirth on 69th Street. The show, "Ten Years Galerie Hauser & Wirth", is not intended as a nostalgic retrospective of the past ten years, but a snapshot, an overview of the artists represented by the gallery. It offers a view of the wide-ranging programme, uniting as it does personalities and generations of artists as diverse as Louise Bourgeois and Jason Rhoades. Thus, the show may yet evoke a bit of nostalgia as it recalls memories of more than 150 exhibitions, at the gallery or elsewhere, in which Hauser & Wirth were involved.
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Born in France in 1911, and working in America from 1938 until her death in 2010, Louise Bourgeois is recognized as one of the most important and influential artists of the 20th Century. For over seven decades, Bourgeois’s creative process was fueled by an introspective reality, often rooted in cathartic re-visitations of early childhood trauma and frank examinations of female sexuality. Articulated by recurrent motifs (including body parts, houses and spiders), personal symbolism and psychological release, the conceptual and stylistic complexity of Bourgeois’s oeuvre—employing a variety of genres, media and materials—plays upon the powers of association, memory, fantasy, and fear.
Influenced by 1960s counterculture, the free speech movement, and the surf ethos of her native California, Mary Heilmann ranks amongst the most influential abstract painters of her generation. Considered one of the preeminent contemporary Abstract painters, Heilmann’s practice overlays the analytical geometries of Minimalism with the spontaneous ethos of the Beat Generation, and are always distinguishable by their often unorthodox—always joyful—approach to color and form.
A pre-eminent figure in American contemporary art since the 1970s, Richard Jackson is influenced by both Abstract Expressionism and action painting, exploring a performative painting process which seeks to extend the potential of painting by upending its technical conventions. Born in Sacramento, California in 1939, Jackson first came to international attention with a major presentation of his installation works at the Menil Collection, Houston, in 1988, followed by the 1992 exhibition, ‘Helter Skelter,’ at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.Jackson’s work is process-oriented, and the structural aspect of his installations involves a high level of craftsmanship and engineering. However, the final application of paint is generated through an automated process which Jackson calls ‘activation.’ He equips his ‘painting machines’ with a network of pipes and hoses which, when deployed, cause violent eruptions of paint that immerse the work and surrounding area. The finished installations remain in the aftermath of this extreme and unpredictable performative action.
Australia-born, Zurich-based artist Rachel Khedoori poses provocative phenomenological questions in her work that merges installation, sculpture, film and photography. Khedoori gained international recognition with her first comprehensive solo exhibition at Kunsthalle Basel and Kunstverein Braunschweig in 2001.
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.
Pipilotti Rist, a pioneer of spatial video art, was born 1962 in Grabs in the Swiss Rhine Valley on the Austrian Border and has been a central figure within the international art scene since the mid-1980s.
Anri Sala represents a truly contemporary international vision: working in a range of media including video, photography and installation, Sala was educated in Albania and France, but now lives and works in Berlin. In his films and installations, Sala invites viewers to participate in his world of cultural observation, for which he often uses socio-political settings and personal experiences as backdrops.
Swiss artist Roman Signer has been redefining sculpture for more than 40 years and is now regarded as one of the finest representatives of Process and Conceptual art. He produces elementary dynamic sculptures and installations, also known as time sculptures for their preoccupation with the transformation of materials and objects through time. In his actions, acceleration and change are part of the creative process and he uses photography and moving image to document his work.Characterized by processes and potentialities, his work takes into account the concepts of Minimalism and Conceptualism, and with this Signer occupies a unique position in the recent history of sculpture. Signer exploits the possible uses and limitations of everyday objects, such as umbrellas, bottles, tables, chairs and candles, through a process guided by both curiosity and discipline. Like the director of a thriller, he makes use of tension and surprise—with the distinction that in his case everything takes place in the here and now. The works are the direct result of processes initiated by the artist.
For over two and a half decades, Diana Thater has explored the precarious relationship between culture and nature in her new media practice. Frequently using animals and natural phenomena as subjects, her precisely choreographed video installations immerse the viewer in ambient environments and invite new ways of seeing the world.