January 23 - March 6, 2010
Hauser & Wirth is pleased to announce an exhibition of works by Guillermo Kuitca, one of the most important artists to have emerged from Latin America. The works on show, Der Fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman) and Untitled (The Warhol Series), reflect Kuitca’s intense relationship to his primary medium, painting. Der Fliegende Holländer (Scrim Suite) is an installation that traces its origins to the stage designs conceived by Kuitca for a 2003 production of Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. Currently on show as part of a retrospective at the Miami Art Museum until January 2010, this installation explores the experience and perception of light, space and image through the medium of three silk scrims. The exhibition at Hauser & Wirth Zürich will also include Kuitca’s book edition of Der Fliegende Holländer with images based on the designs for the Wagner production in Buenos Aires. Single pages, made from manipulated archival dye-printed silk charmeuse with printed silk organza interleaves, will be displayed offering the viewer the unique opportunity to see the publication exhibited in its entirety. The sixty-three works on paper that make up Untitled (The Warhol Series) began as a dialogue with Warhol’s work. They are mostly based on images reproduced in Kynaston McShine’s monumental catalogue published on the occasion of Warhol’s 1989 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Focusing on selected pieces, over a period of several months, Kuitca created 63 re-worked versions. When installed as a grid on the wall, the work as a whole echoes a dream-like constellation — Warhol’s signature icons are rendered almost unrecognisable by eliminating their subject or, as Kuitca has called it, by ‘swallowing the figure’. The ground of the image became its foreground or vice versa as this reversal could take place either way. One perceptual level makes way for another when being deleted. In place of representation is abstraction, hints of the figures are occasionally evident, but as a whole what remains is a modulated work of potent yet diffused colour bearing the signature of Kuitca’s meditative and repetitious practice, working with ink and watercolour. Guillermo Kuitca’s practice explores themes of public and private spaces through works ranging from paintings of theatrical scenes, to complex abstractions referencing maps and architectural plans. Kuitca represented Argentina at the Venice Biennale in 2007, where he was one of only three artists to exhibit in both a national pavilion and in the Italian Pavilion. Born in Buenos Aires in 1961, Kuitca has exhibited worldwide and his work is held in several major international collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; MoMA, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago; Tate, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington.
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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.