A celebration of Hauser & Wirth’s Swiss heritage through a playful presentation of over 20 artists, including Phyllida Barlow, Martin Creed, Nicole Eisenman, Isa Genzken, Rodney Graham, Richard Hamilton, Mary Heilmann, Camille Henrot, Jenny Holzer, Richard Jackson, Rashid Johnson, Allison Katz, Paul McCarthy, Jason Rhoades, Pipilotti Rist, Dieter Roth, Björn Roth, Mika Rottenberg, Anri Sala, Cindy Sherman, Roman Signer, Lorna Simpson, Alina Szapocznikow, Franz West and David Zink Yi.
The multidisciplinary exhibition is inspired by the notion of a traditional Kunsthalle, conceived as a place to showcase groundbreaking art and explore contemporary issues with a broad audience. The entire site takeover provides a platform for discovery and interaction, extending to all five galleries, outdoor sculpture and a collaborative events program with the Roth Bar & Grill. The exhibition will evolve in three parts over the course of seven months, featuring immersive installations, solo presentations and iconic video works.
Artists are central to the experimental ethos of Hauser & Wirth Somerset, fostering new points of connection and inclusive approaches to experiencing art. Many of the artists featured within the exhibition, such as Martin Creed, Rashid Johnson and Pipilotti Rist, have lived and worked in Bruton as part of the gallery’s longstanding residency program, drawing inspiration from Durslade Farm, the local community and surrounding Somerset landscape. Artist-in-residence, Allison Katz, has created a series of new exhibition posters that are displayed across the site. For Katz, designing posters is a way of playfully exploring protocols of typography, language and graphics, whilst addressing themes of consumption, desire and memory.
Martin Creed’s ‘Work No. 243 HELLO’ (2000) greets visitors as they enter the Threshing Barn. A true polymath, Creed’s work blurs the distinction between art and life, bringing the world into his work with fascinating transparency and humor. Stand out sculptures and video installations by Phyllida Barlow and Pipilotti Rist are centrepieces within the multisensory spectacle that fill the space from floor to ceiling. A pioneer of spatial video art, Rist’s ‘香港中環吊燈 (Central Hong Kong Chandelier)’ (2021) draws on the inner and outer worlds of kaleidoscopic wonderment. Rist encourages her viewers to recline, inviting them to contemplate, and at the same time, share a collective experience with their fellow spectators.
Richard Jackson’s neon signs flash with evocative puns and statements that engage with the artist’s interest in hunting culture and its vernacular, seen in works such as ‘HOTSHOT’ (2022), ‘BIG FAT PIG’ (2010) and ‘BARE BEAR’ (2008). Jackson’s work offers an ironic comment on the heroic pretensions associated with the medium, with works such as ‘Art Fair Party’ (2014), a direct and humorous critique of the structure of the commercial art world. Jason Rhoades’ neon installations, such as ‘Shelf (Mutton Chops) with Unpainted Donkey’ (2003), continue to signpost social commentary whilst pushing against the safety of cultural conventions. The unbridled, brazenly maximalist works attract, repulse and mystify the viewer, igniting questions that only multiply with prolonged exposure.
The Workshop and Pigsty Galleries have transformed to showcase Mika Rottenberg’s seminal video installation, ‘Cosmic Generator (Loaded #2)’ (2017 – 2018). This surreal and subversive video work explores globalisation, labor and spectacle, and is perhaps the best introduction to Rottenberg’s oeuvre. Filmed on-site at a market for plastic goods in Yiwu, China and in Mexicali, Mexico, a town near the US border, which is home to a large Chinese population, the video installation forms connections among seemingly disparate geographies. The video mixes scenes of real locations with elements of magical realism shot in a studio. The distinction between fantasy architecture and real space is further blurred by a fabricated tunnel surrounding the video installation, through which viewers enter the space, and a curtain of coloured tinsel through which they exit.
The ‘Kino / Cinema’ presents a changing weekly schedule of important film and video works over the course of the exhibition, featuring Martin Creed, Nicole Eisenman, Rodney Graham, Camille Henrot, Richard Jackson, Rashid Johnson, Paul McCarthy, Mika Rottenberg, Pipilotti Rist, Anri Sala and Lorna Simpson. Pipilotti Rist’s video works ‘I’m Not The Girl Who Misses Much’ (1986) and ‘(Entlastungen) Pipilottis Fehler’ <(Absolutions) Pipilotti’s Mistakes> (1988) launch the program this June. Both early works appropriate and subvert the language of music videos, with the latter juxtaposing images of Rist collapsing to the ground with bursts of wildly scrambled electronic distortion. At the time, Rist was seen to be making a feminist and ironic comment on the representations of women in 1980s popular culture.
From September, the Bourgeois Gallery presents a collection of works by Austrian artist Franz West as ‘Act Two’ of ‘GRUPPENAUSSTELLUNG’. A modern master of the late 20th Century, West is best known for his tactile sculptures and interactive installations, employing everyday materials to rupture the boundaries between an ‘art object’ and the outside world. The elevation of audience participation in his artmaking often invited elements of chance, accidents and multiple interpretations. West did not believe in an isolated creative genius and instead looked to connection and community as a driving force, overturning conventional ideas of authorship. The installations ‘Kasseler Rippchen (Kassel-Style Spare Ribs)’ (1991/1996), ‘Synchronie (Abriss)’ (1997) and ‘Guest Bed (with Rudolf Polansky)’ (1999) is a demonstration of this, creating an environment within the gallery to experience work by multiple artists.
A new outdoor sculpture presentation is interspersed throughout the site, including works by Camille Henrot, Jenny Holzer, Rashid Johnson, Franz West and David Zink Yi. Camille Henrot’s bronze sculptures emphasize the delicate equilibrium between thing and object, and the mutual generation of bodies, words and shapes. Henrot’s ‘Family of Men’ (2022), on view in the farmyard in front of Durslade Farmhouse, offers an image of the crushing power of authority and ancestry, with the figures squashing each other in their quest for elevation and growth. Franz West’s colourful and bold work ‘Autostat’ (1996) will also be displayed on the plinth in front of the gallery’s entrance and David Zink Yi’s stainless steel replicas of ‘Washingtonia robusta’ palms continue to experiment with perspective and idealised artificiality, nature and architecture, also on view in the farmyard.
Inspired by artists Mika Rottenberg and Pipilotti Rist, our Education Lab provides a dynamic platform for collaboration across the gallery’s green teams globally where they have shared knowledge and displayed new ideas in relation to the reuse of materials within our ecosystem. Visitors are invited to take part in the activation of the space, to engage with themes of environmental sustainability, and to be inspired to collaborate and create change in this area.
For almost 60 years, British artist Phyllida Barlow took inspiration from her surroundings to create imposing installations that can be at once menacing and playful. She created large-scale yet anti-monumental sculptures from inexpensive, low-grade materials such as cardboard, fabric, plywood, polystyrene, scrim, plaster and cement. These constructions were often painted in industrial or vibrant colors, the seams of their construction left at times visible, revealing the means of their making.
Nicole Eisenman lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She is a MacArthur Foundation Fellow and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2018. Her work was included in the 2019 Venice Biennale, 2019 Whitney Biennial, and 2017 Skulptur Projekte Münster in Münster, Germany. Having established herself as a painter, Nicole Eisenman has expanded her practice into the third dimension.
Isa Genzken has long been considered one of Germany’s most important and influential contemporary artists. Born in Bad Oldesloe, Germany, Genzken studied at the renowned Kunstakademie Düsseldorf whose faculty at the time included Joseph Beuys, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Benjamin H.D. Buchloh and Gerhard Richter. Since the 1970s, Genzken’s diverse practice has encompassed sculpture, photography, found-object installation, film, drawing and painting. Her work borrows from the aesthetics of Minimalism, punk culture and assemblage art to confront the conditions of human experience in contemporary society and the uneasy social climate of capitalism.Genzken is best known for her sculptures, gaining attention for her minimalist oriented Hyperbolos and Ellipsoids in the late 70s, and architecturally-inflected works such as her recent epoxy resin windows and skyscraper Columns from the 90s. Genzken’s practice is incredibly wide-ranging, but her work remains dedicated to challenging the viewer’s self-awareness by means of physically altering their perceptions, bringing bodies together in spaces and integrating elements of a mixed media into sculpture.
With a practice spanning five decades, Canadian artist Rodney Graham (1949 – 2022) operated through systems of quotation, reference and adaptation. From the 1980s, Graham expanded his diverse oeuvre to encompass photography, painting, sculpture, film, video and music. As actor, performer, producer, historian, writer, poet, sound engineer and musician, Graham’s art examined the complexities of Western culture through strategies of disguise, as he shifted seamlessly into different roles and characters. Casting himself as a succession of motley characters, Graham inhabited different personae, genres and art forms for the duration of his career. ‘It may be a burden to reinvent oneself every time,’ Graham said, ‘but it makes things more interesting.’
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.
Born in 1978 in Paris, France. The artist lives and works between Berlin and New York City.
Jenny Holzer is an American conceptual and installation artist whose work deploys text in public spaces across an array of media, including electronic signs, carved stone, paintings, billboards, and printed materials. Holzer’s oeuvre provokes public debate and illuminates social and political justice. Celebrated for her inimitable use of language and projects in the public sphere, Holzer creates a powerful tension between the realms of feeling and knowledge, with a practice that encompasses both individual and collective experiences of power and violence, vulnerability and tenderness.
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.
Born in Chicago in 1977, Rashid Johnson is among an influential cadre of contemporary American artists whose work employs a wide range of media to explore themes of art history, individual and shared cultural identities, personal narratives, literature, philosophy, materiality, and critical history. After studying in the photography department of the Art Institute of Chicago, Johnson's practice quickly expanded to embrace a wide range of media—including sculpture, painting, drawing, filmmaking, and installation—yielding a complex multidisciplinary practice that incorporates diverse materials rich with symbolism and personal history.
Sun 2 Jul – Sun 31 Dec 2023, 11 – 11.30 am
Discover our free, drop-in talks exploring the key works featured in our exhibition, ‘GRUPPENAUSSTELLUNG’, a celebration of Hauser & Wirth’s Swiss heritage through a playful presentation by over 20 artists.