From the outset of his career, Piero Golia has subverted the conventions of contemporary art through concept, form, and act. In January 2006 he vanished from New York, leaving no trace of his plans or whereabouts, only to resurface three weeks later at the Royal Academy of Arts in Copenhagen to give a lecture on his own disappearance. In 2008 he responded to the standardized brief of art fair booths by compacting a full-size passenger bus down to the six-meter width of the assigned space. Luminous Sphere (2010), a mysterious glowing orb installed on the roof of the Standard Hotel on Sunset Boulevard, lights up only when Golia is in Los Angeles; like a sacred presence expressed in LA vernacular, the mysterious cipher awaits projection of meaning from the casual passerby, and a contemporary urban legend is born.
Golia was born in 1974 in Naples, Italy. His work has been shown in major exhibitions in the United States and Europe, including Museo di Castel Sant’Elmo, Naples (2000); National Gallery of Arts, Tirana, Albania (2001); Fondazione Adriano Olivetti, Rome (2002); Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan, Italy (2004); Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo (2005); Serpentine Gallery, London (2006); PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2006); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2007); Istituto Svizzero, Venice (2009); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2010); MAXXI, Rome (2010); Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard, Paris (2012); and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014). Solo exhibitions include La Folie de la Villa Médicis, Académie de France à Rome, Villa Medici, Rome (2002); Double Tumble or the Awesome Twins, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2011); Chalet Hollywood, Los Angeles (2013–14); Chalet Dallas, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas (2015–16); Académie de France à Rome, Villa Medici, Rome (2016); and Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel (2017).
Golia participated in the 2nd Moscow Biennale (2007); SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico (2008–09); California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art (2008); 55th Biennale di Venezia, Venice (2013); and Made in L.A. 2014, the Hammer Museum’s 4th biennial.
Golia lives and works in Los Angeles.
March 26–May 16, 2020
Britannia Street, London
Suddenly, in the middle of the summer
July 19–August 24, 2018
Extended through September 10, 2015
June 9–September 10, 2015
The Dog and the Drop
July 14–September 3, 2014
Models, Monuments, and Sculptures on Pedestals
February 28–April 17, 2014
Concrete Cakes and Constellation Paintings
June 23–August 5, 2011
Alexander Wolf explores the economic, social, and methodological concerns of Piero Golia’s art practice, revealing the real-world implications of the artist’s experiments with form and process.
Gagosian Quarterly Fall 2019
The Fall 2019 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring a detail from Sinking (2019) by Nathaniel Mary Quinn on its cover.
Piero Golia: Intermission Paintings
Andrew Berardini reflects on Piero Golia’s Intermission Paintings, relics from the first phase of the artist’s three-part sculptural performance The Comedy of Craft.
Thursday, March 5, 2020, 6:30pm
Gagosian, Britannia Street, London
Join Gagosian for a tour of the group exhibition American Pastoral. The show juxtaposes modern and contemporary works with historical American landscapes ranging from Albert Bierstadt’s depiction of the sublime in Sunset over the River (1877) to Edward Hopper’s tranquil seaside scene, Gloucester Harbor (1926). Gagosian’s Alice Godwin will focus on a select grouping of exhibited works that seek to challenge the idealized vision of the American Dream that has long been a rich topic of inquiry for artists in the United States. To attend the free event, RSVP to email@example.com. Space is limited.
Installation view, American Pastoral, Gagosian, Britannia Street, London, January 23–March 14, 2020. Artwork, left to right: © Theaster Gates, © Adam McEwen, Thomas Moran, © Richard Prince, © Banks Violette, © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Lucy Dawkins
Frieze Los Angeles 2020
How to Shrink L.A.
February 14–16, 2020, booth C06
Paramount Picture Studios, Los Angeles
Gagosian is pleased to participate in Frieze Los Angeles 2020. Taking Los Angeles’s system of highways as a literal and figurative backdrop, the selection includes Richard Prince’s full-scale car sculpture Untitled (2008) and Chris Burden’s ominously oversize L.A.P.D. Uniform (1993). The booth also includes work by Jean-Michel Basquiat, John Chamberlain, Urs Fischer, Theaster Gates, Piero Golia, Alex Israel, Sally Mann, Adam McEwen, Cady Noland, Sterling Ruby, Ed Ruscha, Taryn Simon, Robert Therrien, Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann, and others.
Chris Burden, How to Shrink L.A., 1999 © 2020 Chris Burden/Licensed by the Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Sunday, September 22, 2019, 3pm
Centennial Mall, Lincoln, Nebraska
Piero Golia has been selected to participate in Lincoln PoPs, a contemporary art festival on P Street in downtown Lincoln. The festival will reflect on the voices and sounds of the world and how the auditory can create dialogue and community. Golia is creating a new performance piece titled EMOTIONAL, SPECTACULAR, BLOCKBUSTER! for the event.
Piero Golia’s performance of Roman Trilogy at Académie de France à Roma - Villa Medicis, Rome, 2016. Artwork © Piero Golia. Photo: Sebastiano Luciano
January 18–March 21, 2020
La Fondazione, Rome
This is the third and final performance of the Roman Trilogy, which premiered at Villa Medici–Académie de France à Rome in 2002, and was performed there again in 2016. In this work Piero Golia uses language, performers, music, fire, and more to expose the public to a “total work of art,” or Gesamtkunstwerk, an unforgettable experience. During the event, Golia will leave a “sign” on the floor of the La Fondazione Roma, which visitors can view through March 21, 2020.
Piero Golia’s performance of Roman Trilogy at Villa Medici–Académie de France à Rome, 2016. Artwork © Piero Golia. Photo: Sebastiano Luciano
Art and the Studio System
November 7, 2019–March 1, 2020
Yuz Museum, Shanghai
In Production: Art and the Studio System emphasizes the overlapping histories of visual art and film, with a particular focus on how the site of the studio, both in visual arts and in cinematic production, has radically shifted in the last twenty years. The exhibition highlights the exceptional gifts and acquisitions related to film and video that have entered the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s permanent collection in recent years including work by Piero Golia, Douglas Gordon, Alex Israel, and Mike Kelley.
Douglas Gordon, Déjà-Vu, 2000 , installation view, Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles. Artwork © Studio lost but found/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020 . D.O.A., 1950, USA. Directed by Rudolph Maté. Produced by Joseph H. Nadel, Harry M. Popkin, and Leo C. Popkin. Distributed by United Artists © Cardinal Pictures. Photo: Brian Forrest
Solutions to Mortality
January 20–April 1, 2018
Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita, Kansas
Solutions to Mortality is the result of Piero Golia’s Grafly commission at the Ulrich Museum. This commission invites artists to respond to the museum’s large collection of artwork by Charles M. Grafly. For his exhibition Golia has placed three works in the sculpture park of the museum: a cast of George Washington’s nose copied from Mount Rushmore, an upside-down statue of Garibaldi, and a section of the wall that separates Los Angeles from Orange County.
Piero Golia, Solutions to Mortality (George Washington Nose), 2018. Photo by Manfredi Gioacchini
99 Cents or Less
May 19–August 6, 2017
Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
A major group exhibition of ninety-nine artists based in the United States addresses Detroit’s ongoing economic crisis and its 2013 bankruptcy. Four years after a federal judge approved Detroit’s bankruptcy-exit plan, the city’s financial present and future are still in flux. This exhibition is a reflection on the realities of a city that was once one of the country’s wealthiest and most diverse. Work by Piero Golia, Alex Israel, Adam McEwen, Josephine Meckseper, and Sterling Ruby is included.
Sterling Ruby, 99/MK, 2017. Photo by Robert Wedemeyer