In the presence of these tableaux we are denied both the privacy of contemplating a representation and the intimacy of participating in a real encounter. As a consequence we find Beecroft’s women, at once more present to us and less accessible than we would wish – as unavailable to our understanding as they are available to our gaze. Our anxiety, then, does not arise from the fact that naked women are near to us, but from the unbridgeable, yet ill-defined distance between ourselves and them. It is not the anxiety of desire, but the anxiety of displacement.
—Dave Hickey, Vanessa Beecroft’s Painted Ladies, VB08-36 (published by Hatje Cantz, 2000)
Gagosian Gallery is pleased to announce VB46 a new performance by Vanessa Beecroft. VB46 will be Beecroft’s first performance in Los Angeles. VB46 is the second performance with Gagosian Gallery; the first, VB43 inaugurated the London Gagosian Gallery space in May 2000.
The primary material in Vanessa Beecroft’s work is the live figure, which remains ephemeral, separate and unmediated by any device we normally accept as artform, such as painting or sculpture. Beecroft’s concepts often germinate from classical painting. The composition, light and color dictate the form of the live event. The selected group of figures denotes a hyper-real type; their installation in the space creates an image that moves very slowly and gradually over time. The performances are documented using film and photographs, which serve to translate fragments from the real time event.
Vanessa Beecroft, born in Italy and residing in New York City, has earned an international reputation as one of contemporary art’s most innovative young artists. Her work has been exhibited at international venues including the Kunsthalle Wien, (2001), Whitney Biennale, New York (2000), Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (1999), Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (1999), Spiral Wacoal Art Center, Tokyo (1999), Guggenheim Museum, New York (1998) and the Venice Biennale (1997). Upcoming performances include VB48, which will be held at the Royal Botanic Gardens during the 2001 Edinburgh Festival, and next year, a project in collaboration with NASA in Sweden. Beecroft currently has an exhibition of drawings made prior to her first performance works (between 1992 and 1994). The exhibition is touring European museums and will open at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo on March 23, 2001.