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An American in Paris

Works from a Private Collection

January 28–July 19, 2014
Le Bourget

Installation view Photo: Zarko Vijatovic

Installation view

Photo: Zarko Vijatovic

Installation view  Photo: Zarko Vijatovic

Installation view

Photo: Zarko Vijatovic

Installation view  Photo: Zarko Vijatovic

Installation view

Photo: Zarko Vijatovic

Installation view  Photo: Zarko Vijatovic

Installation view

Photo: Zarko Vijatovic

Installation view  Photo: Zarko Vijatovic

Installation view

Photo: Zarko Vijatovic

Installation view  Photo: Zarko Vijatovic

Installation view

Photo: Zarko Vijatovic

Installation view  Photo: Zarko Vijatovic

Installation view

Photo: Zarko Vijatovic

Installation view  Photo: Zarko Vijatovic

Installation view

Photo: Zarko Vijatovic

Installation view  Photo: Zarko Vijatovic

Installation view

Photo: Zarko Vijatovic

Installation view  Photo: Zarko Vijatovic

Installation view

Photo: Zarko Vijatovic

Installation view  Photo: Zarko Vijatovic

Installation view

Photo: Zarko Vijatovic

Works Exhibited

Jeff Koonx, Balloon Swan (Red), 2004–11 Mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating, 138 × 119 × 94 inches (350.5 × 302.3 × 238.8 cm), 1 of 5 unique versions © Jeff Koons

Jeff Koonx, Balloon Swan (Red), 2004–11

Mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating, 138 × 119 × 94 inches (350.5 × 302.3 × 238.8 cm), 1 of 5 unique versions
© Jeff Koons

About

Gagosian Paris is pleased to present An American in Paris: Works from a Private Collection.

From Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Can (Black Bean) [Ferus Type] (1962) to Jeff Koons’s Hole III (of 2008), the exhibition presents a panorama of the avant-garde of the past half century. This selection from a bold and discerning American collection highlights pivotal, often large-scale works from six contemporary artists who have persistently engaged unexpected subject matter through uncommon media. Richard Prince’s The Housewife and the Grocer (1988)—pink text on a matte gold background—is an archetypal work from his deadpan Joke series; the crusted surface of a black canvas by Damien Hirst is, upon closer scrutiny, revealed to consist of thousands of dead flies. Cy Twombly’s early graphite-on-canvas scrawl, Untitled (Lexington, Virginia) (1959), holds impulsive expression and formal restraint in perfect balance, while large-scale canvases from the late Bacchus series course with visceral red loops and drips. Warhol’s Mona Lisa Four Times (1978) points to the endless reproducibility of masterpieces, and a painting of over ten meters transforms a readymade camouflage pattern into Pop-abstraction. The exhibition also provides varied approaches to shared subject matter; for example, Twombly’s immense Rose painting provides a gestural counterpart to Warhol’s flat, affectless Flowers.

Some recent sculptures convey the technical, material, and philosophical diversity at play in three-dimensional form. Forgotten Love (2007), Hirst’s massive reimagining of a medicine cabinet, displays a multitude of jewel-like pills meticulously fabricated from resin, an imposing reminder of the increasing reliance on supplements. Urs Fischer’s reflections on mortality take the form of a giant candle—a lifelike figure made entirely of a wax mixture, fitted with wicks and lit. Expanding on his enduring fascination with childhood experiences and childlike consciousness, Koons’s Balloon Swan (Red) (2006) reconceives a child’s party favor as a mesmerizing monumental form. With its impressive scale, fluid lines, and immaculate, mirrorlike surface, the stainless-steel sculpture achieves a perfect tension between representation and abstraction. A sampling of seven artists’ outsize innovations in painting and sculpture since the Pop era, the works on view have been brought together by a patron’s preference for fierce originality.

Gagosian Paris est heureuse de présenter Un Américain à Paris: Œuvres provenant d’une Collection Privée.

De la Campbell’s Soup Can (Black Bean) [Ferus Type] d’Andy Warhol (de 1962) à Hole III de Jeff Koons (de 2008), l’exposition présente un panorama de l’art d’avant-garde des cinquante dernières années. Cette sélection d’œuvres provenant d’une collection américaine audacieuse et avertie, met l’accent sur des œuvres clés, souvent monumentales réalisées par six artistes contemporains qui ont toujours traité de thématiques singulières par l’utilisation de mediums hors du commun. The Housewife and the Grocer (1988) de Richard Prince—un texte rose sur un fond en or mat—est une œuvre typique appartenant à sa série pince sans rire Joke. La surface croutée d’une toile noire réalisée par Damien Hirst, après un examen plus approfondi, se révèle composée de milliers de mouches mortes. Untitled (Lexington, Virginia) (1959), une des premières toiles au graphite de Cy Twombly, est un gribouillis illisible qui maintient un parfait équilibre entre l’expression impulsive et la retenue formelle, tandis que ses grandes toiles d’une série plus tardive Bacchus évoluent en forme de boucles et gouttes rouges et viscérales. Mona Lisa Four Times (1978) de Warhol souligne la reproductibilité sans fin de chefs-d’œuvre, et une peinture de plus de dix mètres de long transforme un motif de camouflage readymade en pop abstraction. L’exposition propose aussi des approches variées à la thématique du sujet commun; par exemple, l’immense peinture Rose de Twombly fournit un pendant gestuel aux Flowers plates et figées de Warhol.

Quelques sculptures récentes évoquent la diversité technique, matérielle et philosophique en jeu dans la forme tridimensionnelle. Forgotten Love (2007), réinvention exceptionnelle d’une armoire à pharmacie par Hirst, sur laquelle est exposée une multitude de pilules ressemblant à des bijoux méticuleusement fabriqués en résine, constitue un rappel imposant de la dépendance croissante aux médicaments. Les réflexions sur la mortalité prennent la forme d’une bougie géante pour Urs Fischer—une sculpture d’homme réaliste est entièrement composée de mélange de cires, munies de mèches et allumées. Poursuivant sa fascination durable pour les expériences de l’enfance et la conscience enfantine, l’œuvre Balloon Swan (Red) (2004–11) de Koons, réinvente un cadeau d’enfant en une forme monumentale et envoutante. Avec sa taille impressionnante, ses lignes fluides et sa surface immaculée—aux allures de miroir—la sculpture en acier inoxydable accomplit une tension parfaite entre la représentation et l’abstraction. Selections de peintures et sculptures, à la fois innovantes et gigantesques, de sept artistes depuis le mouvement Pop, les œuvres exposées ont été rassemblées par un mécène passionné d’originalité.

Alexander Calder poster for McGovern, 1972, lithograph

The Art History of Presidential Campaign Posters

Against the backdrop of the 2020 US presidential election, historian Hal Wert takes us through the artistic and political evolution of American campaign posters, from their origin in 1844 to the present. In an interview with Quarterly editor Gillian Jakab, Wert highlights an array of landmark posters and the artists who made them.

Allen Midgette in front of the Chelsea Hotel, New York, 2000. Photo: Rita Barros

I’ll Be Your Mirror: Allen Midgette

Raymond Foye speaks with the actor who impersonated Andy Warhol during the great Warhol lecture hoax in the late 1960s. The two also discuss Midgette’s earlier film career in Italy and the difficulty of performing in a Warhol film.

The cover of Richard Prince: Cowboy, edited by Robert M. Rubin and published by Fulton Ryder and DelMonico Books | Prestel, New York, in 2020.

Richard Prince: Cowboy

On the occasion of the publication of Richard Prince: Cowboy, a major monograph on the artist’s preoccupation with the mythic American West, Luc Sante tracks the archetype through mass media, advertising, and the art of Richard Prince to illuminate the cowboy’s enduring appeal.

Andy Warhol catalogue. Philadelphia: Institute of Contemporary Art, 1965.

Book Corner
On Collecting with Norman Diekman

Rare-book expert Douglas Flamm speaks with designer Norman Diekman about his unique collection of books on art and architecture. Diekman describes his first plunge into book collecting, the history behind it, and the way his passion for collecting grew.

Andy Warhol cover design for the magazine Aspen 1, no. 3.

Artists’ Magazines

Gwen Allen recounts her discovery of cutting-edge artists’ magazines from the 1960s and 1970s and explores the roots and implications of these singular publications.

Andrea Domenico Remps, Cabinet of Curiosities, c. 1690, oil on canvas, 39 × 54 inches (99 × 137 cm), Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Florence, Italy.

For Sale: Baby Shoes. Never Worn.

Sydney Stutterheim meditates on the power and possibilities of small-format artworks throughout time.