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Critical Dictionary

In homage to G. Bataille

June 1–July 28, 2018
rue de Ponthieu, Paris

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Installation video

Installation view Artwork © 2018 Judd Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Installation view

Artwork © 2018 Judd Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Installation view Artwork, left to right: © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris, © 2018 C. Herscovici, Brussels/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, © Estate of Duane Hanson/Licensed by VAGA, New York. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Installation view

Artwork, left to right: © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris, © 2018 C. Herscovici, Brussels/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, © Estate of Duane Hanson/Licensed by VAGA, New York. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Installation view Artwork © Joe Bradley. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Installation view

Artwork © Joe Bradley. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Installation view with Anish Kapoor, Chamber 3 (2016) Artwork © Anish Kapoor/DACS, London 2018. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Installation view with Anish Kapoor, Chamber 3 (2016)

Artwork © Anish Kapoor/DACS, London 2018. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Installation view Artwork © ADAGP, Paris 2018. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Installation view

Artwork © ADAGP, Paris 2018. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Works Exhibited

Donald Judd, untitled, 1991 Oil on plywood and aluminum, 19 ½ × 45 × 30 inches (49.5 × 114.3 × 76.2 cm)© 2018 Judd Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Donald Judd, untitled, 1991

Oil on plywood and aluminum, 19 ½ × 45 × 30 inches (49.5 × 114.3 × 76.2 cm)
© 2018 Judd Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Guido Reni, Saint Jérôme, c. 1605–10 Oil on canvas, 26 ¼ × 21 ⅛ inches (66.7 × 53.7 cm)

Guido Reni, Saint Jérôme, c. 1605–10

Oil on canvas, 26 ¼ × 21 ⅛ inches (66.7 × 53.7 cm)

Wassily Kandinsky, Dicht, 1929 Oil on canvasboard, 12 ⅝ × 16 inches (32 × 41 cm)© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

Wassily Kandinsky, Dicht, 1929

Oil on canvasboard, 12 ⅝ × 16 inches (32 × 41 cm)
© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

René Magritte, Le Démon de la Perversité (ou L’Ombre Monumentale), 1929 Oil on cardboard, 10 ⅝ × 13 ¾ inches (27 × 35 cm)© 2018 C. Herscovici, Brussels/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

René Magritte, Le Démon de la Perversité (ou L’Ombre Monumentale), 1929

Oil on cardboard, 10 ⅝ × 13 ¾ inches (27 × 35 cm)
© 2018 C. Herscovici, Brussels/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Duane Hanson, High School Student, 1990 Autobody filler polychromed in oil and mixed media with accessories, 72 × 24 × 17 inches (182.9 × 61 × 43.2 cm)© Estate of Duane Hanson/Licensed by VAGA, New York

Duane Hanson, High School Student, 1990

Autobody filler polychromed in oil and mixed media with accessories, 72 × 24 × 17 inches (182.9 × 61 × 43.2 cm)
© Estate of Duane Hanson/Licensed by VAGA, New York

Unknown artist, clan shrine figure, Tchitcheri Sakwa (Togo), c. 1900 Wood, 53 × 8 × 8 inches (134.6 × 20.3 × 20.3 cm)

Unknown artist, clan shrine figure, Tchitcheri Sakwa (Togo), c. 1900

Wood, 53 × 8 × 8 inches (134.6 × 20.3 × 20.3 cm)

Joe Bradley, Real Goon, 2017 Oil on canvas, 62 ¼ × 66 ⅛ inches (158.1 × 168 cm)© Joe Bradley

Joe Bradley, Real Goon, 2017

Oil on canvas, 62 ¼ × 66 ⅛ inches (158.1 × 168 cm)
© Joe Bradley

Anish Kapoor, Chamber 3, 2016 Alabaster, gold leaf, and pencil, 37 ⅜ × 24 × 22 ⅞ inches (95 × 61 × 58 cm)© Anish Kapoor/DACS, London 2018

Anish Kapoor, Chamber 3, 2016

Alabaster, gold leaf, and pencil, 37 ⅜ × 24 × 22 ⅞ inches (95 × 61 × 58 cm)
© Anish Kapoor/DACS, London 2018

Paolo Schiavo, Madonna con Bambino in Trono, c. 1440–45 Oil on panel, 41 × 27 ¼ inches (104.5 × 69 cm)

Paolo Schiavo, Madonna con Bambino in Trono, c. 1440–45

Oil on panel, 41 × 27 ¼ inches (104.5 × 69 cm)

Frank Stella, D. Scramble: Ascending Green Values/Ascending Spectrum, 1978 Acrylic on canvas, 69 × 69 inches (175.3 × 175.3 cm)© ADAGP, Paris 2018

Frank Stella, D. Scramble: Ascending Green Values/Ascending Spectrum, 1978

Acrylic on canvas, 69 × 69 inches (175.3 × 175.3 cm)
© ADAGP, Paris 2018

Unknown artist, statue depicting a young man, probably the god Apollo, 2nd century AD White marble, 28 ½ × 9 ⅞ × 9 ⅞ inches (72.3 × 24 × 21 cm)

Unknown artist, statue depicting a young man, probably the god Apollo, 2nd century AD

White marble, 28 ½ × 9 ⅞ × 9 ⅞ inches (72.3 × 24 × 21 cm)

About

A dictionary should begin from the point when it is no longer concerned with the meaning but only with the use of words. Thus “formless” is not only an adjective with a certain meaning, but a term serving to deprecate, implying the general demand that everything should have a form.
—Georges Bataille, 1929

Gagosian is pleased to present Critical Dictionary: In homage to G. Bataille, a group exhibition that takes its title from Georges Bataille’s deconstructive text and juxtaposes artworks of different time periods and styles.

For Bataille, words and images were subject to infinite conflicts and variations, transforming according to their use and context. While his Critical Dictionary (1929–30) explicates terms ranging from “materialism” to “spittle” through circuitous, free-associating paragraphs, the exhibition puts into question the hierarchies and chronologies of art history by grouping classical sculpture, postwar avant-garde painting, and key contemporary works. Focused primarily on the dialogue between sculpture and painting, the combinations reveal the ways in which proximity can confer new meaning on objects.

The exhibition includes works by Louise Bourgeois, Joe Bradley, Alberto Burri, Dan Flavin, Helen Frankenthaler, Duane Hanson, Donald Judd, Wassily Kandinsky, Anish Kapoor, René Magritte, Guido Reni, Paolo Schiavo, Frank Stella, and Mary Weatherford, as well as a tchitcheri sakwa, a clan shrine figure made in Togo circa 1900, and a Roman sculpture from the second century.

Un dictionnaire commencerait à partir du moment où il ne donnerait plus le sens mais les besognes des mots. Ainsi ‘informe’ n’est pas seulement un adjectif ayant tel sens mais un terme servant à déclasser, exigeant généralement que chaque chose ait sa forme.
—Georges Bataille, 1929

Gagosian est heureuse de présenter Critical Dictionary: In homage to G. Bataille, une exposition collective qui tire son titre du texte déconstruit de Georges Bataille et qui juxtapose des oeuvres d’époques et de styles différents.

Pour Bataille, les mots et les images sont sujets à d’infinis conflits et variations, se transformant selon leur usage et le contexte. Dans le Dictionnaire Critique (1929 – 1930), des termes allant de «matérialisme» à «crachat» sont analysés dans des paragraphes tortueux, caractérisés par la libre association. L’exposition interroge les hiérarchies et chronologies de l’histoire de l’art en mettant en relation sculpture classique, peinture d’avant-garde et oeuvres d’art contemporain fondamentales. Principalement focalisées sur le dialogue entre sculpture et peinture, les combinaisons révèlent la manière dont la proximité peut conférer une nouvelle signification aux objets.

L’exposition comprend des oeuvres de Louise Bourgeois, Joe Bradley, Alberto Burri, Dan Flavin, Helen Frankenthaler, Duane Hanson, Donald Judd, Wassily Kandinsky, Anish Kapoor, René Magritte, Guido Reni, Paolo Schiavo, Frank Stella, et Mary Weatherford, ainsi qu’un tchitcheri sakwa, une statue de culte clanique fabriquée au Togo vers 1900, et une sculpture romaine du deuxième siècle.

Marta Kuzma, Eileen Costello, and Caitlin Murray in conversation surrounded by Donald Judd paintings.

In Conversation
Eileen Costello, Marta Kuzma, and Caitlin Murray on Donald Judd: Paintings

Art historian Eileen Costello and Yale School of Art professor Marta Kuzma discuss Donald Judd’s two-dimensional work and how the lessons he learned from the innovations of Abstract Expressionist and Color Field paintings permeate his entire body of work. Their conversation is moderated by Caitlin Murray, director of archives and programs at Judd Foundation.

Martha Buskirk and Peter Ballantine speaking with one another

In Conversation
Peter Ballantine and Martha Buskirk on Donald Judd

Peter Ballantine, Donald Judd’s longtime fabricator of plywood works, and Martha Buskirk, professor of art history and criticism at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts, discuss the development, production, and history of the largest plywood construction Judd ever made, an untitled work from 1980.

Katy Hessel, Matthew Holman, and Eleanor Nairne

In Conversation
Katy Hessel, Matthew Holman, and Eleanor Nairne on Helen Frankenthaler

Broadcaster and art historian Katy Hessel; Matthew Holman, associate lecturer in English at University College London; and Eleanor Nairne, curator at the Barbican Art Gallery, London, discuss Helen Frankenthaler’s early training, the development of her signature soak-stain technique and subsequent shifts in style, and her connections to the London art world.

Helen Frankenthaler, Heart of London Map, steel sculpture

Helen Frankenthaler: A Painter’s Sculptures

On the occasion of four exhibitions in London exploring different aspects of Helen Frankenthaler’s work, Lauren Mahony introduces texts by the sculptor Anthony Caro and by the artist herself on her relatively unfamiliar first body of sculpture, made in the summer of 1972 in Caro’s London studio.

Carrie Mae Weems’s The Louvre (2006), on the cover of Gagosian Quarterly, Summer 2021

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