It’s about technology changing what it means to be human. There’s a self-actualization aspect to it that’s potentially positive, but I mostly associate it with the relentless push to squeeze more productivity out of workers—turning people into reliable, always-on office appliances.
Gagosian is pleased to present Laws of Motion, an exhibition of works by Josh Kline, Jeff Koons, Cady Noland, Rosemarie Trockel, Jeff Wall, and Anicka Yi. The exhibition will open in Hong Kong and travel to Gagosian San Francisco in January 2019. Its title refers to Karl Marx’s application of scientific laws to systems of capital.
Forty years ago, the art of Koons, Noland, Trockel, and Wall merged strategies of commercial display and formalism, isolating inherent social archetypes and stereotypes. Laws of Motion begins with key artworks from the 1980s that responded to a world saturated in the aesthetics and language of advertising, exploiting its techniques while making visible its latent and subconscious pull.
Koons’s paradigmatic series The New examines themes of domestic use and hygienic order, employing industrial readymades such as vacuum cleaners stacked and isolated in gleaming museum vitrines. The built-in obsolescence of domestic tools and consumer products contrasts with their aspirational qualities, raising philosophical questions of newness and desire. While Noland’s assemblage of emptied beer bottles and a discarded mailbox in Trashed Mailbox (1989) conjures a potent image of American male delinquency, Trockel’s wall-mounted stove top reduces or elevates a central symbol of domestic life to pure geometric abstraction, obliquely engaging a feminist discourse.
In the late 1970s, Wall began presenting photographs as light boxes, a format typically used for display advertising. Over the following decades, he created images that were both epic and intimate reflections on the actions and accumulations of daily life. Diagonal Composition (1993) depicts banal and abject subject matter using formal harmony and rich chromatic detail. In Men Move an Engine Block and Siphoning Fuel (both 2008) the car is a focus of both communal enterprise and criminal exploitation.
With the onset of the digital age, the relationship between marketing, labor, and value has grown ever more symbiotic, just as the purity of art, media, and data becomes increasingly elusive. Recent works by Yi and Kline identify updated manifestations of the heady consumerism of the 1980s. Yi engages the politics and personal resonance of chemicals, bacteria, and other normally ambient matter, in order to create moments of disequilibrium that underscore gender inequality, environmental degradation, and institutional mechanisms of power and control. For Immigrant Caucus (2017), she distilled a number of olfactory elements into portable spray cans, asking, “How do we imagine that immigrants, or foreigners, smell?” On Being Biochemical and Quorom Sensing (both 2018) are rectangular wall-hung boards covered in what resembles an organic growth: mold or fungus, as though a clinically defined area has been turned into a breeding ground, inadvertently becoming something like abstract painting. The surface of each work is interspersed with shelves or openings through which light, fake flowers, or hardware can be seen, giving a previously unperceived depth to the rectangular board. For Deep State (2017) she made light boxes from photographs of bacterial cultures, the intricate organic patterns frozen mid-bloom or decay.
Body parts, pharmaceuticals, and sanitizing products pervade Kline’s assemblages, installations, and videos, reflecting on the ways in which technology impacts humans. Riffing on familiar phrases such as Handled with Care (2017), his monochromatic gray piles of rubble suggest the potential consequences of automation and artificial intelligence on labor, namely mass unemployment. In this sense, Kline’s postapocalyptic assemblages function as punctuation marks to the excesses of the 1980s.
By manipulating systems of production, marketing, and display in art within the gallery setting, this cross-generational exhibition probes the similarities between the logic of market production and formalism itself. Over the past four decades, as technology has evolved, artists have changed their approaches to it and to the societal upheaval it has effected. Yet, despite the changing mechanisms of consumption, the human relationships to object and product remain startlingly similar.
高古軒畫廊欣然呈獻「運動定律」展覽，展出約什·克萊恩(Josh Kline)、傑夫·昆斯(Jeff Koons)、卡迪·諾蘭德(Cady Noland)、羅斯瑪麗·特羅克爾(Rosemarie Trockel)、傑夫·沃爾(Jeff Wall)及安妮卡·伊(Anicka Yi)的精彩作品。是次展覽將於香港揭幕，並於2019年1月巡展至三藩市高古軒畫廊。而標題「運動定律」則源自卡爾·馬克思(Karl Marx)將科學定律應用於資本制度的做法。
傑夫·昆斯的經典系列《The New》探索家居用品及衛生秩序的主題，將吸塵機等現成工業製品疊放，置於閃閃發亮的玻璃展示櫃內。已過時的家居用品及消費品與其宣稱的特質形成強烈對比，令人反思新奇與欲望的概念。諾蘭德以空的啤酒瓶及廢棄郵箱拼成《Trashed Mailbox》(1989)，令人聯想起美國男性罪犯的鮮明形象，而特羅克爾則將煮食爐掛在牆上，將代表家庭生活的經典標誌削弱或升華至純粹的抽象幾何圖案，間接地展開一場女權的對話。
在1970年代末，沃爾開始以廣告常用的燈箱展示攝影作品。在其後數十年，他創作許多大小型的作品，反思日常生活的行為及體驗。《Diagonal Composition》(1993)利用和諧的形式及豐富的色彩細節，描繪被人忽視的平凡題材。而在《Men Move an Engine Block》(2008)及《Siphoning Fuel》(2008)裡，汽車成為公眾協作及犯罪活動的焦點。
步入數碼時代後，營銷、勞工及價值之間的關係變得更息息相關，而藝術、媒體及數據的純粹性則變得更爲罕見。克萊恩及安妮卡·伊的近期作品以現代手法體現1980年代盛行的消費主義。安妮卡·伊利用政治，以及自己對化學品、細菌與其他普通環境物品的感覺，創造出失衡的時刻，突顯性別不平等、環境惡化，以及權力和控制機制等議題。於《Immigrant Caucus》(2017)中，她提煉幾種氣味，再注入便攜式噴霧瓶中，然後提出「我們如何想像移民或外國人的味道？」的問題。《On Being Biochemical》(2018)及《Quorom Sensing》(2018)在長方形的掛牆畫板上，佈滿類似黴菌或真菌等有機物，就像將劃定的臨床專區變成繁殖場，再不經意地變成抽象畫之類的東西。每幅作品的表面都有零散的層板或開口，從中可看到燈光、假花或裝飾，為長方形畫板賦予前所未有的深度。至於《Deep State》(2017)，她則以細菌培養物的照片製作燈箱，將繁殖中或腐爛的有機物變成精緻的圖案。
約什·克萊恩的集合藝術、藝術裝置及影像充滿身體部位、藥品及消毒用品，令觀賞者反思科技對人類的影響。在《Handled with Care》(2017)中，他重複熟悉的字句，以灰色的碎石堆表達自動化及人工智能對勞工的潛在影響，亦即大規模失業。在此層面，克萊恩以末日後幻想為題材的集合藝術作品，標誌著物質過剩的1980年代。
Laws of Motion
Catalyzed by Laws of Motion—a group exhibition pairing artworks from the 1980s on by Jeff Koons, Cady Noland, Rosemarie Trockel, and Jeff Wall with contemporary sculptures by Josh Kline and Anicka Yi—Wyatt Allgeier discusses the convergences and divergences in these artists’ practices with an eye to the economic worlds from which they spring.
Jeff Wall and Gary Dufour
Jeff Wall speaks to Gary Dufour about his new photographs, made on the beachfront of English Bay in Vancouver, Canada, that record the endlessly varied and shifting patterns created in seaweed by the ebb and flow of the tide.
Death Valley ’89: Jeff Wall vs. Photography
Daniel Spaulding considers formal and technical developments in the photographer’s work against the background of global shifts of power and politics, specifically the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
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.
Intimate Grandeur: Glenstone Museum
Paul Goldberger tracks the evolution of Mitchell and Emily Rales’s Glenstone Museum in Potomac, Maryland. Set amid 230 acres of pristine landscape and housing a world-class collection of modern and contemporary art, this graceful complex of pavilions, designed by architects Thomas Phifer and Partners, opened to the public in the fall of 2018.
Jeff Wall: The Space of Photography
Jeff Wall leads a tour through his most recent exhibition in New York.
November 18–24, 2020
From his pioneering use of backlit color transparencies in the 1970s to his intricately staged scenes of enigmatic incidents from daily life, literature, and film, Jeff Wall has expanded the definition of the photograph, both as object and as illusion. His pictures range from classical reportage and the direct contemplation of natural forms to elaborate constructions and montages, usually produced at a large scale traditionally identified with painting.
Photo: Andrew Querner
Laws of Motion
Josh Kline, Jeff Koons, Cady Noland, Rosemarie Trockel, Jeff Wall, Anicka Yi
January 14–March 9, 2019