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Robert Therrien

March 21–May 11, 2019
San Francisco

Installation view Artwork © 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold

Installation view

Artwork © 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold

Installation view Artwork © 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold

Installation view

Artwork © 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold

Installation view Artwork © 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold

Installation view

Artwork © 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold

Installation view Artwork © 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold

Installation view

Artwork © 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold

Installation view Artwork © 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold

Installation view

Artwork © 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold

Installation view Artwork © 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold

Installation view

Artwork © 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold

Installation view Artwork © 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold

Installation view

Artwork © 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold

Installation view Artwork © 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold

Installation view

Artwork © 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold

Installation view Artwork © 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold

Installation view

Artwork © 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold

Installation view Artwork © 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold

Installation view

Artwork © 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold

Installation view Artwork © 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold

Installation view

Artwork © 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold

Installation view Artwork © 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold

Installation view

Artwork © 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Johnna Arnold

Works Exhibited

Robert Therrien, No title (witch hat), 2018 Plastic, 16 ⅝ × 9 ¼ × 9 ¼ inches (42.2 × 23.5 × 23.5 cm)© 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Josh White

Robert Therrien, No title (witch hat), 2018

Plastic, 16 ⅝ × 9 ¼ × 9 ¼ inches (42.2 × 23.5 × 23.5 cm)
© 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Josh White

Robert Therrien, No title (white smoke signal), 2019 Ink, enamel, and graphite, 66 ¼ × 48 inches (168.3 × 121.9 cm)© 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Josh White

Robert Therrien, No title (white smoke signal), 2019

Ink, enamel, and graphite, 66 ¼ × 48 inches (168.3 × 121.9 cm)
© 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Josh White

Robert Therrien, No title (hands and tambourines), 2018 Color and enamel with graphite on panel, 63 ¾ × 48 inches (161.9 × 121.9 × 3.8 cm)© 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Josh White

Robert Therrien, No title (hands and tambourines), 2018

Color and enamel with graphite on panel, 63 ¾ × 48 inches (161.9 × 121.9 × 3.8 cm)
© 2019 Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Josh White

About

There is a diversity in the way people see. Some always see flat. Others always in perspective.
—Robert Therrien

Gagosian is pleased to present new works by Robert Therrien. This is his first solo exhibition in San Francisco in more than twenty years.

Central to Therrien’s process is the repetition and refinement of found and invented forms. As he translates seemingly simple subjects from two to three dimensions or from small to large and back again, familiar images become oddly cryptic—like ambiguous linguistic units whose meanings shift depending on their placement and orientation. Entirely new motifs emerge from this process: renderings of a chapel evolve into an oilcan; snowmen become clouds; and a stork beak is echoed in the bent tip of a witch hat.

Attesting to Therrien’s interest in cartoons and animation (especially that of Max Fleischer), new works depict puffy cloud-like forms resembling smoke signals or thought bubbles. Therrien leaves the symbols’ meaning unclear, exploring their formal qualities instead, so that some clouds appear completely flat, like decals, and others more voluminous. For No title (black cloud mirror) (2016), he painted his iconic black cloud form on the back of a mirror after sanding away some of the silver to create an antique-looking surface. The mirror thus becomes an almost alchemical environment, as the viewer’s reflection coalesces with both the metallic haze and the black cloud within it. Therrien’s only other mirror work is from the 1980s and depicts a snowman: the cloud simply turned ninety degrees. The progressions in his fine-tuned symbolic vocabulary are epitomized further by a series of four wall reliefs—cutouts of a ranch house, a chapel, a pitcher, and a barn—hanging in silhouette.

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Press

FITZ & CO
Allison Therrien
atherrien@fitzandco.art
+1 646 589 0921

Yun Lee
ylee@fitzandco.art
+1 646 589 0920

Gagosian
presssf@gagosian.com
+1 415 546 3990

News

Robert Therrien, No title (witch hat), 2018 © Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Josh White

Tour

Robert Therrien

Saturday, March 30, 2019, 3pm
Gagosian, San Francisco

Join Gagosian for a private tour and in-depth look at Robert Therrien’s first solo exhibition in San Francisco in twenty years. In this exhibition of new paintings and sculptures, the artist pares down familiar forms such as smoke signals, stacked plates, and a witch hat to the point that they become symbols and silhouettes, underscoring the simple beauty and infinite meaning inherent in common objects. The tour, led by Graham Dalik, will consider Therrien’s continual reinvention of these motifs through shifts in medium, perspective, and scale. To attend the free event, RSVP to sftours@gagosian.com.  

Robert Therrien, No title (witch hat), 2018 © Robert Therrien/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Josh White