People always think I’m joking. But I am a serious man.
Gagosian is pleased to present an exhibition by Piero Golia.
Golia is a sculptor of situations. His works—at times architecturally scaled, at others elusive or immaterial—are statements aimed at expanding the boundaries of art. His practice is heterogeneous and unpredictable, employing diverse mediums and methods to spark chain reactions that, even when they leave no objects or images behind, have the capacity to alter our perception.
In 2003, after his involvement in a car accident that threw him into debt, Golia took the remains of his 1984 Saab, melted them down, and recast them into a glossy black unicorn. Five years later, he responded to the standardized format of the art-fair booth by compressing a 10-meter-long passenger bus into the 6-meter width of the assigned space, filling it completely. In 2010, he installed a sculpture atop the roof of the Standard Hotel on Sunset Boulevard—a mysterious orb, Luminous Sphere, which lit up whenever he was in town.
In 2013, Golia opened Chalet, a speakeasy in the heart of Hollywood. The club rapidly became a local legend, attracting an extraordinary crowd of artists, curators, designers, poets, and celebrities. Presented by the artist as an architectural tool for community building, it operated for more than eighteen months in its original location before moving to the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas for six additional months. In 2016, after a grand finale with marching bands and fireworks, a curtain bearing the Looney Tunes sign-off—“That’s all Folks!”—dropped to seal the establishment’s door forever.
For this exhibition, Golia has engineered a surreal “sculptural happening” by choreographing a set of objects and incidents to create a singular experience that seems to unfold outside of time. A ball spiraling around a roulette wheel signals the start of a unique adventure. Viewers witness, in rhythmic sequence, a biological occurrence, an instance of extreme weather, and an object coming to a catastrophic end—events that together form a living tableau in constant motion. Golia’s exhibition regenerates itself from moment to moment, suggesting that repetition and renewal might give rise to heightened sculptural presence.
Alexander Wolf explores the economic, social, and methodological concerns of Piero Golia’s art practice, revealing the real-world implications of the artist’s experiments with form and process.
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.
Piero Golia: Intermission Paintings
Andrew Berardini reflects on Piero Golia’s Intermission Paintings, relics from the first phase of the artist’s three-part sculptural performance The Comedy of Craft.
Monday, July 6, 2020, 12pm EDT
Join Gagosian for a virtual tour of Piero Golia: Still Life, an exhibition on view at Gagosian, Britannia Street, London, through July 31. The Los Angeles–based artist will speak online with Berlin-based artist Jonathan Monk about the surreal “sculptural happening” Golia has engineered but will never see in person due to restrictions on international travel during the pandemic. To watch the live conversation, register at zoom.us.
Piero Golia, Still Life (Rotating device), 2019 © Piero Golia
Extended through September 10, 2015
June 9–September 10, 2015