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An Ideal Landscape

February 9–March 27, 2021
980 Madison Avenue, New York

Installation view Artwork, left to right: © Urs Fischer, © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork, left to right: © Urs Fischer, © Albert Oehlen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork, left to right: © Albert Oehlen; © 2021 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork, left to right: © Albert Oehlen; © 2021 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork, left to right: © 2021 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; © Jennifer Guidi. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork, left to right: © 2021 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; © Jennifer Guidi. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork, left to right: © Jennifer Guidi, © Theaster Gates. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork, left to right: © Jennifer Guidi, © Theaster Gates. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork, left to right: © Theaster Gates, © Neil Jenney. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork, left to right: © Theaster Gates, © Neil Jenney. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork, left to right: © Neil Jenney, © Jonas Wood. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork, left to right: © Neil Jenney, © Jonas Wood. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork, left to right: © Jonas Wood, © Mary Weatherford. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork, left to right: © Jonas Wood, © Mary Weatherford. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork, left to right: © Mary Weatherford, © Urs Fischer. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork, left to right: © Mary Weatherford, © Urs Fischer. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view with Adam McEwen, Titanic Iceberg #3 (Blue) (2018) Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view with Adam McEwen, Titanic Iceberg #3 (Blue) (2018)

Artwork © Adam McEwen. Photo: Rob McKeever

Works Exhibited

Adam McEwen, Titanic Iceberg #3 (Blue), 2018 Inkjet print on cellulose sponge, 24 × 38 inches (61 × 96.5 cm)© Adam McEwen

Adam McEwen, Titanic Iceberg #3 (Blue), 2018

Inkjet print on cellulose sponge, 24 × 38 inches (61 × 96.5 cm)
© Adam McEwen

Neil Jenney, North America Depicted, 2009–10 Oil on wood, in painted wood artist’s frame, 41 × 46 × 3 ½ inches (104.1 × 116.8 × 8.9 cm)© Neil Jenney

Neil Jenney, North America Depicted, 2009–10

Oil on wood, in painted wood artist’s frame, 41 × 46 × 3 ½ inches (104.1 × 116.8 × 8.9 cm)
© Neil Jenney

Jonas Wood, Japanese Garden with Moon and Stars, 2020 Oil and acrylic on canvas, 72 × 70 inches (182.9 × 177.8 cm)© Jonas Wood

Jonas Wood, Japanese Garden with Moon and Stars, 2020

Oil and acrylic on canvas, 72 × 70 inches (182.9 × 177.8 cm)
© Jonas Wood

Mary Weatherford, The Frog, 2020 Flashe and neon on linen, 66 × 58 inches (167.6 × 147.3 cm)© Mary Weatherford

Mary Weatherford, The Frog, 2020

Flashe and neon on linen, 66 × 58 inches (167.6 × 147.3 cm)
© Mary Weatherford

Urs Fischer, Purple Fall, 2020 Aluminum composite panel, aluminum honeycomb, polyurethane adhesive, epoxy primer, gesso, solvent-based screen-printing paint, and water-based screen-printing paint, 96 × 76 ¾ inches (243.8 × 194.9 cm)© Urs Fischer

Urs Fischer, Purple Fall, 2020

Aluminum composite panel, aluminum honeycomb, polyurethane adhesive, epoxy primer, gesso, solvent-based screen-printing paint, and water-based screen-printing paint, 96 × 76 ¾ inches (243.8 × 194.9 cm)
© Urs Fischer

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2019 Acrylic on canvas, 84 ¼ × 72 ⅛ inches (214 × 183 cm)© Albert Oehlen

Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2019

Acrylic on canvas, 84 ¼ × 72 ⅛ inches (214 × 183 cm)
© Albert Oehlen

Helen Frankenthaler, Peacock Alley, 1990 Acrylic on canvas, 70 ½ × 123 inches (179.1 × 312.4 cm)© 2021 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Helen Frankenthaler, Peacock Alley, 1990

Acrylic on canvas, 70 ½ × 123 inches (179.1 × 312.4 cm)
© 2021 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Jennifer Guidi, Light on the Mountain (Painted Green Sand #7A, Light Pink-Pink-Orange-Yellow Sky, Dark Purple-Blue Mountain, Green Ground), 2020 Sand, acrylic, and oil on linen, 21 × 15 inches (53.3 × 38.1 cm)© Jennifer Guidi. Photo: Rob McKeever

Jennifer Guidi, Light on the Mountain (Painted Green Sand #7A, Light Pink-Pink-Orange-Yellow Sky, Dark Purple-Blue Mountain, Green Ground), 2020

Sand, acrylic, and oil on linen, 21 × 15 inches (53.3 × 38.1 cm)
© Jennifer Guidi. Photo: Rob McKeever

Theaster Gates, Red City, 2020 Industrial oil-based enamel, rubber torch down, bitumen, wood, and copper, 72 × 108 inches (182.9 × 274.3 cm)© Theaster Gates

Theaster Gates, Red City, 2020

Industrial oil-based enamel, rubber torch down, bitumen, wood, and copper, 72 × 108 inches (182.9 × 274.3 cm)
© Theaster Gates

Walton Ford, Euphrates, 2020 Watercolor, gouache, and ink on paper, 60 × 120 inches (152.4 × 304.8 cm)© Walton Ford

Walton Ford, Euphrates, 2020

Watercolor, gouache, and ink on paper, 60 × 120 inches (152.4 × 304.8 cm)
© Walton Ford

Georg Baselitz, Non lesso, ma duro, 2020 Oil on canvas, 118 ⅛ × 75 ⅝ inches (300 × 192 cm)© Georg Baselitz

Georg Baselitz, Non lesso, ma duro, 2020

Oil on canvas, 118 ⅛ × 75 ⅝ inches (300 × 192 cm)
© Georg Baselitz

About

Gagosian is pleased to present An Ideal Landscape, a group exhibition exploring contemporary approaches to the depiction of place.

Throughout the history of art, landscape painting has functioned as an important locus of visual symbolism. By situating classical allegories in idyllic pastoral settings, for example, seventeenth-century European artists such as Annibale Carracci and Nicolas Poussin were able to present an idealized view of the world that provided visual theater while also reflecting cultural mores. An Ideal Landscape takes a parallel yet converse approach for our times, presenting the genre as a vehicle for critique of the flawed and fraught social and political landscapes of today’s world.

Some works on view, such as Helen Frankenthaler’s luminous Peacock Alley (1990), conceive landscape as atmospheric abstraction, while others present imagined locations that capture their creators’ longing for alternative yet elusive states of being. Some artists literally incorporate elements of real environments to explore formal concerns relating to composition, medium, and color. Combining both new industrial materials and salvaged fragments from roofs that once sheltered human life, the scarred skyline of Theaster Gates’s suggestively titled Red City (2020) evokes the grit and precarity of urban existence. In the sunset scene of Light on the Mountain (2020), Jennifer Guidi takes a similarly unorthodox material approach; she incorporates sand into her oil paints, allowing her to make dimensional, mandala-like marks across the surface of her canvas in an exploration of the mystical and the meditative. Despite their vastly different methods and philosophies, the artists featured in An Ideal Landscape are united by a shared desire not only to portray the lived world—but also to reshape it.

The exhibition includes works by Georg Baselitz, Urs Fischer, Walton Ford, Helen Frankenthaler, Theaster Gates, Jennifer Guidi, Neil Jenney, Adam McEwen, Albert Oehlen, Ed Ruscha, Mary Weatherford, and Jonas Wood.

Damien Hirst's Reclining Woman on the cover of Gagosian Quarterly, Fall 2021

Now available
Gagosian Quarterly Fall 2021

The Fall 2021 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Damien Hirst’s Reclining Woman (2011) on its cover.

Installation view of Urs Fischer’s Untitled (2011) in the exhibition Ouverture, Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection, Paris, 2021. Artwork © Urs Fischer, courtesy Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection © Tadao Ando Architect & Associates, Niney et Marca Architectes, Agence Pierre-Antoine Gatier. Photo: Stefan Altenburger

Bourse de Commerce

William Middleton traces the development of the new institution, examining the collaboration between the collector François Pinault and the architect Tadao Ando in revitalizing the historic space. Middleton also speaks with artists Tatiana Trouvé and Albert Oehlen about Pinault’s passion as a collector, and with the Bouroullec brothers, who created design features for the interiors and exteriors of the museum.

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.

Theaster Gates, A Song for Frankie, 2017–21, 5,000 records, DJ booth, and record player

Social Works: The Archives of Frankie Knuckles Organized by Theaster Gates

Theaster Gates, steward of the Frankie Knuckles record collection, is engaging with the late DJ and musician’s archive of records, ephemera, and personal effects. For the Quarterly’s “Social Works” supplement, guest edited by Antwaun Sargent, Gates presents a selection of Knuckles’s personal record collection. Chantala Kommanivanh, a Chicago-based artist, educator, and musician—and the records manager for Rebuild Foundation, Chicago—provides annotations, contextualizing these records’ importance and unique qualities. Ron Trent, a dear friend of Knuckles’s, speaks to the legacy evinced by these materials.

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.

Albert Oehlen’s studio, Ispaster, Spain, 2019–20. Photos © Esther Freund

Albert Oehlen: Terrifying Sunset

The artist speaks with Mark Godfrey about his new paintings, touching on the works’ relationship to John Graham, the Rothko Chapel, and Leigh Bowery.