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.
Mary Weatherford: The Flaying of Marsyas
In conjunction with her exhibition The Flaying of Marsyas at Museo di Palazzo Grimani, Venice, Mary Weatherford discusses the featured paintings, which are directly inspired by Titian’s late, eponymous masterpiece of circa 1570–76 and reflect her enduring fascination with the painting.
Urs Fischer: Wave
In this video, Urs Fischer elaborates on the creative process behind his public installation Wave, at Place Vendôme, Paris.
Georg Baselitz and Richard Calvocoressi
In conjunction with the exhibition The Painter in His Bed, at Gagosian, New York, Georg Baselitz and Richard Calvocoressi discuss the motif of the stag in the artist’s newest paintings.
Jennifer Guidi: Mountain Range
Invited to exhibit at Château La Coste in Provence, Jennifer Guidi created a new body of work that engaged with the cantilevered architecture of the gallery building, designed by Richard Rogers, and with the artistic heritage of the region. Amie Corry reports on the evolution of the exhibition and on its place within Guidi’s larger practice.
Jennifer Guidi: Mountain Range
In this video, produced by Château La Coste, Jennifer Guidi discusses her latest solo exhibition, Mountain Range, conceived in response to the architecture of Château La Coste’s Richard Rogers Gallery and the surrounding landscape of Provence in the South of France. The exhibition, organized in collaboration with Gagosian, is now on view through September 3, 2023.
Carol Armstrong and John Elderfield
In conjunction with the exhibition Drawing within Nature: Paintings from the 1990s at Gagosian in New York, Carol Armstrong and John Elderfield discuss Helen Frankenthaler’s paintings and large-scale works on paper dating from 1990 to 1995.
Curated by Irving Blum
September 9–October 21, 2023
980 Madison Avenue, New York