3rd – 23rd April 2008
John M Armleder, Matias Faldbakken, Hans-Peter Feldmann,
Bernard Frize, Sherrie Levine, Christopher Wool, Toby Ziegler.
Simon Lee Gallery is proud to present a group show of works by selected gallery artists.
The title ‘35% Vrai 60% Faux’, is borrowed from a Bernard Frize painting included in the show and is the starting point for the exhibition in which each artist explores variously aspects of representation, truth, authenticity, presence, absence and negation in their work.
Central to the practice of Bernard Frize and Christopher Wool is the process and mechanics of painting and exploiting the limits of the medium. Christopher Wool’s silkscreen is the mechanical reproduction of his unresolved gestural abstract painting, a deliberate undermining of the authenticity of his original. In Bernard Frize’s ‘35% Vrai 60% Faux’, his habitual approach to constructing the composition using pre-meditated formulae is here obscured by white-wash, leaving only the central square of the ‘true’ painting beneath.
Matias Faldbakken’s ‘16:9’ takes the black bars visible above and below the moving image of a film screened in a 4:3 format, transforming the black space into large-scale polished aluminium strips, hung in the same configuration. This physical articulation of negative space around the ‘spectacle’ becomes an autonomous quasi-sculptural object, referencing the rigour and severity of a Donald Judd.
John M Armleder’s installation ‘AH (Enil Aeket), FS’ raises questions of authenticity, authorship and appropriation. Using the idea of décor as a metaphor for history and the impotence of memory that inevitably transforms every cultural expression into a background element, a part of he has called the ‘big compost silo’, he challenges our perception of what constitutes a ‘real’ work of art. Here his modern facsimile of a Danish classic chair design sits in front of a silver painted canvas leaning against the wall.
Sherrie Levine’s series of works on paper ‘After Juan Gris’ are painstaking reproductions of the originals, taking a master of the 20th Century and re-presenting his work in a subtly different configuration, so that the viewer is conscious no longer of the content or composition of the originals themselves, but of the significance of their selection, arrangement and presentation.
Hans-Peter Feldmann has appropriated a photograph of the most familiar mountain in the European Alps, the Matterhorn, and reproduced it six times, each a hand-coloured photocopy. Playing with the most basic, accessible method of reproduction, Feldmann adds an element of subjective reality to a cliché.
Toby Ziegler’s paper sculptures and installations playfully question notions of truth in history and representation and in the role of the artist. Re-inventing transgressive acts from history – in ‘Wagon Wheel’ for example the painstakingly articulated and apparently abstract structure refers obliquely to the sexual position known as ‘reverse cowboy’, which in turn alludes to the student of Raphael who, in a fit of pique at their refusal to pay him for his labours, frescoed obscene cartoons into his work at the Vatican and was later arrested for this violation.
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