The work of Heimo Zobernig (b. 1958, Mauthen, Austria) spans an array of media, from architectural intervention and installation, through performance, film and video, to sculpture and painting. His practice across all these forms is connected by an interrogation of the formal language of modernism, at its most familiar in the tropes of the monochrome and the grid, yet also concerned with Constructivism, colour theory and geometric abstraction. His riffs on these themes spill out from his paintings into sculptures, videos and room installations. Zobernig fundamentally subverts the high modernist ideal of the monochrome, compromising its aesthetic purity with the introduction of elements of the decorative, the functional, or the lightly comic.
An education in set design invested the artist with an interest in architecture and display: elements of mise-en-scène run throughout his practice, informing the way in which he installs and exhibits his multi-faceted oeuvre. He frequently uses fabric curtains or light to create monochromatic environments within which his works are installed. His playful and inquisitive sculptures, often minimal, expand this monochromatic field. Such subversive approaches to traditional gallery architecture and the unconventional use of space serves to underline Zobernig’s fascination with the framing of his art, both physically and conceptually, generating a performative quality that questions pre-existing art historical and ideological concerns.
En Plein Air
Simon Lee Gallery, London, is pleased to present En Plein Air, bringing together works by artists who seek to reinterpret the artistic tradition of painting outdoors for a contemporary audience. The plein air approach has been prevalent since the mid-19th century, although it gained traction in the 1860s as a practice essential to the development of the Impressionist movement. While artists had long painted from observation to create preparatory sketches or studies, during this period the plein air method led to a naturalistic style that threw out the academic rulebook in the pursuit of formal and compositional spontaneity. The artists included in En Plein Air are united by a desire to refresh the audience’s interpretation of outdoor painting, whether via landscapes or portraits, photography or painting, figuration or abstraction, and in this way, the exhibition explores scenes of the outdoors in relation to contemporary studio practice.
Simon Lee Gallery, Hong Kong, is proud to present a series of new paintings by Austrian artist, Heimo Zobernig, his first ever solo exhibition in Hong Kong.
For forty years Zobernig has conducted a thorough re-interpretation of the languages of formalism via an expansive body of work that moves seamlessly between an array of disciplines, from architectural intervention and installation, to performance, film, video, sculpture and painting.
The Tissue of Memory
Simon Lee Gallery New York is pleased to present The Tissue of Memory, a cross-generational group exhibition that considers the gesture and its history, as exemplified by the practices of Kelly Akashi, Robert Mangold, Agnes Martin, Win McCarthy, Monique Mouton, Josephine Pryde, Gary Simmons, Cy Twombly, and Heimo Zobernig.
Simon Lee Gallery is proud to present ‘Faux Amis’, a group exhibition that centres on the dialogue between the work of gallery artists and their chosen ‘false friend’.
For this, the first exhibition to cover both the ground and the new first floor spaces of the London gallery, Simon Lee Gallery artists are invited to exhibit alongside, and in dialogue with, the work of an artist of their choice which they find forges a relevant, interesting, distracting, misleading, or stimulating relationship with their own practice. The resultant selection of works not only highlights the interesting discourses that can exist between artists of divergent practices and generations, but also suggests new readings of the individual works on display.
Walk The Line
Rebus curated by Mario Codognato Vedovamazzei, John M Armleder, Mircea Cantor, Merlin Carpenter, Matias Faldbakken, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Sherrie Levine, Sislej Xhafa, Heimo Zobernig
Almost 100 years after Duchamp's urinal and after Puni hung a hammer on one of his canvases, rebus considers the recontextualization and re-appropriation of daily use objects or images as an effective practice for delivering a subversive and critical message.
The use of industrially manufactured items rather than handmade goods or, as in the tradition of art, of objects, surfaces and photographic images made directly by the artist, represents a method and a system which in waves is ever present through the last Century to the present day. The object in question can be presented by itself, assembled with other objects, incorporated into a “traditional” painting or sculpture, manipulated, distorted, or framed within a purpose-made structure. In all these cases and any other variation, it is the context of the exhibition space which above all causes the work to be seen, enjoyed and consumed as a work of art.
The Showroom, London, 2015