Diversity at David Zwirner - Art Collector

  Gordon Matta-Clark, Energy & Abstraction installation view 2015. Courtesy: David Zwirner, NYC

By Jess Holburn

David Zwirner kicks off the fall season with four diverse solo shows. First cab off the rank being Dan Flavin’s exhibition Corners, Barriers and Corridors at the West 20th Street location in Chelsea, featuring works from the late 1960s to the early 1970s, many of which have not been on view in the United States since their debut presentation at Dwan Gallery in New York. With works dedicated to fellow artists Barnett Newman and Roy Lichtenstein and Flavin’s wife Sonja, these works mark the point from which Flavin’s work dealt most predominantly with color and fluorescent light to redefine space. Flavin’s estate has been represented by Zwirner since 2010, prior to that he was affiliated with the likes of Leo Castelli Gallery, Pace Gallery and Green Gallery, among several others. His ‘icons’ series is also on view at the Dan Flavin Art Institute in Bridgehampton, New York.

Upstairs at West 20th Street features the sixth solo show for Gordon Matta-Clark, one of the most influential interdisciplinary artists of the 1970s in New York who referred to his practice as “Anarchitecture”. Titled Energy & Abstraction, this intimate exhibition of drawings gives further insight into the construction of his building cuts and photography practice that contrasted traditional urban planning with the notion of ”breathing cities”. In 2007, Gordon Matta-Clark: You Are the Measure was the first full-scale retrospective organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, which toured the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Matta-Clark died at the age of 35 from pancreatic cancer, so one can only imagine where his vivid imagination may have taken us.

Down on West 19th Street location is Zwirner’s first exhibition with German fine art photographer Wolfgang Tillmans, featuring over 100 recent works installed by the artist who recently joined the gallery in 2014. PCR, the title of the exhibition (an abbreviation of polymerase chain reaction, a term used in molecular biology for DNA sampling) serves as a metaphor for the way in which each picture is amplified in accordance with the next. The installation itself therefore becomes a crucial element, juxtaposing the public and the private with pictures hung at various heights and scale. The film stock varies from matte to gloss, some images are framed and others unframed; suspended with nails and bulldog clips and smaller photographs with humble tape directly on the wall, culminating to an overall effect that is overwhelming in its expanse and diverse subject matter, expressing the limitless potential for photography as a medium for making meaning.

Tillmans also concurrently has a large-scale solo exhibition on show at The National Museum of Art in Osaka, as well as a two-channel video installation at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. You can also catch a double video projection at the Zwirner show titled Instrument, featuring the artist himself and his shadow in constant shifting movement - a tone that is part playful and part foreboding. Work by Tillmans is held in museum collections worldwide, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Centre Georges Pompidou, MoMA and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Tate. Fun fact: Tillmans was the first photographer and non-British artist to win the Turner Prize in the year 2000.

  Isa Genzken, installation view, 2015. Courtesy: David Zwirner, NYC

And just next door on West 19th, Zwirner presents recent work by fellow German artist Isa Genzken, marking her third solo show with the gallery since she joined in 2004. Drawing from everyday materials in urban environments, Genzken’s installation features wall-mounted reflective assemblages and architectural structures that surround free standing mannequins in enigmatic groupings and stances, of which formed part of her critically acclaimed retrospective organised by The Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2013. The exhibition also includes new sculptures that follow on from her body of work started in 2012, in which Genzken places clear eyeglasses onto plaster replicas of the bust of ancient Egyptian queen Nefertiti, the original bust of which is permanently housed at the Neues Museum in Berlin, where the artist lives and works.

Genzken’s work has been featured in many international biennials, most recently her large-scale sculpture Two Orchids as part of the 56th Venice Biennale. Her work has been the subject of major traveling museum surveys across Europe and the US, including a MoMA retrospective in New York in 2013 which encompassed four decades of her work. The show then traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Dallas Museum of Art in 2014. Her work is represented in museum and public collections worldwide, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

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