January 2, 2017

Jan Dibbets @ Peter Freeman, New York - Representations of Reality

Jan Dibbets: Representations of Reality
Peter Freeman, New York
5 January - 18 February 2017

Peter Freeman, Inc. presents Jan Dibbets: Representations of Reality, the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery in New York, featuring recent works from his important Colorstudies series (ongoing since 1976), many of which have never before been shown outside of Europe.

The Amsterdam-based artist—a pioneering figure of conceptual art since the 1960s—was among the first artists to challenge the camera as a documentary tool. He continues to navigate a relationship between the conceptual and the pictorial through that medium, creating images that are abstractions of reality.

The recent Colorstudies (made between 2010 and 2014) come from negatives shot in the 1970s of closely-cropped details of car hoods, but have now been printed on a very large scale that was not achievable at the time the negatives were taken. Jan Dibbets left the found industrial color of the cars, reproduced with the equally industrial color of film chemistry, unaltered when he made the first prints in the 70s; but in this new series he has often manipulated the color, creating almost painterly monochrome works that underscore the questions of representation and reality that are at the core of Dibbets’s work.

As art historian Erik Verhagen discusses in a new text about this series, Jan Dibbets has always investigated a transition between two realities: that of the photographed subject to that of its representation, or its photographic reality. In their articulation of that, the Colorstudies hold a particularly important place in Jan Dibbets's oeuvre: through them the artist has succeeded in depicting color in the literal world, without referencing an immediately apparent subject.

JAN DIBBETS was born in 1941 in Weert, Netherlands; he lives and works in Amsterdam. Early in his career Dibbets was included in some of the most seminal exhibitions of conceptual art, including When Attitudes Become Form (Kunsthalle Bern, Bern; Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld; and Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, curated by Harald Szeeman, 1969); 557, 087 (Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, and Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, curated by Lucy Lippard, 1969), and Earth Art (Andrew Dickinson White Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, curated by Willoughby Sharp, 1969). In 1972 he represented The Netherlands in the Venice Biennale. Since then he has been honored with solo exhibitions at many major international museums including the Musée d'Art Moderne, Paris (1976), Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (1980), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1982, 1986, and 2016), Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh (1986), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1987), Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (1987), and Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit (1987), among many others. Important recent solo exhibitions include: Horizons (Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris, 2010; exhibition travelled), 3 x Jan Dibbets (Cultuurcentrum Mechelen, Belgium, 2011), and Jan Dibbets: Another Photography (Castello di Rivoli Muso d’Arte Contemporanea, Turin, 2014). In 2016, Musée d'Art Moderne, Paris, presented an exhibition curated by Dibbets: A History of Another Photography: PANDORA'S BOX.

140 Grand Street, New York, NY 10013

Lonnie Holley @ Atlanta Contemporary

Lonnie Holley
Atlanta Contemporary
January 12 – April 2, 2017

Atlanta Contemporary presents a solo exhibition with LONNIE HOLLEY. Holley is a man of many myths and talents. Born in Jim Crow-era Birmingham, Alabama, as the seventh of 27 children, Lonnie Holley traveled across the South and held a wide array of jobs before making his first artwork at the age of 29.

Well known for his assemblages, Lonnie Holley incorporates natural and man-made objects into totemic sculptures. Materials such as steel scrap, sandstone, plastic flowers, crosses, and defunct machines commemorate places, people, and events. The exhibition features a selection of sculptures and drawings on loan from the artist. In addition to these works, Lonnie Holley will create site specific installations reflective of the spontaneous and improvisational nature of his creative process.
Curator Daniel Fuller says “Lonnie Holley is one of the most influential artists and musicians of the 20th/21st centuries. His powerful work is improvisational and free in that it goes beyond the autobiographical and chronicles daily life and history of people all over the South. It is as much concerned with all of mother earth as it is cosmic.”
LONNIE HOLLEY was included in the seminal exhibition More than Land and Sky: Art From Appalachia at the National Museum of American Art in 1981. In 2013 The Whitney Museum, NY, hosted Holley’s debut New York performance concurrent to the museum’s Blues for Smoke exhibition. His work is included in museum collections, including; Smithsonian American Museum of Art, Washington, DC; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA; New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Milwaukee Museum of Art, Milwaukee, WI; Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University, Atlanta, GA; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL; and the American Folk Art Museum, New York, NY. Holley has also gained recognition for his music, and he has collaborated with the indie-rock bands Dirty Projectors and Animal Collective. In 2010, he recorded his debut album, Just Before Music, which came out in 2012. In 2013, his follow-up record, Keeping a Record of It, was released under the Atlanta-based Dust to Digital label.

Atlanta Contemporary Art Center
535 Means Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

January 1, 2017

Peter Saul: from Pop to Politics, CB1-G Gallery, Los Angeles

Peter Saul: from Pop to Politics
CB1-G Gallery, Los Angeles
January 7 – February 18, 2017

George Adams Gallery, New York presents an exhibition of paintings and drawings by Peter Saul at CB1-G in Los Angeles. The exhibition features 20 works made between 1957 and 1967 covering his development as an artist from the late 1950s through his transition from Pop in the early 1960’s to a politically engaged, topical artist whose works tackled the most pressing issues of the day in the later half of the decade.

Having spent most of the early 1960’s working in Paris, Peter Saul claimed to have been largely unaware of the Pop Art movement, unfamiliar with the artists most typically associated with it. But critics reviewing his first exhibitions in New York and Chicago recognized him as a Pop artist though without the cool detachment preferred by most of Pop’s other practitioners. As Ellen Johnson pointed wrote in her 1964 catalogue essay: “Where Lichtenstein appears to be amused and Warhol indifferent, Saul is angry…” And indeed he was – increasingly so.

Returning to the San Francisco Bay Area from Paris in late 1964, Peter Saul’s work noticeably shifted to images of war, gradually displacing images from comics and the like. Soon his work was dominated by the war in Vietnam and topical social issues, such as civil rights. Increasingly Saul was dismissed by some critics as a ‘political’ artist, which only encouraged him, believing as he did that if what he was doing provoked the ‘tastemakers’ then he must be on the right track. As the artist wrote in 1967, “Now I think I have…paintings that could prohibit a sophisticated response. Not just because of ‘obscenity,’ which is prevalent, but because it is coupled with politics. I am polarizing things, want to see good and bad.”

The exhibition begins chronologically with a group of pastels, including a self-portrait. They were made in 1957, while Peter Saul lived in Holland and demonstrate an early interest in distortion and the grotesque. In addition there are several paintings and drawings from the early 60’s dating to Peter Saul’s time in Paris, including Ice Box #3 (1961), Gun Moll (1962), and Untitled (Superman) (1963). Examples of the later more political work include New China a large drawing from 1965, and the politically charged lithograph GI On a Cross and large canvas, I Torture Commy Virgins, both from 1967.

1923 Street Santa Fe Avenue, Los Angeles

531 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10001