26 Feb - 19 Apr 2008
Untitled (For the Black Beauty), 1983
Formica on wood
47 x 26-1/4 inches (119.4 x 66.7 cm)
Gagosian Gallery is pleased to announce Prefab, an exhibition of works by Richard Artschwager, Alighiero e Boetti, Mike Kelley, Martin Kippenberger, Jeff Koons, Sherrie Levine, Richard Prince, Rudolf Stingel and Rosemarie Trockel. These conceptually rooted artists have all used industrial, prefabricated, or found materials to achieve a range of new strategies within, and alluding to, painting - demonstrating an attitude towards the abstract sublime that is wholly ambivalent.
While all these wall-based works "behave" as paintings, paradoxically this is achieved through an embrace of assemblagist strategies that abandon illusory representation for a more immediate and readymade reality.
Artschwager's prescient use of Formica and Celotex transformed the classical idea of how a painting could function, renewing emphasis on the intrinsic structure of the work while taking into account the sculptural and structural aspects of a painting's composition. Beginning with one of his seminal Formica paintings, the exhibition charts a trajectory through a myriad of provocative approaches including Boetti's embroideries, Trockel's machine-knitted wool paintings, Kelley's Carpet paintings and Memory Ware Flats, Stingel's Styrofoam and Celotex paintings, Prince's Hoods, and Koons' alluring advertisement from the Luxury and Degradation series. Whether using "soft" household carpet, embroidery, and wool, or "hard" industrial substances such as Styrofoam and automotive components, these artists embrace the eternal dialogue on the nature of abstraction and representation by challenging the traditional use and meaning of painting with a range of substances and textures that invoke associations with daily experience.