An American In Paris

28 Jan - 19 Jul 2014

"An American in Paris: Works from a Private Collection"
Installation view
Photo by Zarko Vijatovic
Works from a Private Collection
28 January - 19 July 2014

Gagosian Paris is pleased to present “An American in Paris: Works from a Private Collection.”

From Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Black Bean Soup of 1962 to Jeff Koons’ Hole III of 2008, the exhibition presents a panorama of the avant-garde of the past half century. This selection from a bold and discerning American collection highlights pivotal, often large-scale works from six contemporary artists who have persistently engaged unexpected subject matter through uncommon media. Richard Prince’s The Housewife and the Grocer (1988)—pink text on a matte gold background—is an archetypal work from his deadpan Joke series; the crusted surface of a black canvas by Damien Hirst is, upon closer scrutiny, comprised by thousands of dead flies. Cy Twombly’s early graphite on canvas scrawl, Untitled (Lexington, Virginia) (1959), holds impulsive expression and formal restraint in perfect balance, while large-scale canvases from the late Bacchus series course with visceral red loops and drips. Warhol’s Mona Lisa Four Times (1978) points to the endless reproducibility of masterpieces, and a painting of over ten meters transforms a readymade camouflage pattern into pop-abstraction. The exhibition also provides varied approaches to shared subject matter; for example, Twombly’s immense Rose painting provides a gestural counterpart to Warhol’s flat, affectless Flowers.

Some recent sculptures convey the technical, material, and philosophical diversity at play in three-dimensional form. Forgotten Love (2007), Hirst’s massive reimagining of a medicine cabinet, displays a multitude of jewel-like pills meticulously fabricated from resin, an imposing reminder of the increasing reliance on supplements. Urs Fischer’s reflections on mortality take the form of a giant candle—a lifelike figure made entirely of a wax mixture, fitted with wicks and lit. Expanding on his enduring fascination with childhood experiences and childlike consciousness, Koons’ Balloon Swan (Red) (2006) reconceives a child’s party favor as a mesmerizing monumental form. With its impressive scale, fluid lines, and immaculate, mirror-like surface, the stainless steel sculpture achieves a perfect tension between representation and abstraction. A sampling of seven artists’ outsize innovations in painting and sculpture since the Pop era, the works on view have been brought together by a patron’s preference for fierce originality.

Tags: Urs Fischer, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol