Paula Cooper

Tauba Auerbach

A Broken Stream

10 Nov - 15 Dec 2018

Tauba Auerbach, installation view
A Broken Stream
10 November – 15 December 2018

NEW YORK—A BROKEN STREAM, an exhibition of video, sculpture, drawing and painting by Tauba Auerbach, will open on November 10th, 2018, at Paula Cooper Gallery. Working in several new media, Auerbach will probe fluid behaviors alongside new theories of anatomy, mind and the cosmos. The show will be on view at 524 West 26th Street through December 15th, 2018. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, November 10th from 6 to 8pm, and a performance by Greg Fox on November 30th.

Building from her recent exhibition at MOCA Cleveland, A BROKEN STREAM extends Auerbach’s interest in the fields of mathematics and physics as they intersect with form, consciousness and subjective experience. Supported by an investment in crafts such as flame-working, calligraphy and marbling, the works harness various natural phenomena to render the invisible visible.

The central multipart sculpture, Where There Had Once Been a Snag in the Fabric (2018), consists of interlaced rods of glass resting on a cushioned table. Flame-worked by the artist, the threaded, cantilevered structure builds on recent studies in anatomy and dissection, and memorializes a mysterious healing tremor.

New large-scale acrylic paintings from Auerbach’s Grain series (2015–ongoing) encircle this work. Layers of paint are scored by dragging custom-made instruments across the surface, inscribing cathartic pathways with fractal curves and fluid wake patterns into the surface.

For Auerbach’s video work, Pilot Wave Induction III (2018), the artist restages a physics experiment in which a silicone droplet uncannily bounces on its own wave in a vibrating speaker. Illustrating a bizarre wave-participle relationship, the sphere’s unlikely motion appears manipulated after-the-fact—but is actually undoctored. Lighting, focus and shutter speed are responsible for the various prismatic qualities of the footage. The same experiment recently revived discussions in the physics community around an unorthodox interpretation of quantum mechanics put forward by Louis De Broglie and David Bohm. Not in search of proof, Auerbach leans into the qualitative opportunity it offers us—to witness a peculiar combination of purpose and unpredictability that is usually confined to the quantum scale.

Extending the laboratory metaphor, Non-Invasive Procedure (2018), presents a clear specimen on the bed of a large-scale imaging mechanism. Viewed through freestanding lenses on three sides, the vitreous object reveals a hidden spectrum of molecular stress.

A new body of paintings, titled Extended Object, present frozen moments in the movement of a field of droplets. Painted with contrasting electric hues, the glossy horizontal panels are both staccato and flowing, enfolding viscous patterns under layered veils. Though created with a different process, these works pay respect to centuries of paper marbling—a practice Auerbach has previously mined for its haptic wisdom about fluid behaviors.

Finally, in another room of the gallery, numerous unique Ligature Drawings are displayed on tables and casually affixed to the wall, as a tabulation of data gathered through a ritualized calligraphic exercise. Incorporated into a collaborative performance with the musical ensemble Zs in June 2018, the rhythmic, weighted gestures generated both a sound and a score. As an ongoing practice, they function as a kind of automatic writing.

Tauba Auerbach was born in San Francisco in 1981 and earned a BA in Visual Art from Stanford University in 2003. She has exhibited internationally in important one-person exhibitions such as The New Ambidextrous Universe (2014) at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, and Tetrachromat (2011) that opened at Bergen Kunsthall, Norway, and traveled to Malmö Konsthall, Sweden, and Wiels Contemporary Art Center, Brussels. In July 2018, Auerbach presented a major public commission with the Public Art Fund and 14-18 NOW, entitled Flow Separation, for which she painted the historic John J. Harvey Fireboat in a vibrant ‘dazzle camouflage.’ The boat, which offered free trips to the public throughout the summer and fall, will remain docked on Pier 66 in Manhattan through May 12, 2019. Auerbach’s work has been exhibited in a number of major museum shows, most recently in INDUCTION: Tauba Auerbach and Éliane Radigue at MOCA Cleveland (2018). Other notable shows include Reciprocal Score: Tauba Auerbach + Charlotte Posenenske at Indipendenza Studio, Rome (2015); DECORUM: Carpets and tapestries by artists at the Musée dʼArt Moderne, Paris (2014-15); the Walker Art Center’s Lifelike (2012); The Indiscipline of Painting at Tate St. Ives (2011-12); the 2010 Whitney Biennial; MoMA P.S.1’s Greater New York (2010) and the New Museum’s Younger Than Jesus (2009). In 2011 she received the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship Award.