Touched: A Space of Relations Janine Antoni, Lygia Clark, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Annette Messager

Touched: A Space of Relations Janine Antoni, Lygia Clark, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Annette Messager

New York, NY USA Saturday, February 26, 2011Saturday, April 16, 2011
my trophies (mes trophées) by annette messager

Annette Messager

My Trophies (Mes Trophées), 1986–1988

Price on Request

New York, NY USA
Saturday, February 26, 2011Saturday, April 16, 2011

Opening Reception: 6:00 - 8:30 PM, Saturday, February 26, 2011
Gallery Hours: Tue–Sat, 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM

bitforms gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition that explores the sense of touch as a metaphor of bodily presence and an extension across boundary. Actualizing our understandings of public/private and inside/outside, touch is a gesture system. It manipulates physical, social, psychological and electronic domains, aiding in their transformation.

Presenting a cross-generational selection of voices, “Touched: A Space of Relations” includes the work of four prominent artists working in Europe and the Americas. With the earliest work dating from 1966, the exhibition brings into focus a visual conversation between the artists Janine Antoni, Lygia Clark, Lynn Hershman Leeson and Annette Messager.

Highlights from the exhibition include four earlier works showing publicly in NYC for the first time: “Self Portrait as Another Person” (1966-68) by Lynn Hershman Leeson; a 13-part installation of the series “Mes Petites Effigies” (1989-90) by Annette Messager; and two pieces from the series “Mes Trophées” (1986-88) also by Messager.

Linking all the works together is touch's ability to function inside the realms of fantasy, dream or simulacrum. Interior worlds of therapeutic sensation are discovered Lygia Clark's “Structuring the Self” (1976/88), in which relational objects serve as surrogates for physical contact. Also rooted in gesture and care of the body, Janine Antoni's bronze urinal prosthesis, “Conduit” (2009) is paired with the beauty-obsessed “Ingrown” (1998). In “Up Against” (2009) Antoni merges architecture of the home with the body.

As an overarching theme in many of the pieces by Lynn Hershman Leeson is a very human impulse to feel the world around us and then respond to it – as seen in two new interactive installations. For example, “Home Front – Cycles of Contention” picks apart the psychology of a domestic dispute, and in the “!WAR Graphic Novel and Curriculum Guide” an intervention is made within the academic history of the American Feminist Art Movement.

Artist Biographies

Janine Antoni (b. 1964, Bahamas) has exhibited extensively in the United States and abroad at venues including Luhring Augustine Gallery, The Wadsworth Athenaeum, The Irish Museum of Modern Art, The Reina Sofia, The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The Guggenheim Museum, and The Aldrich Museum. Her work was included in the 1993 Venice Biennial, the 1993 Whitney Biennial, the 1995 Johannesburg Biennial, the 1997 Istanbul Biennial, the 2000 Kwangju Biennial in Korea, SITE Santa Fe in 2002, and the 2008 Prospect.1 New Orleans Biennial. Antoni received her BA in 1986 from Sarah Lawrence College and her MFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 1989. She received the MacArthur Fellowship and the Joan Mitchell Foundation, Inc. Painting and Sculpture Grant in 1998, and the Larry Aldrich Foundation Award in 1999.

Lygia Clark (1920-1988, Brazil) started her career as an abstract painter and sculptor. Known as one of the founders of the Grupo Frente, from which the Concretism movement in Rio de Janeiro emerged, she participated in the Biennial of São Paulo in 1955 and 1957, and the Exposiçao Nacional de Arte Concreto in Rio de Janeiro in 1957. She signed the Neo-Concretism Manifesto in 1959, after which she moved toward sculpted forms in the series Cocoons and later in Creatures, for which she is recognized as a pioneer in participatory art. Following her 1964 “Walking” piece she became increasingly more interested in working with the body.Creating “Sensory Objects” in 1966-68, and moving to Europe she went on to produce “The House is the Body” for the Venice Biennale in 1968. Increasingly integrating the role of the observer into her art, she gradually moved toward experiments in psychotherapy.

Lynn Hershman Leeeson (b. 1941, United States) is an internationally acclaimed artist and filmmaker. Known for pioneering use of new technologies in her projects, she featured in the public collections of the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester, Museum of Modern Art, the William Lehmbruck Museum, the ZKM (Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Canada, the Walker Art Center, and the University Art Museum, Berkeley, in addition to the celebrated private collections of Donald Hess and Arturo Schwarz, among many others. Commissions include projects for the Tate Modern, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Charles Schwab. Her influential early ventures into performance and photography were featured recently in the touring exhibition WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, organized by the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. Hershman's latest film, i!Women Art Revolution, is set for debut in New York Mar 3 at the MoMA and is distributed by Zeitgeist Films.

Annette Messager (b. 1943, France) studied at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, Paris. She won first prize in the Kodak Photography International competition in 1964. In 1995 the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and New York's Museum of Modern Art coorganized her first major American retrospective. She has had solo exhibitions at the Museo de Arte Moderno in Buenos Aires (1999) and the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2004). She also exhibited in the Biennale de Paris (1977), Documenta VI (1977) and XI (2002), the Biennale of Sydney (1979, 1984, and 1990), the Venice Biennale (1980, 2003, and 2005), and the Biennale d'Art Contemporain de Lyon in 2000. She won the Golden Lion Award at the 2005 Venice Biennale. Recent solo exhibitions include the Haywood Gallery in London and Marian Goodman Gallery in Paris, both in 2009.

For images and more information on the exhibition please visit

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bitforms gallery is devoted to emerging and established artists who embrace new media and contemporary art practice.