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.
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
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
Directions to bitforms gallery
Nearest subway is the C/E to 23rd St in Chelsea
bitforms gallery is devoted to emerging and established artists who embrace new media and
contemporary art practice.