REFERENCE - DRAWINGS
Sherrie Levine, Philip Taaffe, Terry Winters
9 June - 27 July 2012
Opening: Saturday, 9 June 2012 , 12 - 4pm
“Drawing is central to my work—everything moves out, in all directions, from drawing…Drawing is a prototype—the first time an image is seen. My approach is diagrammatic—each image becomes a superimposition of maps. Objects and information are transcribed as events; pieces of existing data are re-assembled into new patterns…Formed by impulses, drawing is used as an operative abstraction for the construction of pictures.” [Terry Winters]
The foundation of Terry Winters’ work consists of a wide range of scientific sources from the fields of botany, architecture, medical photography and more recently information systems and computer graphics. Besides his paintings the artist is highly regarded as a draftsman and printmaker. This exhibition shows a selection of drawings with graphite or charcoal on paper from the early 1990s. They depict forms and structures derived from seemingly organic forms. Enrique Juncosa remarks on Winters’ works that the artist is creating images which are abstract and which are somewhat like objective visual narratives of internal thought processes. And that they “convey meaning, but are not attempts to refer to anything more specific (…). Feelings and emotions are not the principal focus of his, yet they also appear in the way his work is expressed”. Thus the artist, while often grouped with Post-modern abstractions, he retains a strong modernist sensibility by employing a symbolic language of figures und lines.
The work of Philip Taaffe is based as well on preexisting images as well. Initially it was predominantly based on appropriated works by modern and postwar masters. After extensive travels Taaffe developed his interest in the huge cache of historic patterns, arcane symbols, signs, plant and animal forms which the artist found and finds in the diverse cultures from different historic ages around the world. Taaffe assimilates the forms and reshapes them in order to apply them as individually experienced patterns and forms to the canvas or paper. The exhibition shows a group of monotypes with floral, animal and ornamental forms from 2008. In regard to Philip Taaffe’s oeuvre on paper John Yau compares the artist with a librarian or scribe: “Like them, Philip Taaffe is trying to store and protect a tribe’s necessary secrets and key symbols amidst a crumbling, devastated world. Both Taaffe and the scribe transfer preexisting visual elements from one surface to another. Unforeseen alterations and the individual’s trace are an inevitable aspect of this painstaking process.”
The third artist in the exhibition, Sherrie Levine, is represented with three early works drawn after masterpieces by Kasimir Malevich, Joan Miro and Piet Mondrian. They belong to a body of work begun in 1983, of works on paper, in pencil, gouache, or like in this exhibition, predominately, watercolor. The watercolors are taken from book illustrations, which explains the small, intimate size of the works, which Gerald Marzorati described as Sherrie Levine’s “most tender works”. These examples of Appropriation Art are reproductions of the original and new interpretations at the same time. They are centerpieces of the debate surrounding the discourse on the death of Modernism and its ideals, notions of artistic originality, the authenticity and autonomy of the art object and its status as a commodity.
Sherrie Levine was born in Hazelton, Pennsylvania, in 1947. She studied at the University of Wisconsin and lives and works in New York and Santa Fe. Her works have been widely shown in group and individual exhibitions, the latter including the following: Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford (1987), Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (1988), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1991), Philadelphia Museum of Art (1993), Portikus, Frankfurt a. M. (1994), Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1995), Kunstverein Hamburg (1999), The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2001), Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe (2007) und Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2011).
Philip Taaffe was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, in 1955. He studied at the Cooper Union in New York.. He has traveled widely in the Middle East, India, South America, and Morocco. Taaffe lived and worked in Naples from 1988-91. Philip Taaffe presently works and lives in New York City, and West Cornwall, Connecticut. His works have been widely shown in group and individual exhibitions, the latter including the Carnegie International, two Sydney Biennials, and three Whitney Biennials. IVAM museum, Valencia (2000), Galleria Civica of Trento, Italy (2001), Galleria d’Arte Moderna, San Marino, (2004), Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, (2008).
Terry Winters was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1949. He studied at Pratt University, New York. Winters lives and works in New York City and Columbia County, New York. His works have been widely shown in group and individual exhibitions, the latter including Tate Gallery, London (1986), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1991), Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (1999), the Kunsthalle Basel (2000), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2001), Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2003), Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (2004), Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2009).