Throwback Thursday to our 2012 exhibition of Andy Warhol’s “Shadows” (1978–79), organized with the Dia Art Foundation.
Warhol is best known for appropriations of images from popular culture—advertisements, mass media photographs, and celebrity portraits—that challenged the conventional definitions and subjects of art. Created in the last decade of Warhol’s life, “Shadows” comprises 102 silkscreened and hand-painted canvases featuring distorted photographs of shadows generated in the artist’s studio. The forms, set against brightly colored matte grounds, at once suggest and mock the brushwork of the Abstract Expressionists. Moreover, the monumental scale of the paintings contradicts the simplicity of their subject matter, while the repetitive forms and silkscreen process undermine the notion of a unique artwork.
It marked the first time that all 102 canvases had been shown at once and extended nearly 450 linear feet around the outer perimeter of the museum’s curved galleries, emphasizing the cinematic quality of the work.
Gagosian Gallery remembers Walter DeMaria, who would be celebrating his 80th birthday today, October 1st.
Image: Walter De Maria, Lightning Field, 1977. A permanent earth sculpture consisting of 400 stainless steel poles spaced 220 feet apart in a rectangular grid array (16 poles wide by 25 poles long). The average pole height is twenty feet seven inches. Solid steel pointed tips on the poles form an even plane covering an area of one mile by one kilometer. Located in western New Mexico. Commissioned by the Dia Art Foundation, New York. Photo: John Cliett.
Bruce Nauman, Mapping the Studio I, (Fat Chance John Cage), 2001
The multiscreen projection Mapping the Studio I (Fat Chance John Cage) displays Nauman’s exploration of issues related to artmaking and the role of the artist. Over the course of the summer of 2000, he set up an infrared camera in multiple positions in his studio to track the nocturnal activities of mice, moths, and other creatures. The footage, which is roughly six hours per projector, offers a view on the mundanities of daily studio activity, as replete with languor as with moments of visionary insight. Each projection is accompanied by its own stereo soundtrack, which consists mostly of ambient noises: trees rustling in a gale, a heavy rainstorm, the occasional barking of a dog, and a train passing in the distance.
Each Date Paintings in On Kawara’s Today Series, the magnum opus that he began in 1966, is a monochrome field on which is written the date of the day on which the painting was executed, in the language and according to the calendar of the country Kawara was in at the time. If he does not complete a painting by midnight, he destroys it. Some days he makes two paintings; very occasionally, he makes three.
Every painting in the series conforms to one of eight sizes, all horizontal in orientation, ranging from eight by ten inches to sixty-one by eighty-nine inches. And for every painting the artist mixes the color afresh, so that the chroma of each is unique. Tonalities in the brown-gray and blue-black range have dominated in recent years. Four or five coats of acrylic are evenly applied to the canvas, creating a dense matte surface, onto which letters, numbers, and punctuation marks are then built up by hand, rather than with the aid of stencils. Variations in the letters or hues are of no significance, nor is the choice of a work’s color more connotative than that of its measurements.