Curated by: Jessica Stockholder
The American artist curates an exhibition of works from the collection of “la Caixa” Foundation and CRT Foundation for Modern and Contemporary Art and turns them into a large environmental installation.
Many times has the “end” of painting been declared and just as many times its “rebirth” has been attested: with the desire to investigate the limits and contemporary potentialities of painting, from February 11 OGR–Officine Grandi Riparazioni–presents Cut a rug a round square, a new site-specific commission developed for the former industrial spaces of OGR Turin by the American artist Jessica Stockholder.
Chosen for her peculiar perspective, Jessica Stockholder has played over the last twenty years a crucial role in the ongoing debate on painting and its limits, expanding the concept in a relentless dialogue amid various media, between form and space, by forcing the limits of painting towards the sculptural and installation dimension.
In her work, the artist combines apparently disparate and ordinary objects to create complex installations that hoard and stratify materials and colors: plastic bags and containers, extension cords, lumber, carpets, and furniture: in her hands, these often-neglected objects recover aesthetic and formal qualities in a practice reminiscent of abstract expressionism, color field painting, and minimalism.
For the project set up inside Binario 1 of OGR Cult, the area of OGR dedicated to art and culture, the artist Jessica Stockholder converted into an exceptional curator and created a unique installation with works from two important collections: the Collection of Contemporary Art “la Caixa” of Barcelona, and that of the CRT Foundation for Modern and Contemporary Art, whose works are on permanent loan to the Turin museums Gam – Gallery of Modern Art and Castello di Rivoli, Museum of Contemporary Art.
To plan her route across the rich heritage at her disposal, the artist developed a concept that is both rigorous and poetic: “I am exploring how the generally rectilinear geometry inherent in the contour, or edge, of paintings, generates meaning both inside and outside the paintings. – states Jessica Stockholder – In relation to both their exposure and internal mechanisms, paintings make use of geometry and its resonance with the scale and form of the human body. (…) Casting a glance through the collections, I was struck by the many works in which the circle and square intersect. Often these works literally feature circles and squares themselves. I began to think of the representation of the human body as a kind of circle within the square, as in Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. The paintings are themselves usually characterized by rectilinear geometries. What happens inside pushes against the edges. The edges are both literal and abstract and are defined by the end of the material support, but the rectangle, identified as a mapping, is understood by virtue of abstraction.”
Combining works of disparate production and origin, the artist investigates the ways of painting and its categorical definitions across genre boundaries, studying its literal and metaphorical edges.
Works range from Directions by Vito Acconci, a photograph documenting the exhausting performance of a man with his arms and legs spread to evoke the Vitruvian Man, to Combustion by Aurelio Amendola, whose shots portray Alberto Burri in the act of melting plastic with a flashlight to create a circle in a square. From Bonded Eternmale, Monica Bonvicini‘s installation of two chairs covered in studded black leather exhibited on a circular red carpet, to A REMOVAL OF THE CORNER OF A RUG IN USE by Lawrence Weiner where written words protrude from the surface of the wall like paint does on his canvas. From 9 to 5 by Edward Ruscha, who painted the time cycle of a working day trapped inside a claustrophobic rectangle to Undercurrent (Red) by Mona Hatoum where the floor surface acts as a pictorial plane for a large carpet of electric cables. And again, among others, the works of Marlene Dumas, Richard Tuttle, Tracey Emin, Diego Perrone, and Jessica Stockholder herself, are exhibited in a display specially designed by the artist who succeeded in transforming the entire exhibition into a work of art in itself, a large environmental installation that evokes, in an experiential form, the clash between the circle and the square as an image of the productive clash between rationality and imagination, order and superabundance, body and idea.
Cut a rug a round square is an opportunity for the public to admire, in complete safety and free of charge, in the spaces of OGR, a treasure preserved by the city’s museums and enriched over the years by the CRT Foundation, with a newfangled interpretation from the point of view of an artist across the works of yet another international collection. The exhibition focuses on the theme of painting, dear to both collections, which have a rich heritage of pictorial works, by taking the cue from one of the most discussed and loved media – even by the more general audience. Cut a rug a round square reshapes the boundaries of this discipline and weaves a discourse that takes from the forms and phantasmagorias of painting, keys to reading the contemporary world, and invites visitors to lose themselves in a world of shapes and colors.
Jessica Stockholder (1959, Seattle, WA. Lives and works in Chicago, Illinois) has exhibited widely in museums and galleries internationally. Her work is in the permanent collections of numerous museums including the Whitney Museum of Art, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago; MoCA Los Angeles; MoMA San Francisco; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The British Museum, London; and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Recent solo exhibitions include Stuff Matters at the Central Museum, Utrecht and Relational Aesthetics at The Contemporary Austin, Austin in 2019.
From February 11
Thursday and Friday, 3PM – 8PM, last admission 7.30PM
OGR Cult, OGR – Officine Grandi Riparazioni