A party for the gods
3 Jul. – 29 Aug. 2020
VAN HORN SHOWS A PARTY FOR THE GODS
JAN ALBERS, JOHN BALDESSARI, ANDREA BOWERS, NICOLE EISENMAN, JOHN GIORNO, LEROY GRANNIS, GREGOR HILDEBRANDT, KATIE HOLTEN, PAUL HUTCHINSON, JOSÉ LERMA, MARK MENDER, RUSS MEYER, PAUL MORRISON, NASA ARCHIVES, RAYMOND PETTIBON, JACK PIERSON, SIGMAR POLKE, ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG, THOMAS RUFF, DAVID SHRIGLEY, GERD & UWE TOBIAS, NAZIF TOPCUOGLU, JENS ULLRICH, STEFAN WISSEL
29 AUG. 2O2O
“A Party For The Gods” presents in a joyful and playful way rare drawings, prints, editions, multiples and photos. It’s a cornucopia of works that each mark a point in the history of the gallery.
May it be that the works were part of an exhibition many years ago and waited in storage for rediscovery. May it be that they are from the galleries’ own collection and are now made visible for the first time in many years. Each of the works not only has it’s own story to tell – also the way the artworks are installed, creates a new line of thought, a special dialogue among them and with the spectator.
There is a frieze of works running through all of the galleries’ four rooms. The drawings, prints, photos and paintings are installed end on end, with the same bottom edge – standing erect like an architectural silhouette made of art. Each wall has a different theme or “flow”.
There is the main wall in which’s center there is the print edition “We Gave A Party For The Gods, And The Gods All Came” by the late John Giorno, flanked by the “Godesses” that came to the party. One encounters an extra print of “Weekend II” from 1972 by Sigmar Polke, which was part of the presentation “Polke To Go” at the Van Horn Society a couple of years ago. On it’s other side you see one of the strangely beautiful portrait drawings by Katie Holten from the series “She persisted” (here Angela Davis). The artist, who is based in NYC, created these out of sheer despair and the need for hope after the Trump election in 2016. Ten of these drawings were part of the 2017 exhibition “We The People” at the gallery, which was a direct political statement on this very election. Next to the drawing of Angela Davis is the lithograph “Thinker” by Nicole Eisenman, which was part of her solo-show “Out Of Line” at the gallery in 2014. This exhibition marked a 10 year anniversary, as VAN HORN exhibited Nicole Eisenman in 2004 in her first solo-show in Germany. The thoughtful nude is followed by Nazif Topcuoglu’s “Falling Down”, which had been part of the exhibition “verlangsamte performance” curated by photographer and collector Wilhelm Schürmann for the gallery in 2012. The end of the line is marked by “Lorna holding Towel” a rare b&w photograph by the legendary Russ Meyer, which was exhibited in 2006 at the VAN HORN exhibition space in the solo-show “Eve”, full of strong and bold and full breasted women. Russ Meyer’s photographs and pin-ups represent a different line of work than his film making. Perhaps they represent a certain time of playful sexual innocence and an aspect of popular culture that now seems to be lost.
And on it goes. One wall is dedicated to the imagery of plants – with “JOY” by Katie Holten (one of her acclaimed Tree Alphabet drawings), a small extra print of a “Brotpalme” (bread palm tree) from Sigmar Polke’s Palm Tree series, a print edition by John Baldessari, the placard by Stefan Wissel for his show at the gallery “Wenn Du mich fragst gewinnt das Licht” (You ask me, light’s winning) – a quote from True Detective and a small, pristine plant painting by british artist Paul Morrison.
Then there are pairings – worn shoes by young photographer Paul Hutchinson, a student of Wolfgang Tillmans together with a “glove palm tree” or another Tree Alphabet drawing by Katie Holten “LOVE”, together with the touching photograph “Provincetown #2” by Jack Pierson – the image of Love: a boy sleeping next to his dog.
The centerpiece of another wall is the edition “Negative II” by Thomas Ruff, flanked by similar Motives – a lying woman (Weekend III, extra print by Sigmar Polke), a woman standing with turban underneath palm trees (Untitled, Tahiti by the fashion photographer Mark Mender from 1970) and a vintage photo from the NASA Archives showing the Atlas Agenda D 6703 rocket about to take off on April 8, 1966. More vintage prints from the NASA Archives are to be found in the other rooms.
Colorful, twisting and turning watercolors by NYC based artist Joanne Greenbaum pop up at several places when walking through the gallery space.
In the second room one wall revolves around “the Other” or “You & Me”, name giver here is again a Tree Alphabet drawing by Katie Holten. Next to it is another portrait drawing of “She persisted” depicting Chelsea Manning, there is an edition by Gregor Hildebrandt showing the Chansonniere Ingrid Caven looking at herself in the mirror, a many eyed surreal drawing by Chicago based artist José Lerma, which was part of his solo-show “The Unitedstatian” at the gallery in 2014, one of the digital collages from the “Placard” series by Jens Ullrich, showing altered images of protesters, holding placards with abstract lettra-set symbols, and therefore seemingly protesting for some unknown, but beautiful and free cause and another “palm tree” by Polke (they are just so good…).
The opposite wall shows works in which text is at the center of the print or drawing – Katie Holten, David Shrigley, Raymond Pettibon, an original drawing by Andrea Bowers, which was part of “We The People”. The centerpiece here is an early linocut from 2003 by Tobias Z. (aka Gerd and Uwe Tobias). Fun fact: this linocut was the placard for one of their first solo-shows and given to your dear gallerist (and trained photographer) as honorary for her photographic services in shooting this very exhibition. Stories and anecdotes everywhere.
Also included in this exhibition is another early, rare original drawing by Andrea Bowers from the “Nonviolent Civil Disobedience”, which were originally exhibited at the Whitney Biennial in 2004 and an AP of “Cardbird V” by Robert Rauschenberg.
There are more works to see and discover, more stories to hear and tell. Have fun when walking through – digitally or in the real world.