March 7, 2012– April 15, 2012
18 Wooster Street
New York, NY
Wednesday–Sunday, 12–6 PM
Subway / N / R / Q / 6 to Canal Street
Heart to Hand
Zoe Leonard, Klara Liden, Adam Pendleton, Oscar Tuazon/Elias Hansen
Curated by Pati Hertling
Acclaimed for the collaborative series Evas Arche und der Feminist, Pati Hertling’s curatorial efforts focus on engaging individuals and fostering community. For this exhibition, Swiss Institute has offered the curator carte blanche in the main gallery. The exhibition will include a selection of works by contributing artists Zoe Leonard, Klara Liden, Adam Pendleton and Oscar Tuazon/Elias Hansen. Conceived in the wake of Occupy Wall Street and the Republican primaries, Hertling’s exhibition addresses the relationship between aesthetics and social conscience. At first sight, the selected artworks are formally abstract, yet upon further meditation, their conceptual disobedience is revealed. The works in this exhibition suggest and provoke political themes yet leave the response and action to the public. Taken as a whole, the exhibition questions the role of art in times of heightened political consciousness. Problematizing the contingencies of a social contract, it points to an intuitive overarching process. Albeit visceral and rare, Heart to Hand emphasizes the exchange between artist, artwork, and audience, namely the moment at which a piece of heart is offered into the hands of the public.
Maquette for a Museum of Switzerland
The work of Native American artist Jimmie Durham (b.1940, lives in Rome, Italy) is manifold–as poet, former activist, essayist, and sculptor he deftly mines the fields of art and political reality, infiltrating culture industries in ways that are both ironic and ambivalent. The contemporary work of Durham plays upon the construction and build up of a “postmodern savage.” Durham’s Maquette for a Museum of Switzerland is an institutional-like setting questioning national clichés and symbols and containing objects, masks, photos as well as texts by the artist.
Still life, Stones, and Elephants
Hailed as painter, illustrator, and graffiti artist, the praxis of Swiss artist Nicolas Party (b. 1980, lives in Glasgow, Scotland) is an earnest investigation into painting techniques and art historical sources. Party’s intervention at Swiss Institute brings together wall drawing, sculpture, and painting. The artist will create a brightly-colored, hand-painted pattern extending from Swiss Institute’s lobby to its office and stairwells. The decorative treatment establishes an expansive visual field, interrupted and punctuated by three large-scale, still-life charcoal wall drawings. Combining limitless pattern and traditional motifs, Party re-negotiates the divisions made between public and private space.