September 7, 2017 - WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels - Rita McBride: Explorer
September 7, 2017

WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels

Rita McBride, Out West Wagon Wheel, 2010. Laminate and wood, Courtesy of Alexander and Bonin, New York. Photo: Anne Pöhlmann.

Rita McBride
Explorer
September 15, 2017–January 7, 2018

Opening: September 14, 7pm

WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels
Avenue Van Volxemlaan 354
1190 Brussels
Belgium

T +32 2 340 00 53

www.wiels.org
Facebook / Instagram

Rita McBride
Explorer
September 15, 2017–January 7, 2018

Opening: September 14, 7pm

WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels
Avenue Van Volxemlaan 354
1190 Brussels
Belgium

T +32 2 340 00 53

www.wiels.org
Facebook / Instagram

As the final phase of its 10th anniversary celebrations, WIELS is proud to present a major exhibition by Rita McBride this autumn, titled Explorer.

McBride works with the language of sculpture, employing the vocabularies of architecture and design. Her cross-disciplinary practice also encompasses collaborative publications, editions, performances and large-scale works in public space. She is fondly critical of modernist architecture and the utopian project of modernism. As one critic put it, McBride’s work is a “light-handed and witty critique of the pleasures and vagaries of modernism’s nervous breakdown.”(1)

Following in the line of surveys at WIELS by mid-career artists, Explorer features new productions and existing works. The latter date from 1992 to 2017 and reveal the consistency of her playful practice. They include works that explore how sculpture and architecture inform and measure one another. Several pieces reintroduce forms that are often overlooked in the urban environment: air conditioning units, pipes, skylights, telecommunications boxes. McBride transforms their typical materials or shifts their scale to explore the tensions between functionalism and formalism.

Attuned as she is to space and context, with her signature humour McBride has developed an installation that responds to the particular qualities of the WIELS building and its exhibition architecture. Spanning all three floors of WIELS’ exhibition spaces, McBride presents a new work titled Guide Rails (2017). The installation, 200 metres of freestanding white wooden structures, quotes original guide rails found in the Santa Monica mountains that once led to the private ranch of the humourist and celebrated cowboy, Will Rogers. The length of McBrides’ Guide Rails replicates that of the white walls of Richard Venlet’s exhibition architecture, commissioned by WIELS for its anniversary exhibition, The Absent Museum. These newly created temporary delineations for WIELS highlight the lively and co-dependent relationships between architects, artists, cultural institutions and the politics of real estate.

McBride is a long-time teacher and is important to several generations of artists. She often continues conversations and collaborations with former students over many years. The WIELS artistic residency programme is structured around artists dialoguing with artists. Together, McBride and artist Willem Oorebeek expand notions of residency into the exhibition. The Guide Rails will host more than 20 artist contributions, an exercise described as Something Stronger Than Me*. This will include work by Extension, Fake Calligraphy, Melissa Gordon, Tonio Kröner, Ghislaine Leung, lonelyfingers, Lucia Nimcova, NUANS, Christophe de Rohan Chabot, Lázara Rosell Albear, Jannis Schroeder, Sparta, Axelle Stiefel, Monika Stricker and Suse Weber.

Rita McBride (b. 1960, Des Moines, Iowa, USA) lives and works between Düsseldorf and Los Angeles.
Explorer is curated by Zoë Gray.
Something Stronger Than Me* is conceived by Rita McBride and Willem Oorebeek and curated by Devrim Bayar.

(1) Faye Hirsch, Art in America, February 1995, p.97

 

Explorer events

September 24, 4pm Look Who’s Talking (Together): Valérie Mannaerts & Koenraad Dedobbeleer (French)

October 4, 7pm Look Who’s Talking (Together): Richard Venlet & Kersten Geers (Dutch)

December 10, 4pm Look Who’s Talking (Together): 
Aglaia Konrad & Suchan Kinoshita (English)

January 7, 4pm Reading: Glen Rubsamen reads from Futureways (English)

 

Exhibition supported by
BNP Paribas Fortis

Alexander and Bonin, New York

Konrad Fischer Galerie, Berlin/Düsseldorf
verna&mai36.project, Zürich
Galleria Alfonso Artiaco, Naples
Thalys

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