April 23, 2016 - Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam - Avery Singer: Scenes
April 23, 2016

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Avery Singer, Untitled, 2015. Acrylic on canvas and wood panels. Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Courtesy the artist and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin. Photo: Dawn Blackman.

Avery Singer
Scenes
April 23–October 2, 2016

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Museumplein 10
Amsterdam
The Netherlands

www.stedelijk.nl

The Stedelijk Museum presents the first European museum solo exhibition of the American artist Avery Singer (b. New York, NY, 1987), and her very first presentation in the Netherlands. The show offers a comprehensive view of the artist’s work since 2012, including Singers vast installation that was enthusiastically received during her Statements presentation at Art Basel in 2015, and which has since The Stedelijk Museum presents the first European museum solo exhibition of the American artist Avery Singer, and her very first presentation in the Netherlands. The show offers a comprehensive view of the artist’s work since 2012, including Singers vast installation that was enthusiastically received during her Statements presentation at Art Basel in 2015, and which has since been added to the Stedelijk’s permanent collection. Also included are several recent works realized specifically for the Stedelijk.

Avery Singer constructs complex spatial compositions with abstract figures and objects. The scale of the work, in combination with the trompe l’oeil effect, breaks pictorial space apart while at the same time inviting the viewer to enter it. Her style invokes a fusion of early 20th century aesthetics with the abstractions familiar to us from the digital world. Film is another major influence; many of her works incorporate cinematic visual styling, where depictions of pictorial space follow the logic of the lens of the camera. The sense of banality mixed with sarcasm that we detect in her work is aimed at examining the tensions arising from reductivist tropes of how artists are thought to exist and produce meaning in contemporaneity.

Singer’s oeuvre examines themes relating to how artworks are made, how artists are "made" and the interaction between artists and their recognized activities, curators, galleries, off-spaces, and institutions. Additionally, her work addresses the rapidly changing, and often strange and dizzying nature of human experience arising from our over-saturation of images and information via our tablets, smart phones, computers, and digitized social networks.

Singer produces her sketches using different open-source computer graphic programs, namely Google SketchUp and Blender. She then projects the images produced in these programs onto canvas and traces them lightly with pencil, before beginning a complex process of masking and applying sprayed paint. The result is a painting that often seems three dimensional. As a work progresses, the forms become translated into geometric, simplified shapes in a reduced palette, reminiscent of old black and white Hollywood movies.

Stedelijk Museums’ Director Beatrix Ruf states: “Avery’s work disrupts what we expect to see—as a medium, it’s hard to classify. Her work questions how the digital information that surrounds us comes into being.” As Director of Kunsthalle Zürich Ruf mounted Avery Singer’s inaugural presentation in Europe in 2014, in an exhibition that toured to the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, Italy.

Avery Singer has been called one of the most influential artists of her generation and her star is on the rise—in 2016 she will present a solo exhibition at the Secession in Vienna, and will take part in a group show at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne. Work of Avery Singer is part of museum collections of the Whitney Museum for American Art in New York, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

As a preamble to her exhibition, Singer will choose works from the Stedelijk collection. In this presentation, titled S.M.S.M.S., she focuses on works representing the human figure under different historical, technical, and cultural conditions and under changing terms of what produces antagonisms to validated aesthetic tastes. Through the curation, Singer presents an intersection between the grotesque, the functioning of feminine signifiers, as well as current and historical attitudes towards ideas of artistic freedom. With works by Willem de Kooning, Herman Kruyder, and William N. Copley, as well as a work on loan from Anna Uddenberg.

With the exhibition, the Stedelijk Museum and Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln, will publish the artist book Scenes, in the form of an oversized album cover with artwork by Avery Singer. It folds out to reveal two vinyl records with two hours of music by DJs MikeQ and Watercolor and the soundscape recording of the opening of the exhibition, a statement by the artist, 15 posters to create a life-sized version of Untitled (2015) and a DIY-3D miniature version of this work. Limited edition of 800 copies.

Other solo presentations of contemporary artists at the Stedelijk Museum in 2016 include Cally Spooner (United States), Saskia Noor van Imhoff (the Netherlands), Bernadette Corporation (United States), Jon Rafman (Canada), Mohamed Bourouissa (France), Magali Reus (the Netherlands), Jordan Wolfson (United States), and Loretta Fahrenholz (Germany).

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