September 16, 2018 - Swiss Institute - Franz Gertsch: Polyfocal Allover / Julien Nguyen: Evil In The Defense of The Good / Julia Tcharfas and Tim Ivison: Science of Rehearsal
September 16, 2018

Swiss Institute

Franz Gertsch, At Luciano’s House, 1973. Acrylic on cotton, 243 x 355 cm. Courtesy The Sander Collection.

Franz Gertsch
Polyfocal Allover
September 19–December 2, 2018

Julien Nguyen
Evil In The Defense of The Good
September 19–November 11, 2018

Julia Tcharfas and Tim Ivison
Science of Rehearsal
SI Reading Room
September 19–December 2, 2018

Swiss Institute
38 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10003
USA

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Franz Gertsch: Polyfocal Allover
September 19–December 2, 2018

Polyfocal Allover is the first institutional painting survey of Swiss artist Franz Gertsch (b. 1930, Mörigen) in the United States. The exhibition explores Gertsch’s decades-long commitment to capturing life in portraiture, primarily through photorealist paintings and woodcut prints.

For the first time in decades, several major works from the artist’s monumental series of ‘situation portraits’ from the 1970s will be reunited, including At Luciano’s House (1973), Luciano I (1976), Luciano II (1976), and Portrait of Urs Luthi (1970). Based on photographs Gertsch took of a group of young friends who had begun living in a commune in Lucerne after 1968, including celebrated artists Luciano Castelli and Urs Lüthi, the paintings capture the subjects’ lively presence as social beings in formation, surrounded by a clutter of clothes, makeup and unwashed dinner plates. The extraordinarily rendered details illuminated by the stark light of a camera flash capture an interest in American counterculture, as well as a playfulness with codes of sexuality and gender.
 

Julien Nguyen: Evil In The Defense of The Good
September 19–November 11, 2018

Evil In The Defense of The Good is Julien Nguyen’s first institutional solo exhibition in the United States. Nguyen’s painting practice is at once referential and intensely personal, employing pre-16th century technique to subject matter that ranges from Renaissance architecture to artificial intelligence to the films of Kathryn Bigelow. Often populated by slender and chimeric bodies that oscillate between the historical and the speculative, Nguyen’s paintings pit familiar forms against one another to produce preternatural tableaus. In this exhibition, Nguyen furthers these inquiries with a new commission, his first significant moving image work.

The video, Spiritus Mundi, is a reenactment of a scene from the director’s cut of Oliver Stone’s 1995 biopic Nixon, in which former US President Richard Nixon and then-Director of Central Intelligence Richard Helms leverage one another in a terse power struggle. What begins as a strategic negotiation of funding and rank escalates into an ominous rumination on geopolitics, hubris, mortality, and corruption. Over two decades later, Nguyen’s reinterpretation sees the roles of Nixon and Helms recast with friends from his life in Los Angeles. Two paintings of Nguyen’s actors hang in the gallery. The artist depicts his subjects as muses in repose, out of costume, in varying states of wakefulness and dress.

Also opening: 
SI Reading Room
Julia Tcharfas and Tim Ivison: Science of Rehearsal

September 19–December 2, 2018

For Science of Rehearsal, artist and curator Julia Tcharfas and academic Tim Ivison have selected archival materials, books and objects relating to the Theater of All Possibilities and the Institute of Ecotechnics. In the early 1990s, members of the Theater and the Institute were involved with Biosphere 2 in Oracle, Arizona, the largest and most complex closed-system ecological facility ever built. In the first mission, eight crewmembers lived for two years within the enclosure, growing, harvesting and cooking their own food, and thereby testing the scientific and sociological possibilities for human life. Bringing together zines, photographs, biospherian suits, data reports, fantastical theater costumes and handwritten notes, Ivison and Tcharfas animate the links between art, literature, performance and community in the development of a technoculture able to confront contemporary ecological conditions. 

SI ONSITE
A series of semi-permanent works and installations exhibited in non-gallery spaces of 38 St Mark Pl. For the fall season SI presents works by Christian Holstad, William Leavitt, Sam Lewitt, Raúl de Nieves, and Jessi Reaves, in addition to those by John Armleder, Valentin Carron, Latifa Echakhch, Hans Haacke, Nancy Lupo, Shawn Maximo, Jill Mulleady, Pamela Rosenkranz, Shahryar Nashat, Michael Wang, and Shirin Yousefi.

 

Franz Gertsch: Polyfocal Allover is made possible through the support of the Franz Gertsch Exhibition Circle, the Robert Lehman Foundation and Ben Frija. Swiss Institute extends its deepest gratitude to the lenders to the exhibition: Art Collection EFG Private Banking, Zurich; Graphische Sammlung ETH Zürich; The Sander Collection; and a number of private collections. Special thanks to Pierre-Henri Jaccaud and the Gertsch family: Albrecht, Hanne-Lore, and Maria Gertsch.

Evil In The Defense of The Good is made possible through the generous support of Richard Chang and DOMUS Collection. Special thanks to Sebastian Mlynarski, View with a Room.

SI ONSITE is made possible in part through a leadership gift from Nicoletta Fiorucci and support from SI ONSITE Partner Swiss Re, as well as through generous support from Presence Switzerland and the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York.

SI Programming is made possible in part with public funds from Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Council; the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Main sponsors include the LUMA Foundation and Friends of SI. SI gratefully acknowledges its benefactors UBS and Stella Artois, Swiss Re as SI ONSITE Partner, Vitra as Design Partner, and SWISS as Travel Partner.

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Polyfocal Allover
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Science of Rehearsal
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