September 20, 2014 - The Cleveland Museum of Art - Anicka Yi and Julia Wachtel at Transformer Station
September 20, 2014

Anicka Yi and Julia Wachtel at Transformer Station

Left: Julia Wachtel, Girl (detail), 2014. Oil, acrylic ink, and Flashe on canvas, 152 x 203 cm. Private collection, London. Photo: Etienne Frossard. Right: Anicka Yi, Sister, 2011. Tempura-fried flowers, cotton turtleneck, dimensions variable. Collection Jay Gorney and Tom Heman, New York.

Julia Wachtel
Anicka Yi: Death

October 11, 2014–January 17, 2015

Opening: October 11, 1–6pm

Transformer Station
1460 West 29th Street
Cleveland, OH 44113
Hours: Wednesday–Saturday noon–5pm,
Thursday noon–8pm
Free admission

T +1 216 938 5429
cguscott [​at​]

Julia Wachtel
Emerging in the 1980s, Julia Wachtel became known for her paintings employing cartoon characters appropriated from sources as everyday and relatable as greeting cards and magazines, deliberately commenting upon our quickly evolving visual culture. Often comprised of multiple panels, her paintings also include pop stars, figurines from so-called primitive cultures, and scenes from Hollywood films. In her work Wachtel consistently displays a consciousness of the dominance of images, their penetration into all areas of life, and the haziness of their interconnections and juxtapositions. This consciousness makes her work more relevant than ever. Influenced by her Pictures Generation counterparts, the protagonists of Pop Art, and Surrealism, she has developed a consistently individual visual language that grapples with the function and significance of images in modern society. The first institutional solo exhibition in almost 20 years of Wachtel’s playfully disarming yet trenchant artworks, Julia Wachtel spans the artist’s entire career and also features many recent works.

In conjunction with the exhibition, a catalogue published by the Cleveland Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press features 45 color plates of her work from the 1980s through today, essays by Reto Thüring and poet and critic Quinn Latimer, as well as a conversation between Wachtel and curator Johanna Burton.

Curated by Reto Thüring

Anicka Yi: Death
Anicka Yi creates art that poetically speaks to the experience of everyday life in the 21st century and the things that govern it—whether major corporations like Monsanto or emotions such as those tied to loss. While her art often takes the form of sculpture, it hardly behaves as such, decomposing before our very eyes or wafting away in the form of a handmade perfume. Running throughout Yi’s work is a deep interest in all of the senses a human body can experience, not solely the visual—and thus one can often smell a work by Yi before seeing it in the gallery. Engaging with viewers on an intellectual, emotional, and even sensual level, her work is simultaneously alluring and curious.

In 2013 Yi began a trilogy of exhibitions to explore, as she has written, “the forensics of loss and separation,” creating work inspired by the very human emotions we attach to loving and heartbreak: Denial, Divorce, and now, Death. Following gallery shows in Berlin and New York, the Transformer Station will host the culmination of Yi’s trilogy, her first museum exhibition, which will analyze the acceptance of what it means to be human. Presenting artworks from earlier in her career as well as new pieces making their debut in Cleveland amid a unique installation design, Anicka Yi: Death considers life flashing before one’s eyes, the flurry of life before the final breath.

Curated by Beau Rutland

The Cleveland Museum of Art
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