September 2, 2014 - The George Economou Collection - Thorn In The Flesh
September 2, 2014

Thorn In The Flesh

Paul McCarthy, Tripod (detail), 2006. Fiberglass, resin, pigment, steel, 266.7 x 182.88 x 203.2 cm. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Thorn In The Flesh
12 September 2014–May 2015

Opening: Thursday, September 11, 7–9:30pm
Curator’s talk with Dieter Buchhart and the director of the Economou Collection, Skarlet Smatana, at 8pm during the opening

The George Economou Collection
80 Kifissias Avenue
15125, Marousi
Hours: Monday–Friday 10am–6pm, 
Free admission

T +30 2108090595

Curated by Dieter Buchhart 

Artists: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Max Beckmann, Louise Bourgeois, Paul McCarthy, George Condo, Jim Dine, Jean Dubuffet, Donald Judd, Kazuo Shiraga, Willem de Kooning, Claes Oldenburg, A.R. Penck, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Neo Rauch

The George Economou Collection is pleased to announce the group exhibition Thorn in the Flesh curated by Dieter Buchhart. The opening will take place on Thursday, September 11th, in the Economou Collection Space in Athens, Greece. 

Modernism manifests itself as a constant antagonism between abstraction and figuration. The exhibition Thorn in the Flesh is dedicated to exploring these antagonisms and their impact on art from after the Second World War to now. In so doing, postmodern polymorphism finds striking overlaps among concrete, informel, abstract, and figuration, in contrast to a mere insistence on rigid concepts. The exhibition focuses on three sequential areas: Disruption, Figure and Flesh.

Disruption refers to the tear in the fabric of modernism. While Jean-Michel Basquiat’s SLINGSHOT depicts a David and Goliath struggle against racism, repression, and social injustice, McCarthy’s Tripod deconstructs the human body using various dimensions for individual body parts, the intactness of which the artist attacks and destroys with abstract shapes. Equally, Rauch’s painting Reich represents a mutual interaction of various forms and layers of reality. A television tower, a pole, and letters remain like thorns in the texture of a landscape seemingly committed to realism.

The second part of the show, Figure, is dedicated to exploring the proportions of the human body. Max Beckmann’s life-sized half portraits and the two pointed shapes in Louise Bourgeois’s Knife Couple reflect human proportions in the interaction of abstraction and figuration. Michelangelo Pistoletto goes a step further, in that the beholder who can see his mirrored reflection alongside the pair of doppelgangers becomes part of the work. 

The third thematic focus Flesh is dedicated to the materiality of paint and bodies of paint. For example, Jean Dubuffet’s art brut representation of the human body by way of the haptic experience of the surface reflects human flesh, just as Kazuo Shiraga, using his hands and feet, transfers his own corporeality to his paintings, evoking associations of the destruction of the body in a wild paint slaughter of blood and human flesh. In Brown and Yellow Abstraction George Condo negotiates the still utterly contemporary antagonism between abstraction and figuration that oscillates among the dimensions of the human body, our existence, and an apparently non-figurative abstraction.

Press contact
Annie-Claire Geisinger:
acgeisinger [​at​] / T +30 2108090595 / M +30 6947404053

The George Economou Collection
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