Doug Ashford, Trisha Brown, and new additions for The Peacock

Doug Ashford, Trisha Brown, and new additions for The Peacock

Grazer Kunstverein

Doug Ashford, Red Day 1966, 2010. #6, tempera on wood, 40 x 31 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam.

September 14, 2013

Doug Ashford, Trisha Brown + new additions for The Peacock
21 September–24 November 2013

Program co-produced by steirischer herbst 

Grazer Kunstverein
Palais Trauttmansdorff
Burggasse 4
8010 Graz, Austria
Hours: Wednesday–Sunday 11–18h

T +43 (0)316 83 41 41
F +43 (0)316 83 41 42
office [​at​]

During the steirischer herbst 2013, the Grazer Kunstverein continues to investigate various notions of ‘social abstraction’ by presenting abstracted formalizations of social (collective) representation; from the schematic analytical paintings of Doug Ashford, the physical investigations between the body and its surroundings within the work of Trisha Brown, the alterations between geometric forms and ritualistic structures in the recent performances by Germaine Kruip and ‘the economy’ as the dominant metaphor for contemporary social and political relations as exemplified within the work of Sarah Browne.  

Doug Ashford 
Coming from a background of a socially engaged art practice in the ’80s and ’90s as part of the New York-based art collective Group Material (1982–1996), artist Doug Ashford (b. 1958, New York) took up painting in earnest after the collective ended. In the early public projects of Group Material, the art exhibition form itself was challenged for its social and participatory purposes, thereby contesting the terrain of political life. Ashford’s current body of work focuses on the consoling role of the artwork itself by depicting foremost tragic events, as well as political, through schematic abstract paintings.

The forms that manifest themselves in this working process start, for example, with newspaper clippings of political manifestations, often chosen for both their factual reportage and imagistic drift. The protagonists in these moments of strong social upheaval have an aesthetic stance while responding to an emergency; moving as if empathy has taken them into a momentum that overcomes catastrophe. Ashford abstracts the scenarios through cropping and colored schemas, each analyzing the event on a more metaphorical and formal level. 

The Grazer Kunstverein presents the first institutional solo show of Doug Ashford by exhibiting an overview of the artist’s way of working and thinking, starting with the late ’80s as part of the collective Group Material to more recent work, which is mostly embedded in painting. 

Ashford is also known as scholar and writer and therefore the Grazer Kunstverein has produced, in collaboration with Mousse Publishing, a publication that is dedicated to a selection of his writings and conversations, which mostly analyze and discuss the collective and the social in art. 

The Members Library* presents:

Trisha Brown: Early Works 1966–1979
In 1962 Trisha Brown became one of the original members of the experimental Judson Church Dance Theater in New York, and in 1970 she co-founded The Grand Union. The dancers of these radical groups, such as Yvonne Rainer and Steve Paxton, embraced improvisation and the use of everyday movements not usually associated with legitimate choreography. To bring her dance into the real world of objects and unpredictable events, Brown performed much of her early work outdoors. By the late 1970s, Brown was looking for ways to expand and open up her dances. The desire to create large-scale, complex productions led her to incorporate stage design and music as simultaneous, independent elements in her work. Collaborating with such visual artists and musicians as Laurie Anderson, Robert Ashley, John Cage, Alvin Curran, Nancy Graves, Donald Judd, Fujiko Nakaya, Robert Rauschenberg, and, most recently, Terry Winters, she created visual and musical spectacles, or “movement-images.”

Published and distributed by Artpix, Trisha Brown: early works 1966–1979 gives a full overview of all documentations made of works produced between 1966 and 1979, including the infamous performances executed on the streets of SoHo. 

*The Members Library is constructed and designed by artist Céline Condorelli in collaboration with Harry Thaler as a permanent work titled Things That Go Without Saying

On display continuously 

The Peacock
1 February 2013 
A non-stop group show examining the interior of the Grazer Kunstverein by introducing (new) furniture, design, applied and decorative arts that analyze their own functionality.

On display
21 September–24 November 2013
Nina Beier, Will Stuart, Robert Wilhite and new additions by Sarah Browne* and Germaine Kruip*

Ian Wilson
1 Feb 2013
Ian Wilson (b. 1940, South Africa)is someone in whose work the Grazer Kunstverein sees its mission reflected; to explore relationships between the viewed—or discussedand the viewer and the topical urgency of such interaction. To stress his importance to the program, the Grazer Kunstverein has dedicated a permanent solo exhibition to the artist, which will display different works throughout the years as well as a commissioned and acquired Discussion.

For further information, please contact us.

Sincerely yours,
Grazer Kunstverein

Grazer Kunstverein is generously supported by the city of Graz, the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Art and Culture, the province of Styria and Legero The Footwear Company and its members. 

The work of Germaine Kruip and Sarah Browne is generously supported by the Mondriaan Fund and Cultural Ireland.


Grazer Kunstverein: Doug Ashford, Trisha Brown, and new additions for The Peacock
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