May 19, 2008 - ArtPace | San Antonio - Paint it Black
May 19, 2008

Paint it Black

Oliver Lutz
Paint it Black, 2008
Installation view
Originally commissioned and produced by Artpace San Antonio

New Work by Oliver Lutz
On View through August 17, 2008

445 North Main Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78205

In New York-based Oliver Lutz’s first solo museum show, Paint it Black, Artpace presents an exhibition experience exploring dimensions of contemporary mass spectacle. Austere paintings, cloaking pigments, sound, and surveillance technology implicate the viewer in an installation that deconstructs modes of viewing, cognition, and participation in spectacles, be they art exhibitions or sporting events.

Organized by Artpace Executive Director Matthew Drutt, Paint it Black features six large paintings which appear to be monochromatic to the naked eye. Covered in infrared sensitive pigment, the under-painted imagery is visible only in an adjoining gallery via eleven video monitors connected to ultraviolet surveillance cameras tuned into the main exhibition space. The TV screens reveal realistically rendered scenes culled from photographs taken by Lutz at a NASCAR event at Texas Motor Speedway earlier this year that explore different genres of spectacle and spectatorship.

In one detail revealed via monitor, the artist portrays the archetypal race fan, complete with aviator glasses and headphones. In the sky above, military jets execute a flyover maneuver that launches each NASCAR event at then end of the singing the national anthem. And although the planes are not yet half way over the race course, the subject has become disinterested, signifying the high degree of distraction within the race environment, which saturates fans with multiple, simultaneously occurring events all festooned with logos and messages promoting different commercial products.

The monitors in the “surveillance gallery” also capture visitors to the exhibition space, situating them in the midst of Lutz’s compositions as they contemplate the installation. The superimposition of the exhibition visitor among the race fans forges a connection between the art viewer and NASCAR fan, the gallery and racetrack, spectator and spectacle.

All of the work in the Hudson (Show)Room was commissioned and produced by Artpace San Antonio for the occasion. In addition, a selection of performance videos from 2006 is on display in Artpace’s lobby entrance.

Oliver Lutz was born and raised with his twin brother on a goat farm in rural Maine. He received his MFA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, in 2006. His work has been included in the following group exhibitions: Übergangsräume—Potential Spaces, Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, Germany (2007); Wight Biennial: Anxiety of Influence, New Wight Gallery, Broad Art Center, Los Angeles, CA (2006); A Forest I, FILTER projektraum, Hamburg, Germany (2006); and Kamp K48, John Connelly Presents, New York, NY (2006). Lutz was recently awarded the IV International Painting Prize, Certamen de pintura Diputación de Castellón, Spain (2007).

This exhibition is made possible in part by the Linda Pace Foundation; the City of San Antonio’s Office of Cultural Affairs; and The Brown Foundation, Inc.

Artpace San Antonio serves as a laboratory for the creation and advancement of international contemporary art. Artpace believes that art is a dynamic social force that inspires individuals and defines cultures. Our residencies, exhibitions, and education programs nurture the creative expression of emerging and established artists, while actively engaging youth and adult audiences.

Artpace is located downtown at 445 North Main Avenue, between Savings and Martin streets, San Antonio, Texas. Free parking is available at 513 North Flores Street. Artpace is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, 12-5 PM, Thursday, 12-8 PM, and by appointment. Admission is free.

Copyright: 2008 Artpace San Antonio


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