Lorna Simpson: Everrrything | Günther Förg: Appearance | Opening Celebration 👀

901 East 3rd St. Los Angeles, CA 90013
Sep 18, 3 PM - 6 PM — ends Jan 09, 2022
Opening Celebration: ‘Lorna Simpson. Everrrything’ & ‘Günther Förg. Appearance’
Sat 18 Sep 2021, 3 – 6 pm

Los Angeles

Join us in the courtyard for the opening celebration of ‘Lorna Simpson. Everrrything,’ ‘Günther Förg. Appearance,’ and a Book & Printed Matter Lab presentation dedicated to Cal State LA’s Television, Film and Media Studies’ Department.

Enjoy cash bars by the gallery’s onsite restaurant Manuela and tunes by DJ Jihaari. Immerse yourself in Lorna Simpson’s expansive multimedia exhibition that will debut new sculpture, painting, collage, and film. View the first ever solo exhibition in Los Angeles for postwar German artist Günther Förg, marking the artist’s return to California after nearly thirty years. Stop by the Book & Printed Matter Lab to learn about West Coast and LA-based nonprofits through a showcase of student-direct short films from the innovative Cal State LA course Community Impact Media, the shared community engagement project between the gallery and the university.

Free to attend, no booking necessary.

Masks are required in the indoor gallery spaces.

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Lorna Simpson
Everrrything
(pictured)

14 Sep 2021 – 9 Jan 2022
Los Angeles

About
Lorna Simpson’s first exhibition at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles – ‘Everrrything’ – will fill both North galleries and the open-air courtyard of the gallery’s Downtown Arts District complex with new sculpture, painting, and collage. Expanding her critically admired Ice series, Simpson’s new paintings allure viewers with layers of paradoxes, threading dichotomies of figuration and abstraction, past and present, destruction and creation. Collages on view continue the artist’s ongoing exploration of the medium through her appropriation and reimagining of imagery from vintage issues of Ebony and Jet magazines, which have been integral sources for Simpson over the last decade. The new works on view reveal the ways in which Simpson’s multidisciplinary, multivalent practice uniquely deploys metaphor, metonymy, and formal prowess to offer a powerful response to the daily experience of American life now.

‘Everrrything’ will also debut new sculptural works, both indoors and outdoors, that further invite viewers into the intricacies of Simpson’s vision.

In 2019, Simpson was awarded the esteemed J. Paul Getty Medal, honoring her extraordinary contribution to the practice, understanding, and support of the arts. Concurrent with her exhibition at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, two video works – ‘Redhead’ (2018) and ‘Blue Love’ (2020) – will be projected on the facade of the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis as part of their ‘Street Views’ series.

About the Exhibition
‘Everrrything’ will debut a rich array of recent and never-before-seen works by the multidisciplinary artist Lorna Simpson. United by her long-established visual vocabulary of found imagery and poetic juxtapositions, the sculptures, paintings, collages, and installation works on view break new ground in Simpson’s thirty-plus year career, and clearly affirm her stature as one of the most dynamic artists working today.

Featuring work made over the course of the past year, the exhibition continues Simpson’s exploration of the nature of representation, identity, gender, race, and history through her appropriation of photo booth snapshots, vintage magazine advertisements, celestial maps, and images from scientific textbooks. Through unexpected reconfigurations of this diverse array of visual culture, in both two and three-dimensional formats, the artist continues to develop her distinctive language of the found image as a source, encouraging new narratives to emerge from unexpected origins.

Featured Image: Lorna Simpson, Time, 2021 © Lorna Simpson. Photo: James Wang

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Günther Förg
Appearance

14 Sep 2021 – 9 Jan 2022
Los Angeles

About
Hauser & Wirth is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of Günther Förg (1952 – 2013) in Los Angeles. On view from 14 September 2021 through 9 January 2022 in the South Gallery, the exhibition will focus on two generations of Förg’s ‘Gitterbilder’ (Grid Paintings) and marks the return of one of the most significant German artists of the postwar generation to California after nearly thirty years. The formal conversation at play in the exhibition will foreground Förg’s deep art historical roots while celebrating his distinctively sensuous approach to gestural abstraction—a hallmark of his multifaceted five-decade career.

Having pioneered a visual language that simultaneously exemplifies and subverts the tenets of modernism, Förg’s prolific body of work ranges from painting and drawing to sculpture and photography, sidestepping easy categorization by candidly appropriating and re-imagining canonical art historical references, such as the work of Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, Cy Twombly, Edvard Munch and many others.

About the Exhibition
‘Appearance’ celebrates Förg’s longtime experimentation with painting through a focused presentation of his Grid Paintings that highlights the scope and evolution of this iconic series.

At the end of the 1980’s Förg developed an interest in the work and life of Edvard Munch. After meeting the Norwegian Munch specialist Per Bjarne Boym in the early 1990’s Förg’s interest was fueled once again. As a result of this experience Förg began making his first Grid Paintings. His attention was not drawn to Munch’s captivating figures as one might expect, but rather to Munch’s treatment of non-figural elements and flat areas of color. When comparing Munch’s ‘Death of Marat’ (1907) with Förg’s work in this exhibition, an unequivocal correspondence can be observed between these two artists as evidenced by their painterly treatment of the canvas, their layered lines of like colors, and the unorthodox way in which they threaten to dissolve distinctions between negative and positive space. In 1994, Förg and Rudi Fuchs, Director of the Stedelijk Museum discussed Förg’s first unveiling of the Grid Paintings at the museum. Förg expressed his desire to push his painting practice to the next level and resist the temptation to get stuck with the success of his earlier series such as lead paintings and colorfield works. It was at this point he commented: ‘Das Ding noch einmal möglich machen’, translated to: ‘Make the thing possible all over again’.

‘Untitled’ (1995), Förg’s largest work from the ‘Gitterbilder’ series, takes center stage in the exhibition and serves as a prime example not only of his correspondence with Munch, but of his incisive challenge to modernist techniques and principles. Spanning nearly thirteen by twenty feet and enveloping viewers in its totalizing presence, this painting features clusters of ochre, sage, rust, and charcoal cross-hatchings on a neutral gray-toned background. Though reminiscent, in color and style, of Brice Marden’s organic line paintings and Twombly’s gestural vocabulary, ‘Untitled’ eschews the underlying significances of the very aesthetic that it employs. While Marden, Twombly, and their contemporaries invoked abstraction in an effort to produce a sublime or transcendent experience, Förg doubted such lofty claims to material purity and formal perfection, and instead emphasized the physical, tactile, sensual properties of his medium and its ability to create a raw, intentionally adulterated surface.

While some of the first Grid Paintings referred to specific works by Munch, those produced later use crosshatching in a more free-flowing and unrestricted manner. ‘Untitled’ (2007), for example, is distinguished by its loose strokes of gray and red with bursts of green, brown and black that form a haphazard grid. This somewhat playful tactic echoes Förg’s drive to explore an idea rather than manifest an ideal. He has reflected on his practice and the textured canvases that result, saying: ‘In the grid paintings you often don’t get a brush stroke, the surface is scratched into or you don’t get a sense of the mark starting or finishing on the canvas so it sets up a different kind of surface. I think it is important to do these breaks when the time is right.’ Förg’s late grid paintings slowly morphed into the Spot Paintings, the artist’s last series before he was taken ill. In these works Förg started placing the grids upon lighter grounds of the same or similar hues, a technique that would become seminal for the artist’s final series.

Having routinely crossed disciplines with an eye for challenging the boundaries traditionally established between them, Förg’s multifaceted approach to art-making manifests within the two-dimensional works on view via subtle allusions to structures and spaces beyond the picture plane. The resultant hints of a building, a window, or a landscape speak to the artist’s fascination with architecture—which permeated all aspects of his oeuvre from painting and sculpture to photography—and reflect his unique relationship to modernism: simultaneously exposing and embracing its veiled attempts at creating spatial illusions and referential imagery.

Despite employing some of the classic tropes of abstraction, expressionism, and modern art more broadly, Förg’s Grid Paintings invoke the attitudes and techniques of these movements at a critical remove from the aim of the artists who championed them. Förg’s work prompts a consideration of the most essential characteristics of art—color, form, and space—by way of their own subversion.