An exhibition showcasing the work of six leading younger generation international artists opens to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Thursday 8 March. Vantage Point features paintings by Michael Raedecker (the Netherlands/UK) and Daniel Richter (Germany), and mixed media installations, sculptures and environments by Ernesto Neto (Brazil), Rob Pruitt (USA), Ugo Rondinone (Switzerland/USA) and Yinka Shonibare (UK/Nigeria). The exhibition is part of an ongoing strand of programming, which introduces to Ireland for the first time, the work of non-Irish artists who are gaining increasing recognition in the international art world. The 2001 show includes work informed by everyday life and addresses current issues, from ecology and technology to popular culture and globalisation.
Ernesto Neto (b 1964, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) creates sensuous worlds for the viewer to enter and experience. He uses a white translucent lycra fabric, similar to a semi-permeable membrane, in his scultpures and installations which he fills with materials as varied as pungent spices, Amazonian pigments, lead pellets and styrofoam balls. The fabric is then shaped into different forms, such as ovaloids with umbilicial cords, configurations evoking tropical forests and environments one can enter and touch and smell. Since 1988 Neto has exhibited in 29 solo exhibitions and numerous group exhibitions worldwide. Forthcoming solo exhibitions in 2001 include KIASMA Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia. He lives and works in Rio de Janeiro.
Rob Pruitt (b 1963, Washington, DC) is best known for his off-beat conceptual works often involving a do-it-yourself approach to art while at the same time poking fun at artworld personalities and trends. His 1999 show ‘101 Art ideas You Can Do Yourself’ comprised 101 instructions for creating an artwork, presented in recipe-book form, and also Pruitt’s own execution of 35 of the ideas. ‘No 28 Make a Painting with Make-up’ pictures a puppy made of mascara and blusher, while ‘No 40 Get Plastic Surgery’ is a poster of the much-altered artist Jocelyne Wilderstern. Pruitt began his career in the early
1990s as part of the collaborative duo Pruitt and Early. Since then he has participated in more than 50 group shows and has had solo exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, London, Venice, Cologne, Lausanne, Switzerland; Nevers, France; and Knokke, Belgium. He lives and works in New York.
Michael Raedecker’s (b. 1963, Amsterdam) deserted landscapes and sparse interiors are at once familiar and unsettling. They depict marginal places – arid plains or valleys, barren woods, lone buildings smothered in thick blankets of snow or half-glimpsed through a gloomy twilight and forlorn interiors. Avoiding any kind of explicit narrative, Raedecker creates evocative images which have a dream-like, cinematic quality. He employs unusual techniques to create his paintings. In addition to paint, applied to canvas in thin washes and thick impasto, he uses thread, embroidery, sequins and textile matter attached to the canvas, skilfully blurring the distinctions between fine art and craft. Raedecker studied fashion from 1985 to 1990, before deciding to study painting, firstly in Amsterdam and in 1996-97 at Goldsmiths College, London. He was shortlisted for the 2000 Turner Prize. He lives and works in London.
Daniel Richter (b. 1962, Euton, Germany) is primarily interested in paintings that “try to place themselves between representation and abstraction”. Indeed, the seemingly abstract form of many of his works is built upon figurative layers drawn by the artist beforehand, resulting in a powerful and startling interplay between abstract and figurative devices. As soon as the viewer concentrates on any one pictorial element – perhaps based on a political subject, from street violence to the Berlin Wall – the motif is overtaken by a labyrinthine complexity familiar from Richter’s earlier wholly abstract work. Richter has shown in solo and group shows throughout Germany and in Los Angeles, London, New York and Bologna, Italy. He lives and works in Berlin and Hamburg.
Ugo Rondinone’s (b. 1964, Brunner, Switzerland) installations are so multifaceted and the media so diverse that his solo exhibitions, and even individual works, have been likened to groups shows. These range from large dizzying target paintings to handwritten texts, outdoor sculpture and complex video and sound works. Rondinone’s work has been described as addressing the tension between total abandonment and activity. Many of his installations include self portraits, perhaps in the form of a figure, lost in its own world, slumped against the gallery wall. This clown-like figure, seen in a variety of forms, is the one recurring motif in Rondinone’s work, appearing sometimes as a gigantic image in interactive video installations where the sound of laughter is triggered by passing visitors. Since 1985 Rondinone has shown in many solo and group exhibitions throughout Europe and more recently in the USA and Israel. He lives and works in New York.
The central themes of Yinka Shonibare’s (b 1962, London) work are colonialism and post colonialism, Britishness and Africanness. Although born in England, he was educated in Nigeria returning to London at 17 to study art. This background has been pivotal to his art. “A lot of the things I do have something to do with crossing boundaries. I look at British high culture, especially in art, and re-interpret it. I like to take things from British aristocracy and ‘ethnicise’ them.” There is also a preoccupation in Shonibare’s art with subverting themes of class and social placement. ‘Diary Of A Victorian Dandy’, for example, examines the way contemporary artists respond to or react against 19th-century ways of looking at life and art. In it the artist plays on the British taste for costume drama and nostalgia taking on the central role of the dandy in a series of sumptuous, staged pictures, unsurping the role of the well-dress fop, who should be white but in Shonibare’s world is black. Shonibare has exhibited extensively in group and solo exhibitions since 1989. Recent solo exhibitions include Dressing Down, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (and tour) 1999/2000, and Effective Defective Creative, Science Museum, London.
Vantage Point continues until 7 May.
Admission is free.
Opening hours: Tue – Sat 10.00am – 5.30pm
Sun, Bank Holidays 12 noon – 5.30pm
Friday 13 April
For further information and colour and black and white images please contact Philomena Byrne or Monica Cullinane at Tel : +353 1 612 9900,
Fax : +353 1 612 9999
26 February 2001