Almine Rech Gallery, one of Paris’s foremost galleries, opened its first New York location more than a year ago on the Upper East Side, bringing with it a unique program that mixes a strong artist roster with a consistently adventurous curatorial project. For its most recent venture, the gallery has brought together key figures from the canon of 20th century Western art for Words Without Thoughts Never to Heaven Go. Adapting its title from a line in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the exhibition investigates ways artists use text as an allegorical element. Serving as a chronological and thematic starting point to the exhibition is Être ou ne pas être, Picasso’s 1912 painting considered as one of the foremost examples of appropriation of text in modern painting. Declaring “to be or not be” in French with gouache on paper, Picasso not only pays homage to one of the most emblematic texts ever written, but he also questions the mimetic essence of a painting. Can a painting of words serve to depict an image?
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Hong Kong, Island via Artnet.
Gursky is a German photographer famous for his large and highly-textured photographs that provide a high point of view. He is fascinated with the relationship of people and space. Though not working in definitive series, his work can often be linked by motif. Often, his photographs, which capture a wide-angled view of a vast subject, feature an array of patterns. These patterns, which seem to be one of the most definitive qualities of his work, are not staged or posed, but are instead naturally occurring and captured from an odd or dramatic angle.
Signature works include the 1993 Paris, Montparnasse, which portrays the large, grid-like exterior of a large building while simultaneously allowing voyeuristic views into each curtainless window. More recently, he has incorporated computer editing into his art, frequently creating larger subjects than the initial photograph provides.
His work, 99 Cent II Diptychon, a dizzying photograph of row after row of candy and other disposable goods on display at a 99-cent store, sold for $3.3 million in 2007 and holds the record for the highest price paid for a photograph taken by a living photographer, via MOMA.
UBS Collection at Mori Art Museum [ArtObserved]
More info about the artist coming soon.