RESILIENCE—PHILIP GUSTONIN 1971 is the first local solo exhibition of the artist’s paintings and drawings in over half a century. The show—at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, and curated by his daughter Musa Mayer—is on view for one more week.
The paintings in the exhibition were made in Rome during an extended Italian trip in 1971. Guston had recently weathered a storm of negative reaction to his 1970 show of work at the Marlborough Gallery in New York City.
I’ve found no better word than “resilience” to describe that particular year in my father’s work and life, and indeed to characterize his entire life, especially his early life, when he discovered the great art and artists of the past and quite literally drew and painted a new identity for himself. — Musa Mayer
My work has its roots in sculpture. For years I threw myself into studying problems of balance, volume, space, shadow, and light…
I took stock of the awareness of our time. I used my knowledge of the craft, my intuition, and my intelligence to note with increased clarity the poverty of my methods in comparison to modern techniques. I have been conquered by the hero-miracle of our age, the machine. To it belong beauty, revelations, testimonies, the recording of history. To it belong, in the end, truthful dreams and public demand…
Despite everything, I persist in trying to fix in resin the traces of our body: I am convinced that of all the manifestations of the ephemeral, the human body is the most vulnerable, the only source of all joy, all suffering, and all truth, because of its essential nudity, is as inevitable as it is inadmissible on any conscious level. — Alina Szapocznikow, March 1972, Malakoff*
TO EXALT THE EPHEMERAL—ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW, 1962–1972, a comprehensive exhibition of work by this essential artist, is on view in Manhattan for one more week.
*Alina Szapocznikow, “Mon œuvre puise ses racines…,” March 1972, (courtesy Alina SzapocznikowArchive, Piotr Stanisławski, National Museum in Kraków), in To Exaltthe Ephemeral: Alina Szapocznikow, 1962–1972, exhibition catalog (Zürich: Hauser & Wirth, 2019).
See Griselda Pollock, “Traumatic Encryption: The Sculptural Dissolutions of Alina Szapocznikow,” in After-affects / After-Images: Trauma and Aesthetic Transformation in the Virtual Feminist Museum (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013).
MARIA LASSNIG—NEW YORK FILMS 1970–1980—restored by the Maria Lassnig Foundation and the AustrianFilm Museum—comprise live-action and documentary footage, and “enrich and complicate our understandings of Lassnig’s approach to figuration and self-portraiture, as well as other key themes that she investigated throughout her career, including the social roles assigned to women, the tension between public engagement and private seclusion, and questions of technological advancement, especially of imaging technologies and shifts in the way images circulate.” (New York Diary)
These films were largely never finished, nor shown in the artist’s lifetime, which perhaps accounts for their frankness, a type of elucidate meditation on the artistic process, life in the studio, and the psychologies, lives, and bodies of Lassnig’s friends and colleagues. As such, the films of this period become essential to understanding the shift within Lassnig’s practice, which occurred around 1970 following the artist’s move to New York from Vienna in 1968, to be “in the country of strong women.”* Shifting her focus from the personal to that of the body and its relations, her reaction to the sensory overload of Manhattan was not so much an abandonment of an earlier practice of “body sensation” drawings and the subsequent “body awareness” paintings, but rather a redefinition of a transposed body within a cultural and civic environment.** — Mary L. Coyne
HA-M-LET—created and performed by Los Angeles-based theater artist Peter Mark—is a “multi-lingual, multimedia performance housed within a projection cube. Sourcing material from Shakespeare’s play, pop internet culture, home videos, and 3D animation, the projected image becomes landscape, body, narrative, and biography—shifting at a rate which pays homage to Hamlet’s own velocity of thought.”*
Presented by CalArts Center for New Performance and Hauser & Wirth, Mark will perform HA-M-LET this week at the gallery’s Arts District location.