On View at the Jones Center and Laguna Gloria
Matthew Barney, Louise Bourgeois, Maurizio Cattelan, Katharina Fritsch, Robert Gober, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Subodh Gupta, David Hammons, Jim Hodges, Anish Kapoor, Jim Lambie, Ron Mueck, Juan Muñoz, Marc Quinn, Charles Ray, Thomas Schütte, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Kiki Smith, Gillian Wearing
The Contemporary Austin presents A Secret Affair: Selections from the Fuhrman Family Collection, an exhibition featuring work from the collection of Glenn and Amanda Fuhrman, curated by executive director Louis Grachos with Danielle Nieciag. With this project, as part of its inaugural year, The Contemporary brings to Austin a group of works by exceptional artists not exhibited previously at the museum. Consisting primarily of sculpture, the objects in the exhibition revolve around the theme of the body and its absence, from the hyperreal to the abstract, tinged with a range of complex, playful, and dark psychological undertones. The exhibition takes its name from Secret Affair (Gold), 2007, a steel sculpture by the Scottish artist Jim Lambie, comprising a near-life-size outline of a keyhole placed incongruously in the landscape of Laguna Gloria. Here, a simple framing device becomes an Alice in Wonderland portal to the secret garden behind it, a scintillating invitation to what lies beyond and a metaphor for the myriad pairings between the corporeal and the abstract. Works in the exhibition, the majority of which is on view at the Jones Center, flirt with the surreal—as seen in Ron Mueck’s bodies cast in dying pallor or Kiki Smith’s whimsical, fairylike bronze figure with delicately crossed legs and outstretched arms—to the poetic, embodied by Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s poignant lightbulb strands. Counter to this are works that use materials in a conceptual manner, as in the woven sink or wax and human hair sculptures of Robert Gober, or Untitled, 2004, a witty and cryptic ethnographic rock-and-hair object by David Hammons. The abject is also in abundance, none better to corner this market than Thomas Schütte’s brilliant and grotesque bronze busts, their features gnarled and powerful, the epitome of ugly made beautiful. Likewise, though radically different in style, Katharina Fritsch’s Oktopus, 2010, depicts a miniature three-dimensional rendering of an orange octopus squeezing a tiny black figure in one of its tentacles. Throughout the works in A Secret Affair, a thread of commonality exists in the resonance between one body and another, or the existential question at the core of all human interaction: the connection between two individuals. Among the most provocative and emblematic of the grouping is Couple, 2004, the iconic sculpture by the grande dame of post-1950 female artists, Louise Bourgeois. Consisting of two pale pink figures, male and female, merged at the belly inside a glass cage, the bodies are intertwined in perpetual ambivalence, suggesting at once protection and imprisonment, tenderness and aggression, and togetherness and isolation. And beyond the literal, the imagined observer or present viewer exists as an implied figure to complete the metaphorical “couple” in all of these works.
This exhibition is curated by Louis Grachos, Executive Director, with Danielle Nieciag, Manager Special Projects, Director’s Office. Text by Heather Pesanti, Senior Curator.
A Secret Affair: Selections from the Fuhrman Family Collection will travel to The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, February 21 – May 16, 2015.
About the Fuhrman Family Collection
Glenn and Amanda Fuhrman are avid collectors of contemporary art. Mr. Fuhrman is the founder of The FLAG Art Foundation in New York City.
Join us for the opening reception for A Secret Affair: Selections from the Fuhrman Family Collection.
The Contemporary’s inaugural Art Dinner will celebrate the new Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria, honor the Edward and Betty Marcus Foundation for its founding gift, and unveil Orly Genger’s new commissioned work, Current.
With free admission all day long at the Jones Center and Laguna Gloria, come explore the exciting new exhibitions alongside family-friendly interactive activities.
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