RIRKRIT TIRAVANIJA: NEW WORKS

When 10 Apr 2020 - 30 May 2020
Where Gavin Brown Enterprise
439 W. 127TH STREET
New York, NY 10027
United States
Enquiry 212 627 5258

*This is an online program*

Gavin Brown’s enterprise is pleased to announce our Online Viewing Room is now live, featuring new works by Rirkrit Tiravanija and our current exhibitions of Uri Aran and Frida Orupabo.

Rirkrit Tiravanija’s newspaper paintings have taken an aggressive figurative turn, departing sharply from the restraint of the previous text-based works. The new works draw their iconographic and stylistic vocabulary from the well of Philip Guston’s late work. Tiravanija piles dismembered limbs and brick walls over wheatpasted pages of contemporary newspapers, transposing Guston’s generous but highly opaque symbolism onto our modern political moment. In particular, these paintings interrogate our fraught notions of immigration and borders, the conflation of the racialized other with fear. The Wall has become a symbol of America’s nationalistic mania; the body parts suggest mass graves. In spite of this deadly serious subject matter, the works are also, however, deeply comic – the cartoon language they employ was funny when Guston used it, and remains so under Tiravanija’s deft hand.

Tiravanija, like Guston, accepts the impossibility of a “pure” artwork, of true abstraction. Likewise, they both reject straightforward readings – nothing can ever be one-to-one in life, nor should it be in art. These works revel in pictorial and temporal corruption, letting the outside world in – and using a hyperspecific historical moment to capture something timeless.

To enter the viewing room, please click here.

Image courtesy of the gallery and the artist.