Darren Almond, Liam Gillick, Richard Hamilton, Jeff Koons, Sarah Morris
Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin 1998
With a text by Sarah Morris (English)
Publisher: Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin
Text: Sarah Morris
Publication date: 1998
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British artist Darren Almond (b. 1971) works in a variety of media including photography, film, installation, sculpture and painting. His diverse subjects deal with abstract ideas of time, space, history and memory and how these concepts relate and intersect. He examines the symbolic and emotional potential of objects, places and situations to produce works that have historical as well as personal resonance.
Almond’s work often begins with travel to remote locations that are motivated by specific political, cultural or geographical investigations. In the ‘Fullmoon’ photographs, a series that the artist begun in 1998, he photographed diverse landscapes in every continent of the world under moonlight, using long exposures, to create images that seem to uncannily replace night with day. Almond’s films deal with personal and political subjects. In Bearing, for example, he follows the daily trek of a sulphur miner in Indonesia, while in In the Between, he films the controversial high-altitude train line built from China to Tibet. In his sculptural work, Almond often materialises notions of time as both a real and imagined construction. His large-scale, wall-mounted flip clocks, for example, emphasise the passing of time with their amplified sound as well as the impossibility of its mechanical quantification.
‘In practice, the allure of Almond’s artwork transcends the overt splendour of the views. It transpires in the artist’s underlying method, which is aesthetically fuelled by the exploration of time. How might an artist, in this day and age, depict temporality? What are the methods and means for visually representing the notion and experience of time? The answer resides in Almond’s distinct and complementary practices, which involve time in various guises: retransmitted, distorted, delayed, real, subjective or frozen.’
V. Souben in Darren Almond: ...between here and the surface of the moon, FRAC Auvergne, 2011
Artist page on maxhetzler.com
From the very beginning, Jeff Koons’ (b. 1955) popular, influential, celebrated and controversial oeuvre has questioned the traditional concept of art. His contextual sleight-of-hand, which transforms banal items into sumptuous icons, takes on a psychological dimension through dramatic shifts in scale, spectacularly engineered surfaces, and subliminal allegories of animals, humans, and anthropomorphized objects. While his approach is unconceivable without Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol as precursors, the subject of art history is a constant undercurrent in his work, whether Koons elevates kitsch to the level of classical art or produces works in the manner of Baroque sculptures.
‘As Arthur Danto once aptly said: “Everyone likes Koons' art, Koons himself might say, unless they have been taught not to.” In this sense, Koons' primary motivation is direct and clear communication with as many people as possible, which is why he focuses on universally understandable themes that he showcases artistically by means of contextual changes, dimensional shifts, and a high degree of perfection in the execution. [...] Koons, the imperturbable optimist, aims at the expression of happiness, self-assurance, and emotional abandon.’
A. Hüsch, A sensory overload on spin cycle: The sensual universe of Jeff Koons in Jeff Koons, Galerie Max Hetzler and Holzwarth Publications, 2009
Darren Almond, Liam Gillick, Richard Hamilton, Jeff Koons, Sarah Morris, Jorge Pardo, Richard Phillips, Jane and Louise Wilson (curated by Sarah Morris) (publication)
Zimmerstraße 89, Berlin-Mitte
Exhibition page on maxhetzler.com