Animation by Kevin Kunstadt
Van Doren Waxter is pleased to present Alexander Gorlizki: For Immediate Release, an evolving solo exhibition featuring works on paper, installation, sculpture, and for the first time, works on cloth by Alexander Gorlizki. The exhibition will be on view from April 25th to June 28th, 2013.
Gorlizki’s works on found paper, book pages and photographs create intricate and dense worlds with quirky characters and pattern-filled abstractions. Mixing Eastern and Western iconographies with realistic and imaginatively depicted personae, Gorlizki presents witty, surreal scenarios often suggesting a narrative or happening, and other times rooted in pure abstraction. In There’s Someone Else, rolling turquoise hills have a Buddha-like head at their apex, in this case a photograph of Lana Turner, her hair replaced with leafy plant life. Various figures and forms pepper the page including a light bulb sporting underwear and a rendition of Dante staring across the scene. In a number of works, Gorlizki has left a large portion of the base picture exposed and deliberately modified the image to a rather humorous effect. In A Woman of Means, a fashion model’s pet dogs have mutated into an amorphous leopard with tentacles. Much of the imagery has roots in the artist’s interest in the applied arts and design ranging from traditional Afghan textiles to medieval tapestries and Russian ceramics from the 1920s.
The interplay between various cultural iconographies is echoed in the production methods of the work. For nearly two decades, Gorlizki has commissioned a wide range of artisans and craftspeople specializing in highly skilled, traditional techniques; the most long-standing of these creative relationships is with Riyaz Uddin, a master miniaturist painter in Jaipur, India, with whom Gorlizki established an atelier in 1996. Much of the imagery that has evolved in the works on paper, produced at the atelier in Jaipur and the artist’s studio in Brooklyn, NY, have now been applied to larger works on cloth in the Pichvai (temple hanging) tradition, as well as sculptural objects as Gorlizki has recently renewed his work with stone carvers, metal casters and tailors, among others.
The exhibition’s title, For Immediate Release, refers to the context of viewing art in the form of a press release, but also represents a pent up creative energy being released, not necessarily in an orderly fashion, to show the artistic process as an organic form. There is a cathartic element to this concept in which the process and product are equally as important. Mirroring this sentiment, portions of the installation will be gradually rotating in and out producing a constantly changing display. This exhibition aims to create a fully immersive environment and a window into the artist’s mind. Artist-designed wallpaper will cover the walls and wool rugs patterned with Gorlizki’s signature abstractions will adorn the floor creating a colorful backdrop for the assemblage of works on canvas, paper and sculpture.
Alexander Gorlizki was born in London, U.K., in 1967 and received his M.F.A. from the Slade School, London, U.K. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. His work is included in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK, the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, CA, the Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf, Germany, and the Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO. Recent solo exhibitions include Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai, India, Kudlek van der Grinten Galerie, Cologne, Germany, and John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA. Recent group exhibitions include Watching Me Watching You, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO, 2011.