Lorna Simpson.Darkening + Piero Manzoni.Lines Materials of His Time at Hauser & Wirth New York




Lorna Simpson, Darkened, 2018. Ink and screen print on gessoed wood. 274.3 x 243.8 x 3.2 cm/108 x 96 x 1 1/2 in. © Lorna Simpson Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

Hauser & Wirth will open its doors to Lorna Simpson.Darkening and Piero Manzoni.Lines Materials of His Time in its Chelsea Gallery.

Lorna Simpson: Darkening, 2018. Ink and screen print on gessoed wood. 274.3 x 243.8 x 3.2 cm/108 x 96 x 1 1/4 in. Image courtesy Hauser & Wirth New York

Beginning with Lorna Simpson, this is the artists first solo exhibition with the gallery in New York. Debuting a suite of new large-scale paintings, alongside recent photographic collages and sculpture, the exhibition finds Simpson returning to and building upon themes and motifs at the center of her practice: explorations focused on the nature of representation, identity, gender, race, and history.

For more than 30 years, Simpson’s powerful works have entangled viewers in an equivocal web of meaning, drawing upon techniques of collage through the use of found materials, often culled from the pages of vintage Jet and Ebony magazines. In ‘Darkening,’ Simpson continues to thread dichotomies of figuration and abstraction with vast and enthralling tableaux that subsume spliced photos and fragmented text, abstracted beyond comprehension. Equally arresting and poetic, the paintings engage viewers with layers of paradox, capturing the mystifying allure of an arctic landscape in inky washes of blacks, grays, and startling blues.

Using Black to Paint Light:
Walking Through a Matisse Exhibit
Thinking about the Arctic and Matthew Henson
(an excerpt)

The unanticipated shock: so much believed to be white is actually – strikingly – blue. Endless blueness. White is blue. An ocean wave freezes in place. Blue. Whole glaciers, large as Ohio, floating masses of static water. All of them pale frosted azuls. It makes me wonder – yet again – was there ever such a thing as whiteness? I am beginning to grow suspicious. An open window.

I am blue.
I am a frozen blue ocean.
I am a wave struck cold in midair.
The wave is nude beneath her blue dress. Her skin is blue.

– Robin Coste Lewis

Lorna Simpson. Darkening will be on view from April 25 through July 26, 2019, with Opening Reception one Thursday, April 25 from 6-8 at Hauser & Wirth New York, 548 West 22nd Street in Chelsea, NYC

Piero Manzoni unrolling a Linea (Line) in his atelier, with an Achrome on the background, Milan, 1959; Achrome, 1961, Synthetic fiber, 42 x 33 cm/ 16 1/2 x 13 in. Photo: Soren Krogh
© Fondazione Piero Manzoni, Milano Courtesy of the Foundation and Hauser & Wirth

The exhibition Piero Manzoni.Lines Materials of His Time are two concurrent exhibitions devoted to Piero Manzoni, a seminal figure of postwar Italian Art and progenitor of Conceptualism. will be on view from April 25 through July 26, 2019.

During a brief but influential career that ended upon his untimely death in 1963, Manzoni evolved from a self-taught abstract painter into an artistic disruptor. Curated by Rosalia Pasqualino di Marineo, director of the Piero Manzoni Foundation in Milan, the exhibitions ‘Piero Manzoni. Materials of His Time’ and ‘Piero Manzoni. Lines’ unfold over two floors and focus on Manzoni’s most significant bodies of work: his Achromes (paintings without color) and Linee (Lines) series.

On view in the second-floor gallery, ‘Materials of His Time’ features more than 70 of Manzoni’s radical Achromes and surveys the artist’s revolutionary approach to unconventional materials, such as sewn cloth, cotton balls, fiberglass, bread rolls, synthetic and natural fur, straw, cobalt chloride, polystyrene, stones, and more. Travelling from Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, the exhibition situates Manzoni as a peer of such artists as Lucio Fontana and Yves Klein, whose experiments continue to influence contemporary art-making today. ‘Materials of His Time’ also presents, for the first time in New York, the items on a wish list Manzoni outlined in a 1961 letter to his friend Henk Peeters: a room all in white fur, and another coated in fluorescent paint, totally immersing the visitor in white light.

Piero Manzoni, Achrome, 1961, Synthetic fiber. 27 x 22 cm/10 5/8 x 8 5/8 in © Fondazione Piero Manzoni, Milano. Photo: Agostino Osio. Image courtesy Hauser & Wirth New York

The presentation of Manzoni’s work continues on the third floor with ‘Lines,’ an exhibition of over 35 works that constitute his most considered and serialized explorations. Developed in parallel with his production of Achromes, Manzoni began his Linee series in 1959. Ranging from short, simple bands traversing rectangular sheets of paper to increasingly long traces created with a roller on strips of paper, the artist produced a total of 90 Linee works of varying meters, which he then sealed in cylindrical containers. The series culminated in 1960 with ‘Linea lunga 7.200 metri’ (Line 7200 Meters Long), made in Herning, Denmark. In addition to Manzoni’s cylindrical wooden sculpture ‘Linea di lunghezza infinita’ (Line of Infinite Length) (1960), a purely conceptual work, Hauser & Wirth is pleased to feature ‘12 Linee,’ a reconstruction of the artist’s exhibition originally staged in 1959 for the opening of the illustrious Azimut gallery in Milan, as well as the short film ‘Le lunghe linee,’ presented for the first time with new audio and music. Despite the extraordinary importance of the series for the artist, this is the first time a major exhibition has been staged around the Linee.

The exhibitions are designed by Stephanie Goto and are complemented by a special presentation of archival material from the collection of Guido and Gabriella Pautasso. Books, documents, and typewritten manuscripts authored by Manzoni shed light on his methodology. Curated by Guido Pautasso and Irene Stucchi, the display of archival materials that accompanied Manzoni’s practice adds another dimension to his life, tracing the artist’s biography reanimating his personal and creative journey for a contemporary audience.

On the occasion of ‘Materials of His Time’ and ‘Lines,’ Hauser & Wirth Publishers has released a box set of two new catalogues providing a comprehensive historical-critical analysis of Manzoni’s two major bodies of work.

A related event, In Conversation: Piero Manzoni ‘Materials of His Time’ and ‘Lines’ will take place on Tuesday, April 30th at 6:30pm. Please Register to attend.

Piero Manzoni.Lines Materials of His Time will be on view from April 25 through July 26, 2019 at Hauser & Wirth New York, 548 West 22nd Street in Chelsea, NYC