Past Exhibitions
Past Exhibitions
James Coleman
January 17 - February 18, 2017

New York

James Coleman

January 17 – February 18, 2017 
Opening Reception: Tuesday, January 17th, 2017, 6-8 pm

Marian Goodman Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of James Coleman opening at Marian Goodman Gallery, New York on Tuesday, January 17th, 2017. The show will remain on view through Saturday, February 18th, 2017.

This extensive show follows a recent exhibition in our London space, and a major retrospective at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in 2012. The exhibition will present a selection of iconic earlier works from the sixties and seventies to the present, and will premiere to the US two major film installations that have occupied the artist during recent years.
Since his first exhibition in 1970, Coleman’s pioneering practice has redefined our understanding and expectations of time-based work and has had an immeasurable influence on subsequent generations of artists. Coleman’s critique of the photographic image through meticulously composed slide, film and video projections engages the viewers understanding of how an image accrues meaning and the viewers’ role in defining the experience of the photographic image. While Coleman assigns a subtle conceptual and temporal aspect to the experience of the image, his works are characterized by a sensual beauty and elegance that results from his embrace of the photographic image's inherent uncertainties and potential.

Untitled (2011-15) will be presented in the North Gallery and Still Life (2013-16) in the South Gallery.

Of these two new works, Benjamin H.D. Buchloh has written: “In a dialectical constellation of extreme opposites, James Coleman's two new works, Still Life and Untitled, seem to contemplate the origins and the present currency, the alpha and the omega of representation. Still Life stages a singular, live poppy plant, whose merely microscopically perceptible biological life is traced in a larger than life size filmic projection, as though returning to one of the origins of aesthetic desire, to depict nature, and convey its miraculous operations mimetically. Not accidentally, the poppy as the chosen plant, equally embodies the biological specimen of the flower that has represented the desire for the dream and trance in Western European culture. Its counterpart, Untitled, in utter reversal of the still life structure, is based on a film clip the artist recorded when studying the rotations of a carousel and the screams and gestures of the inhabitants of its flying chairs. While seemingly a futurist celebration of machinic movement and joyful abandon, the clip is actually subjected to a rigorously structured pattern of programmed repetition, accompanied by an even more ominous enforcement of circular sound, the endless repetition of an unidentifiable, yet uncannily familiar menacing sonoric pattern.” [1]

Documenta 11 Project (1998-2000), a video installation, will be shown in the space adjacent to the South Gallery. The work explores the liminal state between what appears recognizable and what is intangible, engaging the viewer’s desire to assign language and meaning to form, resisting our expectations to discern and comprehend what we see while engaging us on the threshold of this “equivocation of an image".

Concurrently on view will be a selection of seminal early films - 'Projected Images’.  Made during Coleman’s two decades working and studying in Milan, these works consist of a single take, often in static shots, meditating on a prosaic subject where we  can discern the foundations of Coleman’s explorations of the still and moving image. These works of the late 60s and seventies -- originally filmed on 8mm/Super 8mm films, and later transferred to 16mm -- will be shown on rotation over the course of the exhibition and include: Pheasant, Work Apron, Clock, La Valle della Morte, and Skull. A schedule for the films will be available during the exhibition. 

Working Arrangement- horoscopus, is a project filmed in  2004 which has been in development. Comprised of 8 different screens projected simultaneously, it will be presented in the Project Room situated on the Third Floor of the gallery.
James Coleman invited eight actors to improvise from a theatrical text based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. The actors were requested to remain in their designated character roles during the entire recorded performance -- including scenes on and off-stage.  All of the scenes, both on and off stage, were filmed on a continuous basis using "button"  cameras placed on the body of each actor, including in and on eye glasses, clothing, etc. The staging of the performances and the theatrical texts are thus equally improvised. 
Working Arrangement – horoscopus (2004) is part of a larger project in development. Versions of this work have been previously exhibited at Chiado Museum, Lisbon (2004) and The Royal Hibernian Academy Dublin Contemporary (2011).
James Coleman (b. 1941, Ireland) studied at the École des Beaux Arts, Paris and the Accademia di Belle Arti, Milan as well as the Central School of Art and Design, London, the National College of Art and Design and University College, Dublin. Coleman represented Ireland at the 1973 Paris Biennial and has participated in Documenta in 1992 (IX), 1997 (X), 2002 (XI) and 2007 (XII). He received both the Kurt Schwitters Prize, Hannover and the Kunstpreis, Munich in 2002.

Important solo exhibitions have been mounted at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London in 1986; the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 1989; the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven in 1989-90; Dia Art Foundation, New York in 1994-95; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris in 1996; the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels and the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona in 1999; the Kunstmuseum, Luzern in 2001; the Lenbachhaus Kunstbau, Munich in 2002; Musée du Louvre, Paris, James Coleman: Project for Léonard de Vinci: dessins et manuscrits in 2003. The Museu do Chiado – Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea, Lisbon in 2004-05; the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin in 2009 and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofìa, Madrid in 2012. Coleman lives and works in Dublin and Paris.

Please join us at the opening reception on Tuesday, January 17th, from 6-8 pm.

A fully illustrated catalogue will be published to accompany the exhibition including texts by Benjamin H.D. Buchloh, Lynne Cooke, Jean Fisher, Dorothea von Hantelmann and Kaja Silverman.  
An Evening with James Coleman will be held at MOMA: Retake with Evidence will be presented on Monday, February 13th at 7:30 pm, followed by a conversation. 

The gallery is open Monday through Saturday, 10am to 6pm. For further information, please contact Linda Pellegrini at 212 977 7160 or visit

[1] Benjamin H.D. Buchloh in James Coleman (London: Marian Goodman Gallery, 2017).