In Focus

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Marian Goodman Gallery is pleased to introduce our new artist-centric newsletter IN FOCUS, where we'll take the time to delve deeply into one artist on the MGG roster at a time. Aiming to show a fuller picture of the breadth of our artists' careers, we will feature our favorite stories, podcasts, interviews, and videos from the archive, as well as new and upcoming projects.
 

Giulio Paolini

Giulio Paolini

In the mid-1960s, Giulio Paolini (b. 1940, Genoa, Italy) became associated with the Arte Povera movement. Comprising an almost unchanging variation of materials (photographs, plaster casts, drawing paper, Plexiglas, objects), Paolini's work forms a dialogue with time and history. Each work possesses a complex structure that includes references to art history or literature, forming a coherent and polysemous whole constructed out of a set of fragments. Trained as a graphic designer Paolini has always had a special interest in the printed page. His artistic research has long been coupled with written statements and reflections collected in artist's books.

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An image containing a skull, with words that read "I imagine you naked," as depicted in a portrait by Annette Messager

Annette Messager

From the 1970s onward, Annette Messager’s work has been known for its heterogeneity of form and subject matter, ranging from the personal to the fictional, the social to the universal. Through an embrace of everyday materials, and principles of assemblage, collection and theatrical display, her diverse media has included construction, documents, language, objects, taxidermy, drawings, photographs, fabric, embroidery, image collections, albums, sculpture and installation. Messager has explored fairy tales, mythology and doppelgängers throughout her œuvre. Often using reminiscence and memory as a vehicle for inspiration, Messager's wide range of hybrid forms has had an affinity with traditions as varied as the romantic, the grotesque, the absurd, the phantasmagoric.

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An image containing a portrait of Eija-Liisa Ahtila, standing in a pool of a water with an umbrella

Eija-Liisa Ahtila

Conceptually organized around the construction of image, language, narrative, and space, Eija-Liisa Ahtila (b. 1959, Hämeenlinna, Finland) has long been considered a master of the cinematic installation form. Using the visual language of cinema, Ahtila presents large-scale installations with multiple channel projections on multiple screen constructions. These viewing conditions, with their simultaneously charged vantage points, break the tradition of cinematic perspective and construct an experience of several co-existing times and spaces for being. In her recent work, Ahtila has shifted her attention to more profound and basic artistic inquiries, experimenting with conceptions of theatricality and humor, alongside her greater guiding eco-cinematic question: how and with what kind of technology, drama and expressive devices can we build the image of our world in this present moment of ecological crisis?

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An abandoned train car in the forest; work by Amar Kanwar

Amar Kanwar

Amar Kanwar (b. 1964) lives and works in New Delhi, India. Kanwar has distinguished himself through films and multi‐media works which explore the politics of power, violence, and justice. His multi‐layered installations originate in narratives often drawn from zones of conflict and are characterized by a unique poetic approach to the personal, social, and political.

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Kids in an amusement park ride

James Coleman

James Coleman (b.1941, Ireland) is best known for his work in time-based installations. In his pioneering practice since the early 70’s, he works with meticulously-composed media including film, video, audio, projected slide installations and performed works for theatre which engage 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 image's inherent uncertainties and potential..

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black and white portrait of Rineke Dijkstra

Rineke Dijkstra

Since the early 1990s, Rineke Dijkstra (b. 1959 in Sittard, The Netherlands) has produced a complex body of photographic and video work, offering a contemporary take on the genre of portraiture. Throughout her career, Dijkstra has relied on the inherent temporality of photography to explore the changeability of the human condition. By limiting contextual information and focusing on subtle details, such as posture and gaze, Dijkstra encourages the viewer to look closely at her subjects. Dijkstra’s portraits capture people in transitional moments: her Mothers series captures the exhaustion and tenderness in a woman’s face after she gives birth, the Bullfighters series examines the physical toll and defiant expressions found on the matadors’ faces after leaving the ring, her Park Portraits show us a series of schoolchildren and adolescents in activity and repose, engaged in daily life, and her Family Portrait series, where young siblings are depicted in their family homes, natural in front of the camera but aware that a portrait is being made. Dijkstra’s most recent video work, Night Watching (2019), features 14 different groups of people observing and speaking in front of Rembrandt's large iconic painting The Night Watch (1642). By reflecting on the people in the painting, each group gives us an impression of their own dynamics.

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Julie Mehretu at LACMA

Julie Mehretu

Julie Mehretu’s work is informed by a multitude of sources including politics, literature and music. Most recently her paintings have incorporated photographic images from broadcast media which depict conflict, injustice, and social unrest. These graphic images act as intellectual and compositional points of departure; ultimately occluded on the canvas, they remain as a phantom presence in the highly abstracted gestural completed works. Her work continues to engage us in a dynamic visual articulation of contemporary experience, a depiction of social behavior, and the psychogeography of space. Mehretu’s practice in painting, drawing, and printmaking equally assert the role of art to provoke thought and reflection, and express the contemporary condition of the individual and society. In November 2019, a retrospective of Mehretu’s work opened at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which will travel to The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The High Museum, Atlanta, and The Walker Museum of Art, Minneapolis. Julie Mehretu is a co-founder of Denniston Hill, an artist centered interdisciplinary arts organization supporting creative voices to help shape a just society.”

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Thomas Struth

Thomas Struth

Thomas Struth  (b. 1954 in Geldern, Germany) is best known for his genre-defying photographs, though, he began originally with painting before he enrolled at the Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf in 1973. Struth has developed his individual photographic practice, often penetrating places of the human imagination in order to scrutinize the landscape of invention, technology, and beyond (as in his recent CERN and Animal images). Celebrated for his diverse body of work – Unconscious Places, Familienleben (Family Life), Museum Photographs, New Pictures from Paradise and Nature & Politics – Struth continues to advance his vocabulary with each new series, while maintaining the same principles core to his practice.”

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Niele Toroni paints his imprints on a window

Niele Toroni

Niele Toroni was born in 1937 in Muralto, a village on the shore of Lake Maggiore in Switzerland. At the age of 22, Toroni decided to leave his job as a schoolteacher and move to Paris to become a painter. Self-taught, Toroni became one of the first European minimalist painters in the 1960s. Over the last fifty years he has been using an unvarying working method which consists of applying, on every type of surface, imprints of a no. 50 paintbrush repeated at regular intervals of 30 cm. Considering himself as a painter, not an artist, Toroni aims at affirming the existence of painting as such. “I do not visualize ideas: I apply a paintbrush, the imprints of the paintbrush become visible, and this (the work/painting) may be generative of new ideas.”

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Lothar Baumgarten

Lothar Baumgarten

Over the last four and a half decades, German conceptual artist Lothar Baumgarten  (1944 – 2018) has garnered critical acclaim and respect for his extensive body of work, which uses a wide range of media to question the very core ideas and systems of representation – from ephemeral sculptures, to photography, slide projections, films, sound recordings, drawings, prints, books, short stories, as well as site-specific works and architecture-related interventions.

Today, we explore a side of Baumgarten’s practice dedicated to sound. Each project depicts the soundscapes and landscapes of upstate New York, from the recordings of ice thawing on the Hudson river banks to the sounds of the region’s native fauna.

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Cristina Iglesias

Cristina Iglesias

Throughout her career, Spanish artist  Cristina Iglesias  (b. November 1956) has defined a unique sculptural vocabulary, building immersive and experiential environments that reference and unite architecture, literature, and culturally site-specific influences. Through a language of constructed and natural forms rendered in various materials and ranging from suspended pavilions, latticed panels, passageways, and mazes, to walls imbued with texts and structural and vegetative forms, she poetically redefines space by confounding interior and exterior, organic and artifice, combining industrial materials with natural elements to produce unexpected new sensory sites for the viewer.

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Tavares Strachan

Tavares Strachan

Tavares Strachan, the latest addition to the Marian Goodman Gallery roster, was born in Nassau, Bahamas in 1979 and currently lives and works between New York City and Nassau. Aeronautics, astronomy, deep-sea exploration, and extreme climatology are but some of the thematic arenas out of which Strachan creates his monumental allegories that tell of cultural displacement, human aspiration, and mortal limitation. Strachan’s ambitious, open-ended practice has included collaborations with numerous organizations and institutions, including The Baltimore Museum of Art, Prospect 3. New Orleans, La Biennale de Lyon, and The MIT List Visual Arts Center, among others.

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