Helwaser Gallery is pleased to announce Translucent Concrete, an exhibition of new paintings by multi-disciplinary artist Anton Ginzburg, running from November 24, 2020 - February 25, 2021. Since 2016, Ginzburg has developed a signature painterly language of hard-edged abstraction. Ginzburg has consistently developed color-spatial explorations over the course of three bodies of work, examining the processes involved in the act of human perception. Spanning works on paper and paintings on wood, this latest series deconstructs the dynamics of viewing interior and exterior spaces. Ginzburg’s recent works are the subject of a new monograph, Blue Flame: Constructions and Initiatives, published by Hatje Cantz in December 2020.
Ginzburg’s paintings are conceived of as a series of distinct scenes that collectively read as a pictorial montage of the city. In developing this body of work through long periods of isolation, Ginzburg drew from his own living environment of Chatham Towers — a concrete, brutalist building constructed during the Cold War in 1969 in Lower Manhattan. Ginzburg’s views of emptied-out glass towers, light-filled public spaces, and concrete environments are framed against large window panes with acute geometries, resulting in the structure of each painting as an “unfolding” perspective, where geometric compositions of color, plane, and line become abstract references to Ginzburg’s impressions of interior and exterior spaces. Viewed together, Ginzburg’s paintings serve as visual records, where perceptions of the material nature of modern architecture are transformed by emotion and affect. Each painting registers a particular geometry and atmosphere, collectively serving as an index of psychogeographical situations based on the artist’s observations.
Also on view is a recent video work, Constructivist Drift (2016). The video is based on Russian-born French poet and activist Ivan Chtcheglov’s manifesto, "Formulary for a New Urbanism", which was published in 1953 by the Situationist International as a radical response against what he saw as an imposition of soullessness within Modernist architecture and mass-produced culture. The title of the exhibition, Translucent Concrete, references a term that Chtcheglov cites in his manifesto; Constructivist Drift expands on Ginzburg’s paintings by turning the viewer’s gaze back to the built landscape, and how the human dimension of the city can interact with it. In the video, texts by Chtcheglov are projected onto the wall of Chatham Towers, interspersed between images of Soviet architecture. The changing daylight that occurs throughout the duration of the film acts as a structural device; at the beginning of the video, the outline of the buildings are clearly visible. As twilight sets in, the buildings fade into the background, eventually disappearing into the black screen.
Alongside this exhibition, other works by Ginzburg are also presently included in the Yerevan Biennial curated by Lorenzo Fusi. Beginning January 2021, Ginzburg will also be an artist-in-residence at the Technische Universität Dresden as the second fellowship recipient in the Schaufler Lab@TU Dresden’s artist-in-residence programme. Together with early-career researchers at the Schaufler Kolleg@TU Dresden and through exchange with various university faculties, he will explore the lab’s first main research topic: "Artificial intelligence, as factor and consequence of societal and cultural change".
Anton Ginzburg: Translucent Concrete is curated by Junni Chen, Director of Contemporary Exhibitions and Programs.
About the artist
Ginzburg (b. 1974, St. Petersburg, Russia) is a New York-based artist, known for his films, sculptures, paintings, and text-based printed work investigating historical narratives and poetic studies of place, representation, and post-Soviet identity. He earned a BFA from The New School's Parsons School of Design and MFA degree from Bard College, Milton Avery Graduate School of Arts, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. His work has been shown at the 54th Venice Biennale, the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston, Southern Alberta Art Gallery in Canada, Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, White Columns in New York, Lille 3000 in Euralille, France, and the first and second Moscow Biennales.
His films have been screened at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, Rotterdam International Film Festival (IFFR), Dallas Symphony Orchestra (Soluna), Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Les Rencontres Internationales in Paris, Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin and New York Film Festival/Projections among others.
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