A focused examination of thirteen large-scale masterworks presented in a series of telling juxtapositions, Sculpture After Sculpture traces the parallel developments of Katharina Fritsch (b. 1956), Jeff Koons (b. 1955), and Charles Ray (b. 1953). Beginning with iconic works from the late ’80s and early ’90s, which highlight the artists’ shared relationship to the commodity and the readymade, the exhibition follows the development of their practices up to the present. Highlights of the exhibition include Jeff Koons’s celebrated Michael Jackson and Bubbles, 1988, a porcelain and gilt confection depicting the late Pop legend Michael Jackson with his pet chimpanzee for which the sculpture is named; Charles Ray’s two-ton aluminium Tractor, 2005; and Katharina Fritsch’s acid yellow apparition Madonnenfigur / Madonna, 1987
“Revealing surprising affinities among the artists, but also contrasting decisive differences, “Sculpture After Sculpture” examines the pressures that have inspired Fritsch, Koons, and Ray to reinvent the art of sculpture to the new millennium,” says Jack Bankowsky, curator of the exhibition.
Fritsch, Koons, and Ray share a bold approach to new fabrication technologies, an obsessive attention to the nuances of craft, and a commitment to the power of the singular object or image. What sets their work apart from the art that preceded it is not only a shared reengagement with representation and the figure, but also the fact that all three have, in whole or in part, located their endeavours within the traditional discipline of sculpture.
“When these three artists first made their respective presences felt in the late ‘70s and early ’80s (Fritsch in Düsseldorf, Koons in New York, and Ray in Los Angeles), Minimalism and Conceptualism remained the status quo against which ambitious new art measured and defined itself. Indeed, the work for which these artists are celebrated today—pointedly figural, quotidian in reference, and resolutely sculptural—was, at the outset, all but unimaginable as the shape of serious art to come” says Jack Bankowsky, curator of the exhibition.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by Hatje Cantz Verlag. The catalogue will include commissioned essays by the noted art historian and critic Prof. Thomas Crow; Dr. Nicholas Cullinan, curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and Mr. Jack Bankowsky, head curator of the exhibition.
Sculpture After Sculpture
Moderna Museet in Stockholm, 11 October, 2014 – 18 January, 2015