Esther Schipper presents Ceal Floyer’s fifth solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition includes all new works. On view are three sculptures, a photographic and an audio work.
Subject of a number of major institutional solo presentations in recent years, Ceal Floyer’s oeuvre is characterized by a distinct voice: exuding a quiet but forceful presence, her works address us with playfulness and profundity. Slight alterations to found objects that are usually familiar from everyday experiences create surprising interventions that heighten the awareness of our surroundings. Often the artist mixes visual and linguistic references, combining semantic levels in a disorienting and witty way. Her work achieves a profoundly paradoxical condition: feather-light gravitas.
Functioning as central marker and choreographing the experience of the exhibition space, Greener Grass beckons the visitor to enter: a large-scale expanse of grass elevated on a low pedestal, the work nonetheless exudes great lightness. Verisimilitude is not at issue, rather it represents an act of faith: as visitors walk around the green area, they will question their perception—is the grass really greener on the other side? The work of course takes literally the English idiom, representing both sides in one green expanse. Seen from the entrance we see one green, from the inside the green is another—but is it greener?
In a small wall-mounted vitrine 150 cm is found: a standard measuring tape has been cut into individual one-centimeter sections. Taking the title literally, the vitrine contains 150 centimeters.
Removing its functionality from an object by executing its literal function is also the point of departure for Slinky: posed in its natural physical shape, the possibility of momentum is removed.
Similar to her sculptures, Floyer’s photographs often represent visual and linguistic puns. Depicting an upturned umbrella with water, Umbrella at first glance uses a simple reversal of function. From a convex shield pointing toward the sky to protect its bearer from the rain, the characteristic shape has been transformed into a receptacle.
Initially reminiscent of a minimalist sculpture, the new audio work, Slide, pairs two soundbars with found acoustic representations, the auditory equivalents of spatial movement. A major element of the artist’s oeuvre, her audio works can be abstract and concrete, like many of Floyer’s works acting akin to a conceptual syncopation: stopping us in our tracks, sometimes in mid-step.
Ceal Floyer was born in 1968. She studied at Goldsmiths, University of London. The artist lives and works in Berlin.
In 2006, Floyer was nominated for the Nam June Paik Award and in 2007, for the Berlin-based Preis der Nationalgalerie für junge Kunst.
Selection solo exhibitions: Ceal Floyer, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen (2016); On Occasion, Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau (2016); Ceal Floyer, Kunstmuseum Bonn (2015); Ceal Floyer, Museion, Bolzano (2014); Ceal Floyer, Kabinett für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremerhaven (2013); Things, Project Arts Centre, Dublin (2011); Works on Paper, CCA, Tel Aviv (2011); Ceal Floyer, DHC/ART, Montreal (2011); Auto Focus, Museum of Modern Art (MOCA), North Miami (2010); Ceal Floyer, KW Institute For Contemporary Art, Berlin (2009), and Gakona, Palais De Tokyo, Paris (2009).
Floyer participated in Manifesta 11 in Zurich (2016), dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel (2012), and in the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009).
Selected group exhibitions include: The Transported Man, Broad Art Museum, Lansing (2017); moving is in every direction, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin (2017); WAITING. Between Power and Possibility, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg (2017); Behind the Curtain. Concealment and Revelation since the Renaissance. From Titian to Christo, Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf (2016); L’image volée, Fondazione Prada, Milan (2016); Unsettling Green, MARTa Herford, (2016); More Konzeption Conception Now, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen (2015); The Event Sculpture, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds (2014); The Part In the Story Where a Part Becomes a Part of Something Else, Witte de With, Rotterdam (2014); Unendlicher Spass / Infinite Jest, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2014); Explosion! Painting as Action, Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2012); Invisible: Art about the Unseen, 1957–2012, Hayward Gallery, London (2012), and Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou (2012).
Floyer’s work has been acquired by the following collections: Tate Modern, London; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin; Sammlung Zeitgenössische Kunst der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Berlin; Denver Art Museum, Denver, and SFMOMA, San Francisco.all images © the gallery and the artist(s)