People always think I’m joking. But I am a serious man.
Gagosian presents an exhibition by Piero Golia.
Golia is a sculptor of situations. His works—at times architecturally scaled, at others elusive or immaterial—are statements aimed at expanding the boundaries of art. His practice is heterogeneous and unpredictable, employing diverse mediums and methods to spark chain reactions that, even when they leave no objects or images behind, have the capacity to alter our perception.
In 2003, after his involvement in a car accident that threw him into debt, Golia took the remains of his 1984 Saab, melted them down, and recast them into a glossy black unicorn. Five years later, he responded to the standardized format of the art-fair booth by compressing a 10-meter-long passenger bus into the 6-meter width of the assigned space, filling it completely. In 2010, he installed a sculpture atop the roof of the Standard Hotel on Sunset Boulevard—a mysterious orb, Luminous Sphere, which lit up whenever he was in town.
In 2013, Golia opened Chalet, a speakeasy in the heart of Hollywood. The club rapidly became a local legend, attracting an extraordinary crowd of artists, curators, designers, poets, and celebrities. Presented by the artist as an architectural tool for community building, it operated for more than eighteen months in its original location before moving to the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas for six additional months. In 2016, after a grand finale with marching bands and fireworks, a curtain bearing the Looney Tunes sign-off—“That’s all Folks!”—dropped to seal the establishment’s door forever.
For this exhibition, Golia has engineered a surreal “sculptural happening” by choreographing a set of objects and incidents to create a singular experience that seems to unfold outside of time. A ball spiraling around a roulette wheel signals the start of an adventure in which the only stable reference is the presence of a certain human element in the gallery’s lobby. Viewers witness, in rhythmic sequence, a biological occurrence, an instance of extreme weather, and an object coming to a catastrophic end—events that together form a living tableau in constant motion. Golia’s exhibition regenerates itself from moment to moment, suggesting that repetition and renewal might give rise to heightened sculptural presence.
all images © the gallery and the artist(s)