Galerie Max Hetzler presents the exhibition Robert Grosvenor | Richard Prince, featuring a single work by each artist.
The exhibition develops a dialogue between two artists who know each other and have great respect for the work of one another.
Robert Grosvenor is known for his spacious sculptures which capture the viewer through their specific materiality and unconventional formal language. He himself considers his sculptural work as “ideas that operate between floor and ceiling” and thus reveals an essential aspect of his practice: The preoccupation with the relation between an object and its surrounding as well as the effect that emerges from this connection.
In the 1960s, his work was perceived in the context of Minimal Art and later Land Art. Yet, although his works display a certain minimalistic aesthetic, Grosvenor never adopted the movement’s programmatic claims. His works are rather characterised by a playful dealing with the properties of materials and the complexity of disposals while never ascribing to a particular artistic style. Often his sculptures seem to overcome the principles of physics, especially gravity. They appear massive and yet floating, both static and dynamic. His work Untitled, 2015-2017, evokes a boat, not only though its shape but also through the use of plywood and fiberglass.
Untitled, 2009/2010, is a monumental example of Richard Prince’s Check Paintings – a series initiated in the early 2000s. Composed of three panels, the work challenges the viewer with an eclectic visual language in which black delineated letters and colourful images collide amongst drips and swift brushstrokes of white, pale greens, blues and ochre. The work was created by superimposing excerpts of borrowed jokes and reproductions of nurse-romance book covers. Bringing together two of Prince’s most iconic motifs – the nurses and the jokes – Untitled is both a synthesis of his concerns with authorship, and a brilliant example of the artist‘s continuous innovation in the realm of painting.
A pioneer of the „Pictures Generation“, Prince has been challenging ownership, testing the limits of authorship. Appropriation and de-contextualisation – the very essence of Pop Art – are the foundations of his practice. For the Check Paintings, the artist heightens canvases with both paint and collage, drawing from vintage items from his personal collection including book, vinyl and magazine covers, as well as his own personal cheques. Further exploring his fascination with American subcultures, Prince creates works that touch upon a variety of concerns ranging from collective mythologies to unconscious stereotypes.
Robert Grosvenor (1937, New York) lives and works in East Patchogue. His works were exhibited in important institutions, such as The Renaissance Society, Chicago (2017); Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles (2017); MoMa PS1, New York (2016); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2010); Fundação de Serralves, Porto (2005); The Arts Club, Chicago (2003); Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (1999); MoMA, New York (1995, 2006); Kunsthalle Bern (1992). Grosvenor participated in documenta 6 and 8. His works are part of major collections, such as Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C., Serralves Museum, Porto or Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Richard Prince (1949, Panama Canal Zone) lives and works in Upstate New York. Prince’s work has been exhibited in numerous solo shows in international institutions, such as Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz (2014); Picasso Museum, Malaga (2012); Le Consortium, Dijon (2011); Serpentine Gallery, London (2008); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2008); Guggenheim Museum, New York (2007); Kunsthalle Zürich, Zurich (2002); Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel (2001) and MAK, Vienna (2000). He was included in the Biennale di Venezia in 2003 and 2007 as well as the Whitney Biennial in 1985, 1987, 1997 and 2004. Prince’s work is part of major collections, such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Tate Modern, London and Victoria and Albert Museum, London, among others.