This special presentation by Victoria Miro at Schloss Sihlberg in Switzerland considers the use of abstraction and repetition amongst the work of three artists: Conrad Shawcross, Yayoi Kusama and Idris Khan. Each of these artists works in series, exploring concepts through the repeated and rigorous demonstration of formal strategies.Yayoi Kusama’s ongoing series of Infinity Net paintings and her important large-scale accumulation sculpture Prisoner’s Door demonstrate gestural abstraction that provides a formal counterpoint to the geometric abstraction of Conrad Shawcross’ Perimeter Studies sequence and Plosion sculpture, which take theories of cosmic expansion and contraction as their starting point.
In the same geometric style as Shawcross’ sculptures, Idris Khan’s paintings exhibit a radial pattern comprised of lines of stamped philosophical texts in luminous white on a white gesso ground. Idris Khan’s pieces are a continuation of the stamp paintings he began in 2012. This exhibition at Schloss Shilberg coincides with the presentation of a new large-scale photographic work, The Four Season’s 2014, at Art Basel and a collaboration between Idris Khan, Wayne McGregor and Max Richter on a new ballet. Notations, a three part performance and avant-garde ballet was created by Wayne McGregor and is performed on a stage designed by Idris Khan.
Both Idris Khan and Yayoi Kusama present monochromatic works in this exhibition. These monochromatic works display a minimal aesthetic but questions sophisticated metaphysical or philosophical ideas. Seen up close, Kusama’s Infinity Net paintings reveal their intricate surfaces – small arched semi-circles of paint almost completely covering the ground of the canvases. Kusama has been producing Infinity Net paintings since the 1950s and this compulsive practice led to other, three-dimensional objects covered with sewn stuffed fabric phalli. In Prisoner’s Door 1994 multiple phallic forms are rendered in fabric and silver paint within a large scale grid framework – something that is often identified as an attempt by Yusama to confront deep-seated sexual fears by physicalising them.
Idris Khan, Yayoi Kusama and Conrad Shawcross, 14 – 22 June, Schloss Sihlberg, SwiSihlberg 10, 8002 Zurich, Switzerland, www.victoria-miro.com.
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1.Yayoi Kusma Prisioner’s Door (1994) and INFINITY NETS [BAPE], (2014) Installation view.