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Variations in Abstraction

July - August, 2014

Upper East Side

<b>Andy Warhol</b>
<i>Shadow (Double)</i>,1978
acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas
78 x 49 1/4 in. (198.1 x 125.1 cm.)
Andy Warhol
Shadow (Double),1978
acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas
78 x 49 1/4 in. (198.1 x 125.1 cm.)
<b>David Salle</b>
<i>Ghost 4</i>, 1992
Ink on photosensitized linen
85 x 75 in. (215.9 x 190.5 cm.)
David Salle
Ghost 4, 1992
Ink on photosensitized linen
85 x 75 in. (215.9 x 190.5 cm.)
<b>Jenny Holzer</b>
<i>TOP SECRET 23</i>, 2011
oil on canvas
58 x 44 in. (147.3 x 111.8 cm.)
Jenny Holzer
TOP SECRET 23, 2011
oil on canvas
58 x 44 in. (147.3 x 111.8 cm.)
<b>Günther Förg</b>
<i>Untitled</i>, 1990
acrylic on linen
102.5 x 63 in. (260.4 x 160 cm.)
Günther Förg
Untitled, 1990
acrylic on linen
102.5 x 63 in. (260.4 x 160 cm.)
<b>George Condo</b>
<i>The Shuffling Madness</i>, 2014
acrylic, charcoal, and pastel on linen
70 x 90 in. (177.8 x 228.6 cm.)
George Condo
The Shuffling Madness, 2014
acrylic, charcoal, and pastel on linen
70 x 90 in. (177.8 x 228.6 cm.)
<b>Lucien Smith</b>
<i>13</i>, 2013
Acrylic on unprimed canvas 
108 x 84 in. (274.3 x 213.4 cm.)
Lucien Smith
13, 2013
Acrylic on unprimed canvas
108 x 84 in. (274.3 x 213.4 cm.)
<b>Martin Kippenberger</b>
<i>We don't have problems with depressions, as long as they don't come into fashion</i>, 1986
oil and lacquer on canvas
70.87 x 59.06 in. (180 x 150 cm.)
Martin Kippenberger
We don't have problems with depressions, as long as they don't come into fashion, 1986
oil and lacquer on canvas
70.87 x 59.06 in. (180 x 150 cm.)
<b>Jacqueline Humphries</b>
<i>Alias</i>, 1994
oil and lacquer on canvas
90 x 90 in. (228.6 x 228.6 cm.)
Jacqueline Humphries
Alias, 1994
oil and lacquer on canvas
90 x 90 in. (228.6 x 228.6 cm.)
<b>Andy Warhol</b>
<i>Oxidation Painting (Diptych)</i>, 1994
urine and metallic pigment in acrylic medium on canvas; in two parts
40 x 60 in. (101.6 x 152.4 cm.)
Andy Warhol
Oxidation Painting (Diptych), 1994
urine and metallic pigment in acrylic medium on canvas; in two parts
40 x 60 in. (101.6 x 152.4 cm.)

Press Release

Skarstedt is pleased to present Variations in Abstraction, a group show featuring works by George Condo, Günther Förg, Jenny Holzer, Jacqueline Humphries, Martin Kippenberger, Richard Prince, David Salle, Lucien Smith and Andy Warhol. This exhibition explores the continuing influence of the Abstract Expressionist generation and each artist’s unique way of approaching abstraction.

George Condo, recognized early on for his unmistakably dynamic portraits, manifests abstraction by method of compression. In The Shuffling Madness (2014) he forces his iconic portraits into a chaotic mass of color and form, a few remaining white markings the only decipherable vestiges of his toothy characters. Andy Warhol moved away from his celebrity and celebrated portraits of the 1960s in Shadow (Double) (1978), a silkscreen of a shadow that visually mimics the work of Abstract Expressionist Franz Kline. In the same year, Warhol’s Oxidation painting, comprised of urine-splashed copper, parodies another Abstract Expressionist painter, Jackson Pollock.

As German contemporaries, Günther Förg’s Untitled (1990) and Martin Kippenberger’s Nous n'avons pas de problèmes avec les dépressions, tant qu'elles ne se mettent pas à être en vogue (We don't have problems with depressions, as long as they don't come into fashion) (1986) display both artist’s intense preoccupation with the study of color. The uneven surface of Förg’s painting introduces a tension between the flatness of the picture plane and brushstroke, giving the color density and weight similar to that of well-known color field painters. Similarly, in his typical wit, jabbing at the archetype of the heroic Abstract Expressionist painter, Kippenberger frames the central translucent layers of paint with a quote from himself.

Lucien Smith’s 13 (2013) involves the appearance of spontaneity with underlying intent, interpreting Abstract Expressionist objectives through a contemporary lens. Smith showers the paint onto the canvas with a fire extinguisher, resulting in an ethereal composition that evokes the qualities of rain. Jacqueline Humphries promotes pure abstraction in Alias (1994) with a natural yet structured drip pattern. Humphries is interested in “pushing abstraction forward – or grabbing it out of the future,” while also looking to the past:

“To me American art is abstraction. It’s the culture I grew up in and
I think about its legacy a lot.”
- Jacqueline Humphries


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