Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin. Daniel Arsham: Alter

Dec 1st through Dec 31st, 2010.

altArtist Daniel Arsham will have his sixth solo exhibition, entitled Alter, with Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Miami. Coinciding with Art Basel/ Miami Beach 2010, Arsham will debut three new bodies of works including Objects from Antiquity, Push Puppets and Pixel Clouds.

Straddling the line between art, architecture, and performance, Daniel Arsham has worked with Merce Cunningham, Hedi Slimane, Bob Wilson and Jonah Bokaer. He makes architecture do things it’s not supposed to do, mining everyday experience for opportunities to confuse and confound our expectations of space and form. Simple yet paradoxical gestures dominate his sculptural work: a façade that appears to billow in the wind, a white cube eroded on all sides like a glacier, a figure wrapped up in the surface of a wall. Structural experiment, historical inquiry, and satirical wit all combine with complete technical skill in Arsham’s ongoing interrogation of the real and the imagined.

Inspired by a recent trip to Athens, Objects from Antiquity is a new series of gouache on mylar drawings reflecting Arsham’s fascination with Greco-Roman art. In his past two-dimensional work, historical architectural settings were a site for play, as his drawings manipulated and relocated specific architectural landmarks. Similarly, in this new series, Arsham is altering history—in this case, manipulating well-known sculptures from Classical antiquity. Disrupting the ancient artworks with the introduction of modern cubic forms, Arsham evokes the corrosive effect of time on our collective cultural memory. A sense of ambiguity, born of objects seemingly dislocated in time, comes to settle on these formerly familiar images whose very origins and significance appear to have been called into doubt.

Complimenting his two-dimensional investigation, Arsham presents a new series of sculptures replicating “push puppet” figurines from his childhood. These life-sized animal recreations slowly collapse and reform again, eliciting an enduring, sad and subtly frightening response. With Push Puppets, Arsham has effectively recreated these memories architecturally, which unites these intriguing and uncanny pieces to the other works on display.

Arsham’s third body of work, Pixel Clouds, continues his ongoing exploration into the relationship between architecture and nature. Hanging overhead in the gallery space, this new series of sculptures begins with drastically enlarged digital photographs of clouds. This tapestry of digital color pixels is transferred to hand-painted balls then assembled into cloud forms, further examining how concepts like time, nature and color are built.

Daniel Arsham is originally from Cleveland, Ohio and raised in Miami, Florida, Arsham graduated from Cooper Union and received the Gelman Trust Fellowship Award in 2003. In 2004, he participated in the group show Miami Nice at Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin (Paris), which began to represent Arsham in 2005. As one of the founders of the seminal Miami artist-run spaces, The House and Placemaker, his interest in collaboration began early. To further expand the possibilities of spatial manipulation and collaborations, Arsham founded Snarkitecture in 2007 with partner Alex Mustonen to serve new and imaginative purposes. Their practice has recently won the commission to create two large signature features for Miami’s new Florida Marlins ballpark, set to open in 2012. Arsham’s work has been shown at PS1 in New York (Greater New York 2005), The Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, The Athens Biennial, The New Museum, Mills College Art Museum in Oakland, California and Carré d’Art de Nîmes, France. A monograph of Arsham’s work was published in 2008 by the French Centre National des arts plastiques.

Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin
194 NW 30th Street
Miami, FL 33127

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