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DOCUMENT is pleased to present Supports/Surfaces: Objects of Knowledge, which features historical and recent work by Louis Cane, Noël Dolla and Claude Viallat. These three artists were members of Supports/Surfaces, a shifting group of some twelve painters, many of whom hailed from the South of France, who began collaborating and showing together in 1966. Central to Supports/Surfaces was the systematic interrogation (and, in many cases, separation) of the medium’s constituent components: paint, canvas, and stretcher. The group showed both within art institutions and in outdoor, sometimes remote locations, distributing their paintings in the landscape with guerrilla idealism. The group was influenced by radical thinking from various, even oppositional quarters, matching the utopian dreaming of May ‘68 with the uncompromising critical theory of Louis Althusser and the Tel Quel group. Supports/Surfaces artists devised signature approaches even as they actively sought common strategies. Viallat stenciled kidney bean-like forms into grids on unframed and unstretched canvases that could be hung on a gallery wall, the middle of a room, or outside in public space. Dolla’s Tarlatanes, strips of painted canvas hung from the ceiling, played on Barnett Newman’s modernist “zips,” liberating them from all constraints–yet he also made a point of painting on everyday materials such as handkerchiefs and dishtowels. Cane’s Toiles Découpées (Cut Canvases) spilled onto the floor from their positions on the wall, aiming for simultaneous absorption and materiality. Supports/Surfaces: Objects of Knowledge will revisit these artists’ past work while also making note of the subtle evolution of their practices up through the present day.

Claude Viallat

Claude Viallat studied at the École des Beaux-Arts de Montpellier from 1955 to 1959, then at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1962-63, in Raymond Legueult’s workshop. In 1966, he adopts a process based on fingerprints, which shall enter into a critical radical of the lyrical abstraction and geometric (in technique called All-over). A neutral form is repeated on a free canvas without frame determining the composition of the work. In 1969, he was a founding member of Supports / Surfaces.
In addition to the growing success of its exhibitions in France (at the Pompidou Center in 1982) and abroad (Venice Biennale in 1988), he devoted himself to his work as a teacher in the art schools following: Nice, Limoges, Marseille, Nîmes (where he was director for many years), then Paris at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris.

Claude Viallat has been a contentious defender of modernism since 1964, when he began working with the idea repeated pattern to refuse the idea of subject. Since then he has eschewed stretchers or frames. This repeated shape has become Viallat’s trademark and signature and figures on all kinds of surfaces, from rugs, tents, curtains and other loose fabrics, endlessly repeating itself, yet always creating something new.

Claude Viallat, 2005/267, 2005, Acrylic on fabric

Claude Viallat, 2016/188, 2016, Acrylic on fabric fragment

Claude Viallat, 2016/347, 2016, Acrylic on fabric

Claude Viallat, 2016/169, 2016, Acrylic on fabric_Web

Claude Viallat, 1972/C23 1972 Ink on rope 51 x 3/4 in

1989/066, 1989 Acrylic on tarpaulin 76h x 35 3/4w in

Claude Viallat 1990/133, 1990 Acrylic on Fabric 59 1/4h x 60 1/4w in

Claude Viallat 2010/217, 2010 Acrylic on sheet 61 x 33 1/2 in

Afterimage, Vol. 46, Number 2

Exhibition Review: Andrew Norman Wilson: Kodak

Andrew Norman Wilson: Kodak. Document. Chicago, Illinois: January 11–February 23, 2019| By Liz Park

Image 1. Still from Kodak (2018) by Andrew Norman Wilson; © 2018 Andrew Norman Wilson; courtesy the artist and DOCUMENT.

 

Andrew Norman Wilson’s thirty-two-minute video Kodak (2018) was the beating heart of his eponymous exhibition at DOCUMENT in Chicago. A series of prints that take inspiration from various Kodak products hung in an adjacent gallery while a stack of giveaway posters—of the company’s first digital camera from 1973 printed on recto and a text by Nick Irvin on verso—prepared those who entered a dark, curtained gallery. Irvin’s text introduced the video’s protagonist Rich as a mentally unstable former Kodak employee who became blind as a result of a workplace accident. These details emerge slowly, however, and in short bursts, like flickers of images that stitch together the stories of the character Rich and Kodak’s legendary founder George Eastman [Image 1].

“Your time is up,” alerts the high-pitched and tinny voice of a woman, beginning a narrative that is driven primarily by sound rather than images. A long minute passes with only darkness to accompany her increasingly aggravated chastising, dramatically peaking with “You have to stop now!” The first discernable image finally surfaces—a portrait of a bespectacled Eastman. A shaky voice that stands in for Eastman implores, “What is a photograph?” He answers himself: “. . . a dream, a reminder of how little you can actually capture.” Responsible for popularizing photography through consumer-grade technology, Eastman, as recorded in history and presented in this well-researched video, successfully tapped into the consumer’s desire to hold onto the fleeting moments of their mortal lives. Spiked with nostalgia, Eastman’s steady ruminations on life, photographic processes, and his business empire provide […]

Read the complete article here.

Owner
Aron Gent
aron@documentspace.com
Director
Sibylle Friche
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DOCUMENT is a commercial gallery located in Chicago that specializes in contemporary photography, film and media based art. The gallery has organized more than 40 solo exhibitions since its opening in 2011 and actively promotes the work of emerging national and international artists. Operating conjointly as a professional printmaking studio, DOCUMENT facilitates the production of works by artists from Chicago and the US. At this time we do not accept unsolicited submissions.