ROPAC LONDON ELY HOUSE

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GALERIE THADDAEUS ROPAC – ELY HOUSE
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OPENING:
FRIDAY 28 APRIL 2017
GILBERT & GEORGE:
DRINKING PIECES & VIDEO SCULPTURES, 1972-1973
AMERICAN MINIMAL ART FROM THE MARZONA COLLECTION
Featuring major works by Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt,
Lee Lozano, Robert Ryman, Fred Sandback, Richard Serra and Richard Tuttle.
JOSEPH BEUYS: BACKREST FOR A FINE-LIMBED PERSON OF THE 20TH CENTURY AD, 1972-1982, AND EARLY DRAWINGS
 OLIVER BEER: NEW PERFORMANCE AND SCULPTURE
EXHIBITION: 28 Apr. 2017 – 29 Juli 2017
37 Dover Street, London W1S 4NJ
 
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac London will open to the public on
Friday 28 April 2017. The new London gallery is located in Ely House, Dover Street, Mayfair, a historical five floor 18th century mansion being sensitively restored by New York-based architect Annabelle Selldorf. The gallery will be inaugurated with a series of four separate exhibitions in the ground and first floor galleries:
A presentation of early pictures and video sculpture by
Gilbert & George
American Minimal Art from the Marzona Collection
Drawings from the 1950s and 1960s and sculpture by Joseph Beuys
A solo exhibition of new performance and sculpture by Oliver Beer
 
The opening programme reflects Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac’s ambition for the London gallery to serve as a platform for the presentation of carefully curated exhibitions featuring historical works and exhibitions by both established and emerging artists.
 
 
GILBERT & GEORGE:
DRINKING PIECES & VIDEO SCULPTURES, 1972-1973

28 Apr. 2017 – 29 Juli 2017

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Gilbert & George A Portrait of the artists as young men, 1972
Video, 7 min. © Gilbert & George

This exhibition set in the ground floor Ely Gallery brings together a group of ‘Drinking Pieces’ and ‘Video Sculpture’ dating from the early 1970s. After selling their first artwork in 1970, Gilbert & George celebrated by getting drunk together and recording their experiences in a series of black and white pictures depicting them in various states of inebriation.

Titles such as Swaying, Toy Wine, Smashed and Falling described their drunken moods and show the artists’ blurred forms with skewed perspectives. Installed on the walls in scattered patterns, the ‘Drinking Pieces’ demonstrate the artists’ intention as ‘living sculptures’ for life to make art, and art to make life. The three video sculptures: A Portrait of the Artists as Young Men, Gordon’s Makes Us Drunk, and In the Bush, were produced in 1972 with the legendary Videogalerie Gerry Schum, Cologne. Using portable video-tape equipment, the new technology of the time, Gilbert & George are filmed as Living Sculptures dressed in their formal suits, engaged in activities such as smoking, drinking, walking and talking. Set against music by Grieg and Elgar, sounds of birdsong and thunder, the artists were able to extend their living sculptures beyond a particular time and place and in so doing reach broader audiences, an approach that is central to their credo of Art For All.

AMERICAN MINIMAL ART FROM THE MARZONA COLLECTION
Featuring major works by Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Lee Lozano, Robert Ryman, Fred Sandback, Richard Serra and Richard Tuttle.
28 Apr. 2017 – 29 Juli 2017
 
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Dan Flavin Untitled, 1964-74
Red and Pink fluorescent tubes. 243,8 x 22 cm (96 x 8,7 in).
© Dan Flavin / ARS, NY and DACS, London 2017. Photo by Steve White
The first floor Library Gallery will showcase a selection of sculpture and painting from the Marzona Collection, which has recently been acquired by Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac. The exhibition will feature works by the American masters of the Conceptual and Minimal movements, including one of the first Richard Serra lead floor sculptures from 1968, one of Donald Judd’s earliest Corten steel stacks and key works by Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Sol LeWitt, Lee Lozano, Robert Ryman, Fred Sandback and Richard Tuttle.
 
Egidio Marzona, born in 1944 in Bielefeld, Germany, has built one of the most significant collections of Arte Povera, Conceptual, Minimal and Land Art of its kind. Marzona began collecting art in the mid-1960s against a backdrop of vigorous political protests. He engaged deeply with the theories and manifestos of the early conceptual and minimal artists whilst collecting their work broadly and deeply. The Marzona Collection was first shown in a museum context in Vienna at the Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig in 1995, then during the 2001 Venice Biennale in Villa Manin (concurrently in the Kunsthalle Bielefeld) and most recently at the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart in Berlin.
JOSEPH BEUYS:
BACKREST FOR A FINE-LIMBED PERSON OF THE 20TH CENTURY AD, 1972-1982,
AND EARLY DRAWINGS
 
 
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Joseph Beuys Zwei Frauen, 1955
Pencil, watercolour, gouache and iron chloride on paper.
21 x 29.5 cm (8.27 x 11.61 in). © Joseph Beuys Estate / DACS, London 2017
Located in the Chapel Gallery on the first floor of Ely House, this exhibition brings together a series of early drawings alongside an important sculpture by German artist Joseph Beuys, highlighting Thaddaeus Ropac’s long-standing relationship to the artist’s oeuvre. The exhibition will focus on his early works on paper in relation to his sculptural practice.
 
For his drawings in the 1950s Beuys used pencil or watercolour to reveal delicately rendered allegoric figures that express the union of humanity with nature. He also employed unorthodox materials such as fat, beeswax, chalk and margarine. In the 1960s he made a series of drawings with Braunkreuz, which translates from German as ‘brown cross’, a medium that the artist invented by mixing industrial paint and hare’s blood. For Beuys, Braunkreuz symbolises earth as a protective medium. The artist’s use of organic substances gives a material feel to the drawings, which directly links them to his sculptural modes of expression.
 
The sculpture Backrest of a fine-limbed person (hare-type) of the 20th Century AD, 1972-1982, will converse with the surrounding drawings. The figure cast in iron is based on a therapeutic backrest, originally used to support an injured body. Through this reference, Beuys addresses individual and universal suffering, as well as the role of art as a means of healing.
OLIVER BEER: NEW PERFORMANCE AND SCULPTURE
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Oliver Beer performing Making and Breaking Tristan, Nov. 2nd 2016,
Centre Pompidou, Paris. © Oliver Beer. Photo by Nikolaï Saoulski
This exhibition will present new works developed by the British artist Oliver Beer (b.1985) whilst in residence at Ely House during a six-month period leading up to the opening of the gallery. Beer, who trained in musical composition, fine arts and film theory utilises his sensitivity to sound as a physical phenomenon to underpin his practice in sculpture, film and performance.
 
A new addition to his Resonance Project will greet visitors to the gallery on the ground floor. For this series the artist works with classically trained singers, teaching them to sing the right notes at the right pitch in order to activate a given space’s own resonant notes. Strategically placing the singers amongst the vaults and columns of Ely House, Beer will instruct them to pick up on the natural frequencies of the space itself, making the architecture resound in much the same way as a wine glass resounds at the tip of a finger. Beer’s new composition will reveal the infamous ‘Diabolus in Musica’, a combination of notes that was believed by the Catholic Church to be the musical incarnation of the devil. It was therefore banned from being played in certain settings until composers such as Wagner started breaking the rules of harmony.
 
A new series of works inhabiting the boundary between painting, drawing and sculpture, referred to by the artist as ‘two dimensional sculpture’, will be installed in the Berkeley Gallery. In these works, Beer slices through objects such as musical instruments with surgical precision and immerses them in gessoed plaques. By revealing only the cut surfaces of the severed objects, they lose their volume and become two-dimensional versions of themselves
About Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac London
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac specialises in international contemporary art. Since its foundation in 1983, the gallery has established itself in the historical centre of Salzburg in Villa Kast, a 19th century townhouse situated in the Mirabell Garden. In
2010, Salzburg Halle was added, spreading over 2,500 m² (27,000 ft2) within an industrial building close to the city centre. In 1990, Thaddaeus Ropac opened his first Paris space in the Marais. Today, the gallery spans four floors, which include a space dedicated to drawing.
In October 2012 the gallery completed the redevelopment of an early 20th century ironworks factory and several adjoining buildings to create a 5000 m2
art space in Paris Pantin, allowing for the unprecedented display of large-scale works. Its
location in the North East of Paris, in the neighbourhood of the new Philharmonie de Paris, has enabled the gallery to develop new perspectives, fostering interaction and collaboration with nearby cultural institutions.
The gallery represents around 60 artists as well as renowned artist estates, presents approximately 30 solo and group exhibitions per year across its spaces and participates in all major international art fairs. Active in both the primary and secondary markets, the gallery’s role extends to curatorial work, where it acts as a consultant to major museums and public institutions as well as advising private and corporate collections. The gallery runs its own publishing house, producing catalogues and books to accompany exhibitions, inviting prominent international art historians, curators and writers to
contribute.
About Gilbert & George
Gilbert, born in the Italian Dolomites in 1943, and George, born in Devon, England in 1942, both art students, meet in 1967 at Saint Martins School of Art in London. In 1969 they created their first ‘singing and living sculptures’, making themselves both subjects and objects of their works in a perfect fusion of their art and their everyday life. Gilbert & George then start to appear as ‘living sculptures’ in museums and galleries. The pictures dating from 1971 are arranged in patterns and then grid-arrangements, which would become their formal signature. In 1980, their iconography becomes more complex containing endless levels of meanings from symbolic and allegorical to the most unbridled eroticism, to the religious, political and personal.
About Joseph Beuys
Joseph Beuys (Krefeld, Germany, 1921 – Düsseldorf 1986) established himself as a major artist in post-war Germany. He explored numerous fields of human culture and its environment and greatly expanded the boundaries of art by enriching
his practice with humanism, anthroposophy and philosophy. His work, protean and of a great conceptual rigour, is considered as a ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ and characterized by the use of recurrent mediums such as felt and fat together with numerous types of organic substances such as honey, seeds or margarine. The large range of highly symbolic mediums is closely connected to his almost shamanic practice, which has been widely expressed by the art of performance and his pedagogic actions. Extremely charismatic, Joseph Beuys revolutionized the Western artistic practice of art and initiated
numerous fascinating debates that are still relevant today
About Oliver Beer
Oliver Beer was born in 1985 in the United Kingdom. He studied music before attending the Ruskin School of Fine Art, University of Oxford, which led him to an early interest in the relationship between sound and space, particularly the voice and architecture. Within
and alongside his work with sound, Oliver Beer creates sculptures, installations and films works.
He has notably been exhibited at MoMA PS1, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; MAC Lyon; Fondation Hermès, Paris, Tokyo, Seoul; the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris and the Istanbul Biennale. He has held residencies
with the Fondation Hermès, the Villa Arson and the Watermill Center, New York and is the winner of several awards including the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation Art Prize (2015). His work is in many private and public collections including the Pompidou Centre, MAC Lyon, FRAC île de France, Kramlich Collection and MONA Tasmania. In March 2017, Oliver Beer will have a survey show at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham. He lives and works in London and Paris

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