10 Feb 12

Patricia Low Contemporary St. Moriz

Patricia Low Contemporary St. Moritz is pleased to announce the new show, a multi-facetted exhibition featuring three simultaneous solo presentations by Sylvie Fleury, David LaChapelle, and Gavin Turk, as well as a group showcase of John Bauer, Gary Hume, Marilyn Minter, and Anselm Reyle.

Reveling in the glamour of popular culture – both its high-impact gloss and seedy underbelly– the show explores themes of modern myth, consumer politics, contemporary religiosity, and the (unnatural) nature of desire.

In her paintings and sculptures Fleury’s trademark fem-punk aesthetics recode the symbols of machismo as hard punching lady-terrain. Her Crash Test series – dented steel panels finished with high-polish Maybeline colours – seduce in the guise of colour field canvases, retro-slick and sexy; while her Swarovski cristal series celebrate minimalism’s less-is-more chic quite literally as artworld glitterati. Her accompanying sculptural works – including her chrome plated bronze-cast Ford Cosworth engine, and a pair of Chanel yeti boots out of marble – pose as suped-up readymades: totems of hyper-commodified adoration and fetish.

Influenced by the fashion industry, celebrity culture, and art history, David LaChapelle’s images are of the most iconic of our times. LaChapelle’s still lifes take the aesthetically exquisite to levels of sublime grotesquerie. Choreographed to hyper-real perfection, his obscenely lush floral studies are contemporary reconsiderations of old master’s paintings: the religious symbolism of traditional memento mori construed as luxury gift basket kitsch. Similarly his figurative images transform masterpiece paintings into operatic tableaux of transgression and moral provocation; his works, such as his portrait of Kanye West which casts the musician as Jesus, are renowned for their controversy, arresting beauty, and poignant address of the human condition.

Superimposing his own identity and brand onto famous celebrities and associated art
legends, Gavin Turk’s self-portraits play a game of subterfuge with authorship and
mythology. In works from his Elvis series, Turk humorously declares himself heir to the titles of King of Rock and Pop, striking the pose of Warhol’s Double Elvis. Turk’s process of making is intensely performative, replicating in detail both the media and production methods used in Warhol’s original iconic screen print. Critically levelling the 20th century’s optimistic capitalism in a single act of hostile takeover, Turk downsizes and expropriates its heroes: abated to its most recognisable parts – face and gun details –Turk re-constructs the image as it exists in popular consciousness, insinuating himself (as Turk, as anyone, as everyone) at the core.

Accompanying these exhibitions will be a selection of paintings, photographs and sculptural works by John Bauer, Gary Hume, Marilyn Minter, and Anselm Reyle: ranging from Bauer’s apocalyptic canvases with their palimpsest layers and solarized effects, to Minter’s scandalously seductive photo close-ups, to Hume’s anthropomorphic sculptures entrancing with their futuristic elegance. Reyle’s material works are neither sculpture nor painting but rather low-tech assemblages that transform optical trickery into high-design spectacle: Untitled encases crinkled foil in a colored Plexiglas case creating a microcosm of UV glow expressionism, while his White Earth, an abstract bas relief coated in high-gloss white lacquer, elevates primitive gesture to the clinically sublime.