PALINDROME: Gilbert & George I Jitish Kallat
24 October 2013 - 19 December 2013
Opening: 23 October 2013, 5 pm – 10 pm on the occasion of the opening of the
Center of Contemporary Art (CCA) at Gillman Barracks
In the exhibition titled Palindrome, ARNDT brings together four artworks into conversation, two each by Gilbert and George and Jitish Kallat. Generationally far apart and geographically distant their art is often informed by the cities where they live; the quotidian and the unexceptional become the ground for playful and probing investigations.
As with a ‘Palindrome’, where a text may be read the same way in either forward or reverse direction, the four pictures in the exhibition unfold in symmetry. For instance in ‘LIFE STRAIGHT’ from the remarkable ‘London Pictures’, Gilbert and George classify 4000 newspaper clipping based on a repeated key word ‘life’, their often shocking and contradictory recurrence create dense narratives overlaid on disintegrating self-portraits of the artists; their vigilant eyes penetrating these complex chronicles. In Kallat’s paintings a person might read a newspaper while criss-crossing zippers, evoking topographical views of street-maps or railway tracks, unveil an overcast sky, elsewhere a daily commute becomes the site for the celestial and the uncanny to dishevel the habitual. In Kallat’s paintings layered with varied references, a photographic image often acts as a trigger to proliferate the picture plane with stories; In Gilbert and George the grandeur and grammar of history painting is re-invented through the format of photography.
‘Palindrome’ animates the many formal and thematic overlaps between two artists in whose work the picture plane becomes a resourceful ground to fashion a vision of the world.
Parallel to the exhibition in the gallery, in the viewing room we present a selection of „Selfportraits“ by Gilbert & George, Sophie Calle, Joe Coleman, Maha Malluh, Mike Parr, Ariadhitya Pramuhendra and Agus Suwage.
Gallery Opening hours: Wed – Sat, 11am – 7pm / Sun, 11am – 6pm
Contact: Mariko Owen, Mariko@arndtberlin.com
born in 1974 in Mumbai, India
lives and works in Mumbai
Jitish Kallat is one of the most exciting and dynamic Asian artists to have received international recognition in recent years. Working across a variety of media including painting, sculpture, photography and installation, his work reflects a deep involvement with the city of his birth (Mumbai) and derives much of its visual language from his immediate urban environment. His subject matter has been described previously as 'the dirty, old, recycled and patched-together fabric of urban India'. Wider concerns include India's attempts to negotiate its entry into a globalised economy, addressing housing and transportation crises, city planning, caste and communal tensions, and government accountability.
Many of Kallat's works focus on Mumbai's downtrodden or dispossessed inhabitants, though treating them in a bold, colourful and highly graphic manner. Kallat traditionally mounts his paintings on bronze sculptures that are re-created from the wall adornments found on the 120-year-old Victoria Terminus train station in the centre of Mumbai.
“The city street is my university. One finds all the themes of life and art – pain, happiness, anger, violence and compassion – played out here in full volume. Scale is merely one of the many tools one can deploy in the creation of meaning, and decisions such as big, small, lifesize, etc., are as much acts of meaning creation as they may be retinal or aesthetic considerations.”
Jitish Kallat, quoted in The Asian Art Newspaper, February 2010
Jitish Kallat participated all major shows about Indian art: “India: Art Now” at Arken Museum, Ishoij, Denmark, 2012-13, “Indian Highway IV”, MAXXI, 2012, Rome, Italy and in Musée d'art contemporain de Lyon, 2011, Lyon, France “The Empire Strikes Back: Indian Art Today,” Saatchi Gallery, London (2010), “Chalo! India: A New Era of Indian Art,” Essl Museum – Contemporary Art, Klosterneuburg, Austria, and Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (both 2009), as well as “Indian Highway,” Serpentine Gallery, London (2008/09). Solo presentations include "Circa" at Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne (2012), "Public Notice 3" at the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago (2010); "Likewise" at Arndt and Partner, Berlin (2010); "The Astronomy of the Subway" at Haunch of Venison, London (2010); Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation (2008), „Die Tropen. Ansichten von der Mitte der Weltkugel“, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin (2008), The 6th Gwangju Biennial, Gwangju, Korea (2006), “Indian Summer”, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris (2005 ) and the Kunsthalle Luckenwalde, Germany (1998).
Gilbert & George
Gilbert was born in 1943 in Dolomites, Italy
George was born in 1942 in Devon, UK
They both live and work in collaboration in London
Gilbert & George have long since been acknowledged icons of contemporary art.
In 1967 they met as students at St Martin's School of Art in London. By 1969 they were reacting against approaches to sculpture then dominant at St Martin's, which they regarded as elitist and poor at communicating outside an art context. Their strategy was to make themselves into sculpture, so sacrificing their separate identities to art and turning the notion of creativity on its head. Working as a pair and presenting themselves as ‘living sculpture’, incorporating themselves into their art, setting out to provoke their viewers, making them think and question conventions and taboos.
In 1971 Gilbert & George made their first ‘photo-pieces', which remained their dominant form of expression. They gradually shifted the emphasis of their subject-matter away from their own experiences of life. Instead they concentrated on the inner-city reality that confronted them on the street and on the structures and feelings that inform life such as religion, class, royalty, sex, hope, nationality, death, identity, politics and fear.
In their new LONDON PICTURES Gilbert & George present an epic survey (292 pictures) of modern urban life in all its volatility, tragedy, absurdity and routine violence. Brutal and declamatory, these brooding and disquieting pictures have been created from the sorting and classification by subject of nearly 4000 newspaper headline posters, stolen by the artists over a number of years.
Gilbert & George have participated in many important group and solo exhibitions including 51st International Venice Biennale (2005), Turner Prize (1984) and Carnegie International (1985). They have had extensive solo exhibitions, including Whitechapel Gallery (1971-1972), National Gallery, Beijing (1993), Shanghai Art Museum (1993), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1995-1996), Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1998), Serpentine Gallery, London (2002), Kunsthaus Bregenz (2002), Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover (2004-2005), Tate Modern, London, Haus der Kunst, Munich (both 2007), Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, Philadelphia Museum of Art (both 2008), ‘Jack Freak Pictures’, CAC Malaga, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels (all 2010), Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Kunstmuseum Linz (both 2011) and Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdansk (2011-2012). The "London Pictures" have been on exhibited at Museum Küppersmühle, Duisburg (2013) and Casal Solleric, Mallorca, Spain (2013).