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456 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011
212 680 9467

Also at:
35 East 67th Street, Parlor Floor
New York, NY 10065
212 680 9467

Friedrich Petzel Gallery, founded in 1994, first opened on Wooster Street in the Soho area of New York City. In 2000, the gallery moved to 537 West 22nd Street in Chelsea and in 2006 expanded to include a separate space next door dedicated to smaller exhibitions, artists' projects, and performances. In Fall 2008, Friedrich Petzel Gallery opened a joint gallery with Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne. This new gallery, called Capitain Petzel, is housed in a glass-encased gallery located in Mitte section of Berlin and presents exhibitions of established international artists. After eleven years on 22nd Street, Petzel Gallery closed this space, expanding into a new location at 456 West 18th Street in 2012. In March of 2015, Petzel opened a second space in New York, a new, uptown location at 35 East 67th Street. Situated in a townhouse, the new gallery is used to curate historic exhibitions by artists within the Petzel program, as well as focus on curatorial projects and publishing activities. Both galleries in New York are complemented by Capitain Petzel in Berlin. The move to the new, larger 18th Street location and expansion uptown continue Petzel Gallery’s commitment to develop its program upon the scope, diversity, and ambitions of the artists that it represents.


Petzel is pleased to announce its move to a new flagship location in Chelsea, located at 520-530 West 25th Street. Opening Fall 2022, the move will offer a major expansion, more than doubling the gallery’s footprint. Adding increased visibility and further flexibility for in-person viewings, the three-story building will feature three exhibition spaces, and encompass a custom-built street-level bookstore, multiple private viewing rooms, and a roof terrace with sculpture garden. Petzel looks forward to the greater level of exhibition planning and enhanced opportunities to support our artists that the expansion will allow for. 


Friedrich Petzel Gallery has continued to develop its program around a group of contemporary artists who are renowned internationally: Yael Bartana, Walead Beshty, Ross Bleckner, Cosima von Bonin, Joe Bradley, Troy Brauntuch, Hanne Darboven, Simon Denny, Keith Edmier, Thomas Eggerer, Derek Fordjour, Robert Heinecken, Stefanie Heinze, Georg Herold, Charline von Heyl, Dana Hoey, Christian Jankowski, Asger Jorn, Sean Landers, Rezi van Lankveld, Maria Lassnig, Allan McCollum, Adam McEwen, Rodney McMillian, Sarah Morris, Jorge Pardo, Joyce Pensato, Seth Price, Stephen Prina, Jon Pylypchuk, Willem de Rooij, Pieter Schoolwerth, Dirk Skreber, Emily Mae Smith, John Stezaker, Hiroki Tsukuda, Nicola Tyson, Corinne Wasmuht, Xie Nanxing, Samson Young, and Heimo Zobernig. Each artist has exhibited widely in both museums and galleries throughout the world and are regularly included in international exhibitions such as Documenta, the Whitney Biennial, The Carnegie International, and the São Paulo Biennial. Numerous publications are available on all the gallery artists.

Artists Represented:

Yael Bartana

Walead Beshty

Ross Bleckner

Cosima von Bonin

Joe Bradley

Troy Brauntuch

Hanne Darboven

Simon Denny

Keith Edmier

Thomas Eggerer

Derek Fordjour

Robert Heinecken

Stefanie Heinze

Georg Herold

Charline von Heyl

Dana Hoey

Christian Jankowski

Asger Jorn

Sean Landers

Rezi van Lankveld

Maria Lassnig

Allan McCollum

Adam McEwen

Rodney McMillian

Sarah Morris

Jorge Pardo

Joyce Pensato

Seth Price

Stephen Prina

Jon Pylypchuk

Willem de Rooij

Pieter Schoolwerth

Dirk Skreber

Emily Mae Smith

John Stezaker

Hiroki Tsukuda

Nicola Tyson

Corinne Wasmuht

Xie Nanxing

Samson Young

Heimo Zobernig


 

 
35 East 67th Street, interior view
456 West 18th Street, exterior view
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Online Programming

Sean Landers

2020 Vision



"'Say your goodbyes and never leave.' Anne Sexton wrote 'there is death in every goodbye.' I find that true for paintings as well. We painters transfer fractions of our life into our paintings. One day, paintings will be all that remain of us. By painting we are in a sense saying goodbye, but through the existence of the painting we never leave.” – Sean Landers Petzel Gallery is pleased to announce 2020 Vision, an online viewing room of paintings by Sean Landers. The group of paintings in this online viewing room takes as its point of departure 2020 Vision, a new essay by the artist. 2020 Vision is an intimate, humorous and brutally honest first-person account of the artist’s journey leading up to 2020 and life in lockdown—his misfortunes, reflections, and escapist sessions in the studio. These diary-format vignettes tell the story of the resultant paintings that have helped Sean come out on the other side. Landers brings us through adventures with his alter-ego Plankboy, a raw outcast character looking for the way, guides (or misguides or reroutes) us with his signpost and text paintings, and finally brings us to the sea, a blissful yet darkly clouded force for the artist. Landers continually obscures the distinction between himself and the voice in his work, approaching deeper issues of identity and philosophy through parody and comedy. Here, for the first time, Sean turns those stream-of-conscious thoughts so essential to his practice to directly address the viewer. In a year that was most disarming and lonely, Landers has candidly detailed his part of our shared experience that was 2020.

Cosima von Bonin, Andrea Bowers, Christian Jankowski, Sean Landers, and Adam McEwen

Hydrosphere



Petzel Gallery is proud to participate in Galleries Curate: RHE, a collaborative exhibition formed by a new global initiative compiled of 21 galleries from around the world. Designed to express the dynamic dialogue between the participants’ individual programs, Petzel is pleased to present the online exhibition Hydrosphere, organized following the inaugural curatorial subject of water, on view beginning March 22, 2021 – World Water Day. The word RHE is borrowed from the Heraclitan aphorism panta rhei, meaning “everything flows.” Evoking the characteristics and effects of water: transience and interconnectivity, the new platform brings together galleries online and circulates exhibitions all over the world. Initially held together by the connected theme of physical bodies of water, the works on view in Hydrosphere speak to the nature of play, voyage, marvel, and even threat (of degradation and catastrophe), that the people, creatures, and lives existing in proximity to water embody. Here we see water represented in relation to landscape: the vastness of the sea, the mysteries of the ocean floor, the longevity of an iceberg, and the travels of objects and individuals across the many different bodies of water that we live amongst. Like the natural and near-constant movement and fluctuations of water itself, these disparate works range from poetic, humorous, wry, to lively – the animated sculptures of Cosima von Bonin, monumental seascapes meticulously painted by Sean Landers, and the absorbent cellulose structures of Adam McEwen coming together like tributaries to a larger body. Hydrosphere features work by Cosima von Bonin, Andrea Bowers, Christian Jankowski, Sean Landers, and Adam McEwen.

Ross Bleckner + Philip Smith

PICTURES



“The painter constructs, the photographer discloses.” ― Susan Sontag, On Photography Is a picture a vision observed, then captured by the eye, the mind or another appropriate photographic device? Is a picture a remembrance? A moment, a hope or a desire? A benevolent specter, or, perhaps, simply a social media post? Imagining these impressions, Petzel is pleased to present PICTURES, never-before-seen, unique large format camera works by the painters Ross Bleckner and Philip Smith. The exhibition encapsulates the artists’ shared interests in technologies of perception, and the mysteries of light. In both bodies of work, the lens becomes a vehicle for the artists to experience and interpret their interior worlds. “The term photography is so well known that an explanation of it perhaps seems superfluous at this point,” says Bleckner. “But, if that’s true, why does the question ‘What is a photo?’ seem so overwhelming? Maybe because it reflects the world we live in, the information we are supposed to process, the systems that are supposed to organize our social relations.” Says Smith: “I consider each and every photograph a mysterious apparition. All photographs seem to appear from the ether. Yes, we all understand how photographs are created but how a piece of film or a computer can capture a reproducible likeness of reality remains astonishing.” In 1977, art historian Douglas Crimp organized the seminal Pictures exhibition at Artists Space in New York City. The show included vignette pencil, oil stick and pastel drawings from a then 25-year-old Philip Smith. Crimp was interested in the ability of suggestive, non-specific imagery to create psychological associations for the viewer. And in Smith’s drawings he saw a symbolism which provoked an ethereal response. Both Smith and Bleckner have expanded upon Crimp’s philosophies throughout their careers and share a common and continued interest in the ability of an image to provoke one’s psyche. Neither Bleckner nor Smith consider themselves photographers. Yet photography is essential to their respective practices as both implement the medium as source material for their paintings. Smith photographs found images from a range of printed ephemera be it science textbooks, spy manuals, or magic books, and so on. He then develops the Tri-X film and projects the negatives onto canvas. Over time, as Smith notes, “the negatives acquire the patina of the studio and become clotted with paint, scratches, and tears.” The works in this show are produced by Smith, scanning the seasoned negatives and printing the resulting image large-scale, in turn becoming both a new work and an artifact of his process. The symbols in Smith’s photographs depict an iconography of scientific abstraction: from infinitesimal atoms, to the DNA strands which compose our inner selves. By further re-abstracting these images, Smith explores the limits of scientific representation, as well as its metaphysical implications. Bleckner, on the other hand, developed these works by throwing all sorts of light sources (LEDs, laser pointers, flashlights) into the eye of a rarified Polaroid 20x24 camera set at a low exposure. This scarcely found device (only six of these cameras were ever produced) responds to the light in a way that could not otherwise be perceived by the human eye. The Polaroid itself enamours a nostalgic kind of ‘seeing’, fitting for Bleckner who is interested in different modalities of light and how they signal divergent modes of perception. In the pictorial field, light mediates our ability to grasp and distinguish subjects. Yet due to the transience of light, our perception is set in a constant entropy. By attempting to picture light itself, Bleckner examines the concept of ‘inner light’: the light which exists outside of the limited scope of the human eye. And of course, ‘inner light’ is thought to be a way to examine one’s internal processes, psychology, or natural presence. While painting allows Bleckner and Smith to invent an image, photography enables the simple, and very fruitful, examination of what can and cannot be seen. “Because of their size and their content, my photographs, once printed, become like sentinels to guard the viewer from harm,” says Smith. “They are put there to watch over you.” Picture that.

Yael Bartana, Walead Beshty, Ross Bleckner, Simon Denny, Keith Edmier, Thomas Eggerer, Robert Heinecken, Dana Hoey, Christian Jankowski, Sean Landers, Rezi van Lankveld, Allan McCollum, Jorge Pardo, Seth Price, Stephen Prina, Jon Pylypchuk, Willem de Rooij, Pieter Schoowerth, John Stezaker, and Hiroki Tsukuda

Downloadable



Petzel is pleased to present Downloadable, an online exhibition that offers works available for free and unlimited download, contributed by Petzel artists. The show explores ideas of looking, ownership, and originality as art experiences have been forced into the digital realm. We now find ourselves drowning in emails touting various iterations of virtual exhibitions, walk throughs, viewing rooms, and art fairs. With our pleasure of seeing works in person disrupted, the notion of looking at art has radically shifted. While the digital files may be the same for all visitors, the experience and context surrounding each download is different, and as a result a new unique work is created for the viewer every time. Petzel is grateful for our artists’ contributions with offerings from GIFs, to collages, to poetry, photographs, audio files, screenplays and beyond. Stephen Prina presents Threatening Danger, Fear, Catastrophe, a video animation of a rhythmic light sequence, looping in perpetuity. Once imagined as a public artwork, it incorporates lampposts that shine in two different ways. The title is a reference to Schönberg's symphonic poem Accompaniment to a Cinematographic Scene, first realized as a film score by Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub in the 1972 film Introduction to Arnold Schönberg's "Accompaniment to a Cinematographic Scene." Flattened through their digitization, the sculptural qualities and textures of Rezi van Lankveld’s collage and drawing transform into something new. Thomas Eggerer’s original Drawing for Yellow Harvest #4 was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy leaving behind only a digital trace – here, as part of the exhibition, its jpeg finds a poetic afterlife. Several artists request collaboration on the downloader’s part: Jorge Pardo has begun the process of adding color to a painting, and invites the downloader to complete the composition; Christian Jankowski calls for participation in his new work Jankowski 4.0, by requesting that viewers create a Dada Poem via an online Poetry Generator and film themselves reading it. The video is then to be posted on Instagram using the hashtag #Jankowski4.0; Allan McCollum offers ever-evolving insight into his practice and requires viewers to take their own screenshots from his new website as a form of downloading. Through an array of experiences, Downloadable bends the definition of collecting an artist’s work and experiencing an exhibition today. Downloadable includes work by Yael Bartana, Walead Beshty, Ross Bleckner, Simon Denny, Keith Edmier, Thomas Eggerer, Robert Heinecken, Dana Hoey, Christian Jankowski, Sean Landers, Rezi van Lankveld, Allan McCollum, Jorge Pardo, Seth Price, Stephen Prina, Jon Pylypchuk, Willem de Rooij, Pieter Schoowerth, John Stezaker, and Hiroki Tsukuda.

Walead Beshty, Ross Bleckner, Cosima von Bonin, Fiona Connor, Wade Guyton, Allan McCollum, Sarah Morris, Seth Price, Pieter Schoolwerth, and Rirkrit Tiravanija

Community Board



Petzel is pleased to present Community Board, an online exhibition highlighting artists who rely on, and incorporate, their communities and networks to realize their work. At a time when our communities are forcefully insular and our social and physical dynamics are drastically changing due to the implications of COVID-19, the relationships and systems of support we have maintained are arguably more important than ever. These links are the results of both physical closeness, as with roommates or doctors, as well as emotional closeness, whether that is calling home, a wedding officiated over Zoom, or somewhere in between with a shared demand for justice and change through protest. These relationships and interactions correlate with what we have decided is most important to focus our energy on in the current state. The works included in Community Board, all executed pre-pandemic, are transformed under our new circumstances. Community Board presents the dichotomy of our more intimate and personal bonds alongside the virtual connections that are increasingly prominent in our lives, to explore what community means today. Community Board includes works by Walead Beshty, Ross Bleckner, Cosima von Bonin, Fiona Connor, Wade Guyton, Allan McCollum, Sarah Morris, Seth Price, Pieter Schoolwerth, and Rirkrit Tiravanija.

An Online Portrait Show

What Can a Face Do?



Petzel is pleased to present What Can a Face Do?, an online exhibition of works exploring portraiture and its many forms and interpretations. In the current pandemic state, our noses and mouths are covered with masks, which prohibits us from seeing each other face to face. As a result, the portrait becomes especially urgent as a model of representation: the face expresses and reveals the inner feelings of a person; it shows something that is hidden behind the facade, yet there is something in the appearance of a face that allows access to what is hidden beneath. This exhibition brings together a selection of works concentrated around the idea of faces, presenting a visual “group portrait” that highlights the relevancy of portraiture today. What Can a Face Do? includes work by Yael Bartana, Keith Edmier, Asger Jorn, Sean Landers, Rezi van Lankveld, Maria Lassnig, Jorge Pardo, Joyce Pensato, Jon Pylypchuk, and Nicola Tyson.

Maria Lassnig

Ode to New York: Drawings 1968–1980



Petzel is pleased to present an online exhibition of works on paper by Austrian artist Maria Lassnig. Developed in close collaboration with the Maria Lassnig Foundation, the exhibition comprises six watercolors and nine pencil drawings depicting Maria Lassnig’s time in New York City from 1968–1980, alongside film footage shot by Lassnig documenting her fascination with the performers, musicians, and pedestrian dancers that she encountered on the pulsating streets of Manhattan. In scenes captured by Lassnig from the parks, rooftops, and windows of 1970s New York, we observe an artist as she revels in the liberation of a new, American landscape. From cityscapes to skylines, abstracted self-portraits, and moments in the famed Chelsea Hotel, Lassnig chronicles both herself and her surroundings in a sweeping ode to New York. In 1968, at the age of 49, Lassnig moved from her home in Paris to New York City, to be in, as she called it, “the country of strong women." Although well-known in her native Austria, Lassnig was virtually unheard of in the United States and lived, for the next 12 years, in relative anonymity, renting walk-up apartments on the Lower East Side and Soho. According to those who knew her, she felt an affinity with the City; loved its constant activity, dynamism and the sense of freedom it engendered. New York City offered Lassnig a liberation of sorts from the male-dominated art scene of Europe. It gave her the opportunity to be an artist, not simply a female artist — and she worked prolifically, producing paintings, drawings, watercolors, silkscreen prints and animated films, often including hints of Americana in her work. Lassnig’s New York years were an incredibly formative time for the artist, a period in which she further developed her singular “body sensation” or “body awareness” aesthetic of the late 1940s – using sensations of the body as conduits to envision the external world. Her self-reflective pencil drawings from this period exemplify how Lassnig also turned toward realism identified with portraiture. These drawings reflect how the artistic freedom Lassnig enjoyed in the City allowed her to experiment in other art forms, including film. She even went on to study animated film at the School of Visual Arts for one semester in the spring of 1971, and in 1974 she co-founded the Women/Artist/Filmmakers, Inc., a group of feminist filmmakers. Petzel’s much-anticipated exhibition Maria Lassnig: The Paris Years, 1960-68, which was originally scheduled to open this spring, will now open in April 2021 and will be accompanied by a catalog with an essay by Lauren O'Neill-Butler.

Yael Bartana, Thomas Eggerer, Sean Landers, Adam McEwen, Rodney McMillian, Sarah Morris, Seth Price, Stephen Prina, Dirk Skreber, John Stezaker, Nicola Tyson, and Corinne Wasmuht.

21st Century Landscapes



While landscape painting dates back to antiquity, it only became a serious genre when artists began using landscapes as a retreat from the complexities of modern life. The 19th century brought landscapes to the forefront through plein air techniques. The landscape became a reflection of the philosophy when previously, landscapes were simply an image of pastoral idyll. The effects of the anthropocene on art have intensified with time. Today we are faced with new challenges: climate change, environmental destruction, and population density. The 21st century has an even more strained relationship with nature and an even greater dependence on technology. Our ecological crisis marked the collapse of traditional landscape, and modern gives way to contemporary. We have a radical new conceptualization of landscape, no longer tethered to factual depiction. Our perception is distorted by digital aesthetics which results in new, imagined landscapes. Scenes that could only be afforded by contemporary technology are present in the works by Yael Bartana, Thomas Eggerer, Sean Landers, Adam McEwen, Rodney McMillian, Sarah Morris, Seth Price, Stephen Prina, Dirk Skreber, John Stezaker, Nicola Tyson, and Corinne Wasmuht. Today, we can only dream of the bucolic landscapes of the past while we try to make sense of the present.

Nicola Tyson

Works on Paper



New graphite drawings on paper alongside time-lapse footage documenting the artist's process. "When I begin to draw, I have no idea what's going to appear. I work swiftly, to stay just ahead of the cage of language, the linear mind and rational decision-making. I just let the forms grow themselves—self-organize..." –Nicola Tyson

Allan McCollum

Early Works



On the occasion of Allan McCollum’s first US museum retrospective currently mounted at the ICA Miami, Petzel is pleased to present a special online exhibition of the artist’s rarely seen early paintings. Though the ICA Miami is temporarily closed due to COVID concerns, the show will be extended upon reopening and will subsequently travel to the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum in St. Louis. Over the past 50 years, McCollum has explored how objects achieve public and personal meaning in a world caught up in the contradictions between unique handmade artworks and objects of mass production. The works presented here focus on some of his earliest forays into art: the Bleach Paintings and Constructed Paintings. Dating from the early 1970s, they represent a key transitional moment anticipating the artist’s lifelong preoccupation with serial production and strategies of display.

 
Past Exhibitions

Joe Bradley

Bhoga Marga



March 3, 2022 - April 30, 2022
“The mind is like a garbage can. Full of ideas. Not only from this life, but from previous lives. There is a lot of stuff in that mind. But in truth, there is no mind. Everything is unborn. Take a tree for instance. What gave birth to a tree? A seed. Where did the seed come from? Another Tree. There is no answer. Worms. Bugs. Human Beings. Who gave them birth? Flowers. The Moon. The Sun. The Stars. I tell you, none of these things exist. There is no birth. No death. It is all nonsense. Do you know what anything is? For instance, a cat. What is a cat? It was here when you arrived. It is all imagination. A dream. The first rule is divine ignorance. Nothing Actually Exists.” —Sri Robert Adams Petzel is pleased to present Bhoga Marga, an exhibition of new paintings and drawings by Joe Bradley, on view from March 3rd to April 30th at the gallery’s Chelsea location. The show marks the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, and his first in six years in New York City.

Rezi van Lankveld

Soft Sun



February 16, 2022 - March 26, 2022
Petzel is pleased to present Soft Sun, an exhibition of new paintings by Amsterdam-based artist Rezi van Lankveld, on view at the gallery’s Upper East Side location from February 16 to March 26. The show marks van Lankveld’s fourth with the gallery and her first in five years in New York City. The paintings featured in Soft Sun are made in the spirit and the excitement of viewing the unknown. They express the idea of the infinite potential image and are impressions of the internal experience that takes place through observation: a short circuit in the brain, like déjà vu; seeing one thing in a flash and in the same flash that thing becomes something else. If there would be a motif in van Lankveld’s paintings, it would be this visual encounter with the unexpected, which is ultimately about movement in painting. The artist seeks to capture the moment of metamorphosis. Viewers will notice both a continuation and an advancement of van Lankveld’s signature figurative yet abstract style in these new and intimate paintings. The small-scale Soft Sun works evoke visions of landscapes, or perhaps dreamscapes, each subject to one’s unique perception. Light is a constant throughout the Soft Sun series, which van Lankveld describes as having been composed with techniques similar to that of her previous work but with a newfound density. Here, van Lankveld places focus on detail, but with compositions that exude roughness and an air of spontaneity. Every van Lankveld painting is singular and requires a long process to achieve their finished state. Van Lankveld is not necessarily telling a story through her paintings but is rather composing them in a way that suggests a choreography of forms that come together in a highly constructed manner. More than anything, van Lankveld wants to impress the expressive nature of the Soft Sun works upon the viewer, with no need for guesswork beyond each painting’s image.

Allan McCollum

Traces: Past and Present



January 14, 2022 - February 19, 2022
Petzel is pleased to present Traces: Past and Present, an exhibition of three individual projects by artist Allan McCollum, on view in Chelsea, at 456 West 18th Street, from January 14 to February 19. Featuring The Writer’s Daughter, The Shapes Buttons from Oregon, and A Symphony for the Hearing Impaired, this special multi-layered showing marks McCollum’s eleventh exhibition with the gallery and the first time that these bodies of work will be seen in New York. “Many of my projects have involved ‘traces’ of things from the past, reproducing various types of fossils, for instance,” McCollum has said. For Traces: Past and Present, McCollum continues his decades-long investigation into the remembrance and significance of things past. “Attempting to find or construct meaning can involve looking at traces of things that have been lost or only partially remembered and working to integrate them into the way we see the world around us.” An alternate version of The Writer’s Daughter was originally presented at Marc Selwyn Fine Art in Beverly Hills in 2021. McCollum said of the project at the time: “A few years ago, I became hypnotized looking at a page on which a highly intelligent two-year-old named Minu Mansoor-McKee, the daughter of a writer friend and art historian Jaleh Mansoor, had attempted to write letters and words before she fully understood the concept of language and the way it can be written. As with all of us, Minu’s attempt to record meaning on paper took time and effort. Jaleh let me have a page of Minu’s attempts at writing. I have spent years looking at it, feeling enchanted by the way the child searched for meaning and how I continue to try to understand my life. Each one of her 108 different attempts to construct little shapes of letters became symbols for me. Without fully understanding what led me to do it, I started scanning the shapes, enlarging and tracing them onto papers with ink, and framing each one. Framing things invites greater meaning to be discovered in what finds itself inside the frame, and the meaning will evolve more over time.” McCollum began conceptualizing The Shapes Buttons from Oregon, part of his ongoing Shapes project, in 2015, collaborating and communicating via email with Bend, Oregon-based artist and button maker Delia Paine. Throughout this process, produced in the spirit of the WPA, McCollum would send Paine the templates for the buttons, which she made, using colored backgrounds for each separate button idea, at Via Delia, her local shop, and in her studio. “He would create the shapes and bring them to me, and I would turn them into buttons,” Paine has said. Together McCollum and Paine created over 5,000 buttons. The project was previously installed at the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon in 2016 and at the ICA Miami in 2020/21. It was inspired by the “Independence Rock” historical site on the Oregon Trail in Wyoming, where thousands of pioneer travelers to the Western frontier added their signatures to Father De Smet’s register, traces of which can still be seen today. In a world premiere at Petzel, and to accompany and enhance these bodies of work, McCollum also presents A Symphony for the Hearing Impaired, a video installation composed of a slideshow of over 1,000 screen grabs from movies and television shows, wherein the closed captions describe music, or traces of sounds that may never be heard again. True to McCollum form, every one of these subtitles is unique.

Zorawar Sidhu and Rob Swainston

Doomscrolling



January 6, 2022 - February 12, 2022
Petzel is pleased to present Doomscrolling, an exhibition of woodblock prints by the artists Zorawar Sidhu and Rob Swainston, on view at the gallery’s Upper East Side location from January 6 to February 12, 2022. Doomscrolling, a relatively recent activity induced by disturbing, perhaps mind-bending, current events, is “the act of spending an excessive amount of screen time devoted to the absorption of negative news. Increased consumption of predominately negative news may result in harmful psychophysiological responses.” This exhibition takes its title and inspiration from this newly diagnosed and addictive compulsion. At the start of the pandemic “I went out every morning on my bike and was photographing Manhattan, but it was empty,” says Swainston, who, like most of us, was experiencing all the hope, anxiety, and fear about everything that was happening in 2020. “We were just like everyone else, obsessed by consuming images of it. All of a sudden, plywood went up on buildings around the city and then I realized the potential of it: Letting something that happened in 2020 be carved onto the plywood used to cover up Manhattan.” The artists contacted various institutions. Several allowed them to come and take their plywood. “Because the plywood was outside, it collected graffiti on it and was weathered by the elements, which is still visible in the prints,” says Sidhu. Swainston and Sidhu collected approximately 120 sheets of plywood. “We are depicting events that are dirty and messy. Having the plywood distressed is a part of the story. The show really comes out of our own ‘doomscrolling,’” Swainston says. Sidhu echoes, “It was an experience of terror through viewing the media of it all.” Doomscrolling is comprised of 18 moments between May 24th, 2020 and January 6th, 2021, the day of the insurrection at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. These dates are tied to iconic images and specific events: The May 24th New York Times cover “U.S. DEATHS NEAR 100,000, AN INCALCULABLE LOSS”; the next day George Floyd is murdered; the day after that the protests begin; Kyle Rittenhouse shoots three people during the protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin; Donald Trump holds the bible upside down after the D.C. Park Police teargas a group of peaceful protesters; the militarized police vehicles; the protestors with their hands up. “The first print we finished was January 6th. So many of these images seem out of place and out of time—and they just don’t even really seem possible,” Swainston says. He and Sidhu have chosen to represent each date as a montage of events to convey the conflicts of ideologies, physical violence, and meanings of these events that are still being negotiated. “If we let them remain only as images we doomscrolled in 2020, they become fixed in the past,” the artists say. “We can be indignant or hopeful about them, but there is nothing we can do. By reconsidering them as montages we are keeping them in the present as ongoing issues, keeping their meanings unfixed, and keeping open the possibility for real social change.” To create the montage effect the artists overlay image upon image, as if scrolling through a computer screen or mobile device. Each image resonates with the ones before and after it, giving dimensionality to the works. Sidhu and Swainston employ art historical references such as rays of light from Albrecht Dürer, hands from Käthe Kollwitz and heavy shadows from Edvard Munch. Woodblock prints are historically a voice of the people. They are the oldest means of visual mass communication and have fueled anti-authoritarian movements for centuries. “When you read a newspaper and ink ends up on your fingers, the information has rubbed into you and you can sort of feel that it’s there, but you still can’t quite figure out what it is,” says Swainston. “As January 6th is re-examined, the way that we look at and remember these images is also evolving,” adds Sidhu. “I think we’ve yet to see the full implications of everything that has happened in the past year and a half.” “The project reminds us that this is still going on,” concludes Swainston. “This is unresolved.”

Maria Lassnig

The Paris Years, 1960–68



November 4, 2021 - December 17, 2021
Petzel is pleased to present Maria Lassnig: The Paris Years, 1960–68, an exhibition of paintings by the Austrian artist that have rarely been seen in the United States. On view at the gallery’s Chelsea location from November 4 through December 17, the show, which includes over 20 important works developed in Lassnig’s studio on rue de Begnolet, covers Lassnig’s formative years in the City of Light. “Though Maria Lassnig only lived in Paris for eight years, it was in her studio on Rue de Bagnolet that she began to fully release herself from aesthetic constraints and developed a sense of freedom that became synonymous with her name. There, Lassnig took up the various isms she explored in her previous paintings—realism, expressionism, surrealism, tachism—and transformed them into something truly autonomous by simultaneously turning more fully to herself, to her sensations, lived experiences, and physical embodiment,” writes Lauren O’Neill-Butler in her essay for the accompanying exhibition catalogue, published by Petzel. Around 1947, as O’Neil-Butler writes, Lassnig “commenced this with drawings called Introspektive Erlebnisse (Introspective Experiences), later developed into Körpergefühlsmalerei (body awareness painting), her term for depicting the parts of her being that she felt as she worked. In Paris, she more fully galvanized a phenomenological approach, developing an awareness that the body and mind are not separate, that whatever manifests on the skin is directly related to one’s thoughts. Lassnig’s turning inward to propel outward became something of a signature style, though her art could never be so neatly pinned down. A line from her 1951/1960 text Painting Formulas sums it up: “Discard the style! You exploit yourself soon enough.” The varied and vital canvases that she made in Paris evince that she was coming into her own, finding her voice, and shedding expectations—you exploit yourself soon enough, so why not put everything on the line, right now? In doing just that Lassnig established her own tradition. Lassnig left Vienna for Paris at a time when she felt there was not space for her in the city’s male-dominated art circles, she proceeded to hold court with contemporaries in France until leaving for her next significant stay, her 12-year residence in New York. There has yet to be much scholarship on this period of Lassnig’s life and work in Paris, and Petzel is pleased to publish the exhibition catalogue, also titled Maria Lassnig: the Paris Years, 1960–1968, which illustrates a portion of this crucial mid-career moment alongside writings from Lassnig’s diaries and letters throughout those years. Additionally, in the Spring of 2022, Petzel will release the English translation of art historian Natalie Lettner’s biography on Lassnig, co-published with Hauser & Wirth.

Ross Bleckner

Heart in the corner of the room



November 3, 2021 - December 17, 2021
Petzel is pleased to present Heart in the corner of the room, Ross Bleckner’s second exhibition with the gallery and his first at our Upper East Side location. The show, a series of paintings all created between 1975–1979, shortly after artist’s time at the California Institute of the Arts, will be on view from November 3 until December 17 on the parlor floor of 35 East 67th Street. This body of work has never been exhibited—not even in past retrospectives—and provides an intriguing and revealing debut look at Bleckner’s earliest years as a painter. Thus far underacknowledged, these works set the tone for Bleckner’s future signature style. For Heart in the corner of the room, Bleckner decided that “I was going to cast a spotlight on the very place I was at psychologically on that stage of my development, on the ‘stage’ that I felt I was literally standing on. I felt trapped in this corner, and I thought: ‘Why not let the light fall on you in that corner. No matter how bad, insecure and inexperienced you feel, you have these ‘big’ feelings about what it means to be an artist.’ I thought: ‘Your embryonic ego wants the light to fall on it.’ That’s what a great many of the paintings that I did in the 70’s were about, the literal, the metaphoric, and I hoped transformative quality of the formal properties and feelings about light in painting.” The artist also tried his hand at Constructivism during this period. “Constructivism was a seminal 20th Century movement,” says Bleckner. “It represented the industrial optimism of the beginning of the 20th century. I saw it as a way to continue to paint and, instead of the coldness of conceptual and minimal work being done, I could use it to continue to find a viability with paint and make paintings in a literal sense. I could ‘construct,’ After hearing so much about the ‘transcendental’ nature of abstraction, I was searching for a way to the ‘real.’ Constructivism became like a grid that could somehow organize my inchoate feelings and thoughts the constructivist ideas were ideals, a kind of Utopia that was interdisciplinary but painting inclusive.” Bleckner was especially interested in Francis Picabia and his whirling machine, as well as Marcel Duchamp (“Bride,” 1912), Laszlo Moholy Nagy (“Architecture or Eccentric Construction,” 1921), and all of Kazimir Malevich (“White on White,” 1918). “I wanted my paintings to vacillate (literally) between restraint and expression. Somewhat cold, geometrical and detached, only to be negotiating with a lot of restrained emotion. Says Bleckner today: “Air, light, a body, lungs and breathing. And, again, we are cornered by an epidemic (in 1980, in 2020). That should humble us enough so that we become re/aware that the beauty in our lives is so fragile because it is always a thin cell membrane away from disaster.” Also on view in the gallery’s third floor private viewing rooms will be three recent paintings by Bleckner. “The paintings from 2020–21 represent the same formal qualities through re-looking at constructivist centers and movement,” says Bleckner. “I did them as ‘experiments’ to try to not look like my paintings and still have in them what no one could not think about during Covid."

Jorge Pardo

All bets are off



September 9, 2021 - October 30, 2021
Petzel Gallery is pleased to announce Cuban American artist Jorge Pardo’s eleventh solo show with Petzel, on view from September 9th to October 30th at the gallery’s Chelsea location. Titled All bets are off, the exhibition will feature over 10 new large-scale paintings, a four-piece custom-built couch, and 7 x 5 foot chandelier, among other works. As is typical of Pardo, these new paintings make one consider the act of looking itself. Each is made up of an accumulation of images, first layered digitally until nearly unrecognizable, and then laser-cut engraved in outline on MDF, and finally hand-painted in acrylic. The resulting objects speak to both sculpture and painting in a signature flamboyant Pardo style. The paintings are abstractions, transformed through the combination of layered imagery, but one cannot call them nonrepresentational, rather, they present distorted forms without the memory of what they represent. No stranger to maximalism, these thoroughly additive works continue an exploration of layered painting that the artist has been developing over many years. Pulled from a wide range of source material, the initial images (typically two to seven layers per painting) are a nonhierarchical amalgamation of personal photographs, works by other artists he admires, or even past pieces of his own, coming to exist in the space between and amongst each other. Pardo is most interested to play with the possibilities, seemingly limitless in this case, as he puts it: “It’s about making them disappear and turn into something else.” The collective patchwork effect allows for just enough difference from painting to painting that they “start to have a dialogue between each other,” says Pardo. Tied to the location of his studio in Mérida, Mexico and Pardo's own Latinx heritage, the works and painting techniques on view also show strong Mexican and Mayan influences, containing frequent references to the cultural aesthetics and materials of the immediate cultural landscape. Other components in the show are a giant multi-colored chandelier titled after gallerist Gisela Capitain, an eccentric couch with painted spine (created through the same process as the paintings) which does not always offer an easy seat, and an unrealized photography project from Pardo’s school years in the late 1980s. Pardo offers that the sculptures are needed so that the paintings act as “photobombs” in the background of the installation. These added objects are reflexive in their own ways – the couch’s unique shape allows people sitting on each side to look at each other but requires them to lay down to do so. The unrealized work is a slide carousel that Pardo had originally planned to apply to Yale graduate school with but never followed through. The application requested candidates to submit their portfolio, yet Pardo wondered, what would happen if you applied with an actual work of art? Instead making a pinhole camera from the carousel with pictures being captured on each slide while traveling within the device. As a whole, the show touches on theories of integration and migration – borrowing from another curious overlap: that of the illusion and movement through space developed in Hans Hoffman’s “push-pull” painting method and sociologist Everett Lee’s Push-Pull theory of geographical migration amongst communities which has helped to define the levels and patterns of human integration. From reusing and repurposing historical material in the canon of painting; to interweaving various forms of image-making; or considering the screen - of the computer, our phones - as a visual problem to work through and from; and the even more human element of relational interaction amongst strangers – Pardo’s goal is to make people engage in the act of looking. The works in All bets are off catch viewers in that process, requiring one to be aware of and rethink how to approach simple acts we do all the time – seeing, sitting, thinking. In doing so, the opportunity for a subtle and accessible confrontation of the history of painting and picture-making itself arises. Alongside the exhibition, there will be an accompanying booklet housing a unique interview between Jorge Pardo and curator Daniela Pérez which follows a format akin to the paintings themselves: developed by repurposing questions originally asked of other artists and posed anew directed to Pardo. As well as the debut of the artist’s newest monograph: Jorge Pardo: Public Projects and Commissions, 1996–2018, a highly anticipated publication that documents over 20 of Pardo’s public works in one volume for the first time. Includes text contributions by Emma Enderby, Maja Hoffman, and Ian Volner, as well as presents twelve of the artist’s never-before-seen “unrealized projects,” discussed in conversation with curator and art historian Hans Ulrich Obrist – available for purchase at the gallery.

Magnus Andersen, Ravi Jackson, Frieda Toranzo Jaeger, Dani Leder, Dana Lok, Leigh Ruple, Lauren Satlowski, Agnes Scherer, Katja Seib

PAGE (NYC) at Petzel



September 8, 2021 - October 30, 2021
Petzel is pleased to present PAGE (NYC), a collaboration with the Tribeca-based gallery. The exhibition debuts new works by Magnus Andersen, Ravi Jackson, Frieda Toranzo Jaeger, Dani Leder, Dana Lok, Leigh Ruple, Lauren Satlowski, Agnes Scherer, and Katja Seib. On view at Petzel’s Upper East side location, this presentation marks the first time Petzel has invited a New York gallery to organize an exhibition in one of its spaces. Curated by Lucas Page, owner of PAGE (NYC), the show brings together a fresh mix of emerging voices from the international scene. Systematic approaches find poetic harmonies in the depiction of refined structures and figurative subject matter. Experiments in pictorial processes devise an extrasensory world with a range of surprising results and unexpected combinations. This group has grit and dynamism, making it happen here and now. The works in the exhibition are a testament to the power and glamour of image. An array of graphic and painterly effects are both inventive and technical, producing an uncanny synthesis of supernatural energies. This group runs the spectrum of hyper visibility, each projecting a unique strain of juicy saturation. The infrared sensors and telekinetic pings jam the airwaves in this composite universe. About PAGE (NYC): PAGE (NYC) is located in Tribeca at 368 Broadway #511. The gallery was founded in 2016 by Lucas Page. The program shares a distinct focus on contemporary painting worldwide and producing original publications. Following the exhibition, a solo presentation by Leigh Ruple, her second with the gallery, opens Fall 2021 at PAGE (NYC).

Jon Pylypchuk

What have we missed



June 24, 2021 - August 6, 2021
Petzel is pleased to present What have we missed, a solo exhibition of new sculptures from Los Angeles-based artist Jon Pylypchuk, on view from June 24th to August 7th on the parlor floor of the gallery's Upper East Side location, at 35 East 67th Street. Presenting a grouping of bronze 'ghost' sculptures (all 2020 & 2021), What have we missed documents a period of intense grief and disbelief for the artist and the world. In many ways, the show's title functions as both a question and a statement, one to be understood as uniquely personal and also collective in the current moment. “I’m more alive steeping in some form of grief or some form of intense experience,” says Pylypchuk. "Grief is the motivator, grief is the awareness of the self, and within that infrastructure of pain you can manufacture a new narrative.” Following the passing of a very dear friend, Pylypchuk found that all he could do was make ghosts for him and of him. The sculptures attempt to assure a memory does not fade, to make someone or something exist again in repeated representation. Cast in bronze and, like many of Pylypchuk’s works, sculpted from pieces of clothing, fabric, underwear, and other found materials, the ghosts appear both frozen in time yet completely emotive – they morph in various states of stilted attempts to cry out, a caring embrace, or sheer shock. Not unlike the many cycles of grief itself. As Pylypchuk states: “The ghosts are interconnected by something as simple as the chemicals they're made of. We accumulate these chemicals throughout our life, what I'm trying to do in a short amount of time is put a life on each one of them. The patina that happens over time for a human, whether it's aging or whether it's accumulation of knowledge is a similar thing I'm just trying to shorten the amount of time that it takes to do that.” In an accompanying essay to the show, titled Jon Pylypchuk; or, The Log Lady, the writer and historian William J. Simmons describes the quirk, materiality, and lasting-ness of the work: "Pylypchuk’s ghosts therefore are also iterations of the inherently collaborative genres of film or theatre, patinaed phantasmagorias that retell lives that have ended and foretell lives just beginning, just as they are products of fingers and casts and metal and the help of his family. Maybe the quirkiest girl of all is the Log Lady, the spinster-clairvoyant of Twin Peaks, who always carries a log that speaks in whispers heard only by her. The log could also be seen as a massive cigarette—a memento mori and a readymade conversation starter." Pylypchuk has utilized ghosts in the past, but recalls them as semi-permanent, appearing in moments of in-between, borrowed, or expectant time. For this occurrence, they have been cemented beyond their hardened exterior. As the artist offers, “Permanent ghosts are the ones you realize you won’t share the rest of your path with…Every life is a debt that must be paid and this year there were a lot of bills due.”

Huma Bhabha, Joe Bradley, Jennifer Paige Cohen, Jason Fox, Daniel Hesidence, Rodney McMillian, Xie Nanxing, John Outterbridge, Dana Schutz

Time-Slip



May 26, 2021 - August 6, 2021
Petzel is pleased to present Time-Slip, a group exhibition featuring works by Huma Bhabha, Joe Bradley, Jennifer Paige Cohen, Jason Fox, Daniel Hesidence, Rodney McMillian, Xie Nanxing, John Outterbridge, and Dana Schutz, on view from May 26 – August 7, 2021 at the gallery’s Chelsea location. Time-Slip brings together paintings, video, and sculptures that demonstrate nonlinear time frames; an idea of the past, projected into the future, actualized in the present. The artworks in this show share an explicit relationship with our collective repressed histories, be they arcane and deep, or recent and raw. Each artist demonstrates the ability to engage with multiple time periods at once, oscillating between them with a kindred awareness – the artist as time traveler, and the body as a vessel holding multiple time scales. With immense seed changes in our landscape, the artists that come together in this show offer us the opportunity to experience differential intents, subjectivities, and histories to move us through a slippery sense of reality. Petzel Gallery thanks all the participating artists and their galleries for their collaboration: CANADA, David Zwirner, Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, Salon 94, and Tilton Gallery.

Hanne Darboven, Wade Guyton, Allan McCollum, Stephen Prina, Samson Young



May 4, 2021 - June 19, 2021
In conjunction with Hanne Darboven Europa 97, also on view, on the third floor of the Upper East Side gallery, is an additional work by Darboven, titled Dostojewski, Monat Januar (1990), which chronicles the work of the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky. Alongside this work, is a unique grouping of artists in the Petzel program who have been influenced by Darboven’s career and impact. With contributions from Allan McCollum, Stephen Prina, Wade Guyton, and the first Petzel showing of work by Hong-Kong based multimedia artist Samson Young, these artists demonstrate, in their own ways, the incorporation of seriality, systems of notation, record-keeping, and appropriation in their work that is indebted to the pioneering efforts of Darboven. Centered around Dostojewski, Monat Januar, one can see Darboven’s systematized visual language and ideas of chronicling reworked and expanded upon in the silhouettes of Allan McCollum, or the entire ArtPace, San Antonio, 2000 mailing list, printed and stamped by Stephen Prina. In a suite of twenty-seven drawings made from pages torn from the same book, Wade Guyton employs his signature method of printing a digital file over found imagery, the visual repetition of which belies the uniqueness of this machine-generated mark making. Samson Young has also relied on the creation of his own unique systems to develop various series in his work. Young's compositions function like active-drones that use repetition to build and move textures, at times playing in unison, and arranged in a sequence of evolving configurations in others, these processes are intrinsically connected with the oeuvre of artists of Darboven's era. Much like how Darboven rejected the conventional concept of art, producing her works instead in the mode of writing and books, often constituting installations of hundreds of identically framed pages of diagrams, columns of numbers, and constructivist drawings—these artists too have undertaken the task of recording the passing of time, which is, one could say perhaps the single most universal human experience. Despite the inherent conceptual nature of Darboven’s work, these contemporary examples help to show just how much her ideas and ideals were deeply rooted in daily human life—bearing witness to this collective temporality in minute detail. Petzel is especially delighted to present these works in tandem and tie Darboven’s legacy to artists working today. In these chronicles, lays a complicated web of feeling, memory, and diverse lived experience. In turn, Darboven and those who have followed in her footsteps, declare fiercely the importance of transparency, documentation, and reflection. Notions that in these current discorded times, are needed more than ever.

Hanne Darboven

Europa 97



May 4, 2021 - June 19, 2021
"My secret is that I don't have one." — Hanne Darboven, 1991 Petzel Gallery is pleased to present Europa 97, the gallery’s first solo exhibition of Hanne Darboven opening May 2021 at its Upper East Side location, in collaboration with Sprüth Magers. Revered as one of the most important figures in postwar German art, Hanne Darboven was a prominent force among the artists that pioneered the conceptual and minimal art movements of her time. She worked widely across artistic writing, visual art, and minimalist musical compositions, with the visualization of time marking the foundation of her practice. The conceptual artist’s spatializing of time was developed early in her career, following a two-year stay in New York in the late 1960s, in which she established her now characteristic guiding principles of serial sequences, patterns, logic, mathematic formulas, and data translated into graphic or numerical representations. In New York, Darboven developed close friendships with artist cohorts including Lawrence Weiner, Sol LeWitt, Carl André, and others, thus cementing her influence on the theoretical and aesthetic foundations of conceptual and minimal art. She continued an active artistic discourse with these fellow artists throughout her life and Petzel is especially pleased to have the opportunity to show her work in New York City once again. For its debut exhibition, Petzel will show Darboven’s influential work Europa 97, a collection of 384 individual pages in which the artist allocated her daily calculations for the entire year of 1997 according to a system or cross-arithmetic calculations. The work is broken into 12 blocks representative of the months, each with 32 pages. The pages that extend beyond a given month’s number of days are partly completed with collaged color photographs of the blue seal of Europe that is stamped onto license plates. Europa 97 references the political events of 1997, which was declared the “European Year against Racism and Xenophobia” by The European Union, who had been dedicating each year since 1983 to a sociopolitical theme to be the focus of outreach work and funding programs. The declaration for the year was formed against the backdrop of the Treaty of Amsterdam which, when signed in 1997, was the first modification to the founding treaty of the European Union since established in 1992. The adjustment notably included an expansion of the legislative battle against discrimination on the basis of sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or faith, handicap, age, or sexual orientation. The highlighted events of the year are by no means thought of as a major historical moment, but Darboven calls attention to the political processes and decisions that were imperative in setting fundamental order to the association of states and liberal-democratic concord following the formation of the E.U. A modified form of Europa 97 hangs in the lobby and press room of the German Bundestag’s CDU/CSU party. Also on view, on the third floor of the Upper East Side gallery, is an additional work by Darboven, titled Dostojewski, Monat Januar (1990), which chronicles the work of the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky. Alongside this work, is a unique grouping of artists in the Petzel program who have been influenced by Darboven’s career and impact. With contributions from Allan McCollum, Stephen Prina, Wade Guyton, and the first Petzel showing of work by Hong-Kong based multimedia artist Samson Young, these artists demonstrate, in their own ways, the incorporation of seriality, systems of notation, record-keeping, and appropriation in their work that is indebted to the pioneering efforts of Darboven. Centered around Dostojewski, Monat Januar, one can see Darboven’s systematized visual language and ideas of chronicling reworked and expanded upon in the silhouettes of Allan McCollum, or the entire ArtPace, San Antonio, 2000 mailing list, printed and stamped by Stephen Prina. In a suite of twenty-seven drawings made from pages torn from the same book, Wade Guyton employs his signature method of printing a digital file over found imagery, the visual repetition of which belies the uniqueness of this machine-generated mark making. Samson Young has also relied on the creation of his own unique systems to develop various series in his work. Young's compositions function like active-drones that use repetition to build and move textures, at times playing in unison, and arranged in a sequence of evolving configurations in others, these processes are intrinsically connected with the oeuvre of artists of Darboven's era. Much like how Darboven rejected the conventional concept of art, producing her works instead in the mode of writing and books, often constituting installations of hundreds of identically framed pages of diagrams, columns of numbers, and constructivist drawings – these artists too have undertaken the task of recording the passing of time, which is, one could say perhaps the single most universal human experience. Despite the inherent conceptual nature of Darboven’s work, these contemporary examples help to show just how much her ideas and ideals were deeply rooted in daily human life – bearing witness to this collective temporality in minute detail. Petzel is especially delighted to present these works in tandem and tie Darboven’s legacy to artists working today. In these chronicles, lays a complicated web of feeling, memory, and diverse lived experience. In turn, Darboven and those who have followed in her footsteps, declare fiercely the importance of transparency, documentation, and reflection. Notions that in these current discorded times, are needed more than ever.

Jorge Pardo, Seth Price, Pieter Schoolwerth, Emily Mae Smith

Works on Paper



March 25, 2021 - April 24, 2021
Petzel Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of works on paper by artists Jorge Pardo, Seth Price, Pieter Schoolwerth, and Emily Mae Smith, on view from March 25 to April 24, 2021 on the parlor floor of the gallery’s Upper East Side location at 35 East 67th Street. In this grouping we encounter the many forms – both physical and cerebral – that drawings can assume. Naturally, many of the works on view represent an element of the artist’s process in developing the larger-scale works we have come to know them by. Pieter Schoolwerth regularly uses models to build his multi-layered canvases which incorporate imagery from a range of art historical and pop culture references. Akin to the sculptural models he utilizes to form his more recent paintings, the works on view here represent 2D versions of a similar process. In them, one can see Schoolwerth’s template for the painting to come – each made up of traced elements from an existing (and very well known) classical artwork, drawn on to acetate and then layered to build a new body from the collected fragments – the manipulated Mylar still reflecting his fingerprints from a decade ago. Revealing the midpoint between the original painting and Schoolwerth’s contemporary version, he notes, "I thought of each collage in this series as a multi-layered ‘script,’ which guided my effort in composing a chimerical body out of images from the art historical past.” Emily Mae Smith presents studies on paper for recently completed paintings (all 2021). Smith says, “when working on large compositions I often find areas within which, if isolated, would be interesting paintings themselves.” Here she has drawn out two moments in watercolor from the background of The Studio (Speculative Objects), the kettle nestled in a nook and a crucifixion scene high-up on the wall - both representing a kind of “martyr as an industrious figure, who has worked without recognition until sacrificed,” says Smith. Two soft pastel drawings are also on view, bringing out the importance of color in Smith’s work: “I enjoy how this medium is very intense in pigment - the color story and color movement in my work is significant- the form does convey a meaning- these passages of color create movement of thought.” In Seth Price’s new drawings, a rotation of gouache, pencil, and enamel mix on paper and Mylar to create mysterious anatomical forms. Some seemingly overly conjoined with too many joints, others appear as if in a yoga pose revealing an internally misplaced ribcage – the skeleton flipped to create a headless creature of 4-legs. The illustrated dismemberment concedes in turn, a profound wholeness, a new representational form that confronts our supposed truths. As described by Price, "Drawing is the most immediate of forms, and it allows ideas and impulses to crystallize with barely any mediation. In these works, that immediacy allows some of my longstanding interests to come right through, whether it’s the human body in extremis, or the confusion of inside and outside, front and back, negative and positive, or my interest in transparency, and plastic." These new works are particularly interesting in dialogue with Price’s silhouettes and other works on Mylar as well Schoolwerth’s similarly fragmented drawings on the same material. And lastly, Jorge Pardo rather inverts the traditional steps of a ‘study’ – creating the drawing after completing a painting based on the same imagery. As Pardo explains, “drawings are sometimes interesting because they invoke a projection of development of something and in this case, they’re kind of the opposite – they’re made after a painting that was made using the same image. I think it’s interesting in this particular instance that the drawings don’t help the painting and they’re not helped by the painting.” To create these new works, first the image is composed digitally, then the outlines are printed on paper, next color is added, and finally, the moire pattern is overlaid or printed on top to create a raised effect – a very similar process to Pardo’s recent engraved MDF lightbox paintings. “The drawings, I hope, point to the source of the image, which in this case is the computer screen - not an aspirational image, or something I think is amazing and need to express, not an image that challenges what an image is…I think that the landscape with the most currency right now is a screen: it’s a monitor, it’s a phone, it’s a tv, it’s a storefront. Landscape used to be this kind of cultural mirror of a lot of our fears and a lot of our projections about beauty and order and other worldliness – the new mirror, the optic that we use like landscape now is the screen, so I want to make the screen,” Pardo says.

Simon Denny

Mine



March 18, 2021 - May 15, 2021
Petzel Gallery is pleased to announce Mine, a new exhibition by Simon Denny opening Thursday, March 18, 2021 at the gallery’s Chelsea location. Mine is the culmination of a multi-year project exploring themes of technology, labor, and our relationship with the earth. Denny has been developing this body of work since 2016 with major exhibitions in 2019 at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Tasmania (Australia) and 2020 at K21 – Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf (Germany). This will be Denny’s fourth solo exhibition with Petzel. Focused on the interconnections between data mining, mineral mining, and the mechanization of labor, Mine brings together a collection of recent works including several large cardboard sculptures imitating giant automated mining machines; a series of wall-mounted paper reliefs and printed vitrines; and a new Augmented Reality sculpture based on a 2019 patent drawing filed by Amazon.com for a delivery worker replacement drone. Denny’s artwork raises questions about the effects of further automation on the limited jobs still left in increasingly mechanized sectors such as mining, service, and logistics. What happens as the labor force shrinks in these traditional industries? How will individuals and worker communities dialogue with those in power in the future? Where will the leverage they once brought now come from? Amazon’s drone design contains a hot air balloon, recalling the speculative balloon-based flying machine epoch of defining technological developments such as hot air balloons, air ships, or Zeppelins, that have become symbols of both achievement and caution in centuries past. Denny's new sculpture projects an animated AR model of a revolving, rocky, mineral-rich, planet Earth onto the drone’s balloon bulge. This vision of Earth-as-resource is borrowed from the advertising materials of one of Amazon’s most prominent data services clients: the multinational mining group Rio Tinto. Spinning inside the body of the Zeppelin drone, the “Earth-rock” transforms Amazon's worker-replacement model into a raw terrestrial globe, without oceans or other representations of life. Embedded in the exhibition is Extractor, a playable board game that also functions as a take-home catalogue. Players collect data in the form of tokens, which they must stack on plastic-molded racks and place in cloud services to monetize what they have mined and thus win the game. The hybrid sculptures-cum-display units presenting the boxed games mirror the dynamics of the monopolistic platform businesses that control much of our internet infrastructure. Denny’s Mine reflects not only upon the near future, but also on the conditions of the present—unearthing real designs for machines that confront us with our own sublime and troubling counterparts. The work continues an artistic tradition of interpreting technological production as keys to understanding our environment and the forces that impact it.

Joyce Pensato

Fuggetabout It (Redux)



January 15, 2021 - March 6, 2021
In collaboration with the Joyce Pensato Estate, Petzel Gallery is pleased to announce the exhibition Fuggetabout It (Redux) from January 15 – February 27, 2021 at its Chelsea location, 456 West 18th Street. In 2012 Pensato premiered her installation “Fuggetabout It” at Petzel Gallery on West 22nd Street to commemorate her beloved studio on Olive Street in East Williamsburg, where she had worked for thirty-two years and had lost in a landlord/tenant dispute in 2011. The move after three decades prompted a re-evaluation and packing of hundreds upon hundreds of objects and items of all manner, including: stuffed animals; figurines; posters, books, invitation cards, and other paper ephemera; milk crates; furniture, both broken and intact; paint cans and paintbrushes, among others. Almost every object had been paint splattered by being at one time or another in proximity to the artist’s working space, which shifted from area to area in the studio, a cavernous, stand-alone space that was once a dance hall. Both collectively and at times singularly these objects were the artist’s inspiration, and Pensato found it a fitting tribute and auspicious time to share them publicly as a glimpse into her process. About this decision, the artist told Faye Hirsh in an interview with Art in America “I felt it was time I could say ‘This is who I am.’ I feel confident.” Critics and curators were quick to take notice. Of Pensato’s emptying her studio into a Chelsea gallery, The New Yorker summed up the exhibition: “Other artists have emptied their studios into galleries, but none so fetchingly as Pensato on the occasion of a move from her Williamsburg digs of thirty-two years. Her big, fast, runny paintings of vestigial cartoon faces prove to have emerged amid great, spattered messes of paint cans, orphaned furniture, stapled-up photographs and ephemera and many, many distressed stuffed animals and effigies of characters from Disney, “Looney Tunes,” “The Simpsons,” “Sesame Street,” “South Park,” and with apparent special ardor, “Batman.” Being Joyce Pensato comes off as a bohemian consummation devoutly to be wished.” In 2014 the artist presented a second version of the installation at Lisson, London; and in late 2017 she presented a scaled down version at the inaugural exhibition “The Everywhere Studio” at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami. Petzel Gallery is honored to present this version of the installation “Fuggetabout It (Redux)” under the care of the artist’s estate. In addition to “Fuggetabout it (Redux)” on view will be a selection of Pensato’s “eyeball” paintings. Inspired by the cartoon characters Felix the Cat, Krazy Kat, and Sesame Street’s Elmo, among other characters with exaggerated and bulging eyes, the artist usually excised any reference to a body leaving a severed head and gaping eyes to fill the picture plane. In these paintings the eyeballs appear in various iterations as astonished, frightened, diabolical, pleading, paranoid, or befuddled. In an interview with Ali Subotnick in 2013, the artist remarked: “Keep in mind that I am working from images that are already distorted. I also think about the expression I want to use; for example, scary, dumb or sad. The images have to have life. I just keep working and changing the image until it feels right. I erase a lot. It’s like measuring. The expression has to be the way I want. It is like action painting but it’s not just about the action or abstract expressionism.” In a 2008 exhibition review in the Village Voice, R.C. Baker wrote: “The organs of sight figure prominently in all these images, though they are less windows onto the soul than caverns dripping stalactites or, in the case of Homer, a cascade of white rivulets recalling the austere exuberance of Pat Steir’s ‘Waterfall’ canvases.” In her brutalization of these visages, Pensato forewent showing the viewer an inner contemplative life for one perhaps of accusation. Wrenching these characters from their Pop culture lives and into an Abstract Expressionist world, the artist forced the viewer to hold and make sense of two seemingly disparate existences. Finally, the exhibition will present a selection of large-scale works on paper. Petzel is pleased to premiere the 115 ½ x 113 ½ inch drawing “Daisy” from 2012. The character’s iris-less eyes, smiling duck beak, and outstretched arms will greet the viewer upon entering the show. In her works on paper, Pensato often incorporated pastels, a departure from her usual palette of black, white and silver in her paintings. The use of pastels in her drawings had a freeing effect for the artist, and later in her career in her large-scale works on paper, color took on a more prominent role.

Joyce Pensato

Batman vs. Spiderman



January 15, 2021 - March 20, 2021
In collaboration with the Joyce Pensato Estate, Petzel Gallery is pleased to announce the exhibition Batman vs. Spiderman from January 15 – February 27, 2021 at its Upper East Side location, 35 East 67th Street, Parlor Floor. “I was resisting working with the traditional still life—apples and pears and all that crap. I just fell in love with Batman. I think it was the ears.”1 The exhibition will consist of over fifteen charcoals on paper from the mid-1970s of the cartoon characters Batman and Spiderman and a selection of enamels on paper from the 2000s of Mickey Mouse and other characters, most of which have never been exhibited publicly. In the mid-1970s while a student at the New York Studio School, Joyce Pensato found herself at odds with the traditional pedagogy of a still life drawing class, frustrated and unable to find “life” in a still life. At the encouragement of her teacher and mentor, Mercedes Matter, the artist decided to incorporate her own language, which took its first form in the life-size cut out of Batman, the fictional superhero created by DC Comics, that the artist found discarded on the street and dragged into her studio. It was by posing the cut out with traditional still life elements, such as a chair, for example, that the artist began to assume her distinctive voice of melding Pop iconography with rigorous artistic technique, resulting in charcoals on paper of Batman and Spiderman wrestling with other, more traditional still life elements in the picture plane. Superman made a brief appearance as well. In a question and answer with Faye Hirsh in Art in America in 2012, Pensato replied of her interest in Batman: “Yes, he’s mysterious, he has a mask on him. And you don’t know what’s behind.”2 Yet in Pensato’s drawings the invincible caped crusader seems to mightily struggle with a chair or doll, while Spiderman interacts with the chair as though it’s a barre class. In her insightful way, the artist brings these masked superheroes ironically down to earth. For her enamels on paper in the 2000s, Pensato continued her interest in the disembodied head of cartoon characters, facing frontal as though in a passport photo, a white visage on a black background. The grainy, scattershot effect, which the artist achieved by blotting newspaper onto the enamel while still wet, seems to reference an FBI “Most Wanted” alert. In fact, Pensato sometimes referred to these enamels and some of her paintings as “mug shots,” even titling a series of enamels on paper from the early 2000s “Wanted.” Even on a best day, no criminal looks well in a mug shot; in Pensato’s hands, Batman, Snoopy, Tony the Tiger, and her dog Max look particularly disheveled and despondent. Akin to monoprints, these works proved a harbinger of the artist’s paintings to come from the mid-2000s until her passing in 2019.

Thomas Eggerer

Corridor



November 13, 2020 - December 19, 2020
Petzel Gallery is pleased to present Corridor, a solo exhibition of seven new paintings by German artist Thomas Eggerer. On view from November 13 to December 23, the show marks Eggerer’s seventh solo show with Petzel, and his first at the gallery’s Upper East Side location at 35 East 67th Street. Corridor will debut a large-scale painting that Eggerer began the drawing preparations for two years ago, and an accompanying series of works developed at the beginning of 2020. Albeit not originally conceived as a reaction to the current moment, as a whole the show speaks readily to the social and political unrest of present times. The exhibition takes its name from its central painting, Corridor, a massive composition featuring roughly 300 figures uniformly dressed in an orange top and, seemingly, involved in some sort of protest, event, or march. On one hand, the painting underperforms ideas of a vivid street protest, while alluding to the modernist motive of the “mass,” yet the quantity of figures assembled does not add up to a mass size and features no singular focal point. While Eggerer has produced other colossal, multi-figure paintings in the past, Corridor, is formally the most challenging one. This work introduces geometric shapes (rectangles in the form of posters, circles in the shape of umbrellas, tents and semi-circles in the form of curved banners) and combines them with an underlying diagrammatic street plan. Questions of voluntary action, authority, and control are always embedded in Eggerer’s complex multi-figurative works. In Corridor, surveilling power is granted to the viewer, who alone is able to scan the entire scene with a birds-eye-view. Akin to his interest in the work of German modernist printmaker Gerd Arntz, the figures in Corridor are not rendered with an intent to realism. Like other small-sized figures in Eggerer’s work they seem to, rather, be derived from toy-like figurines, which emphasizes their modular, standardized character. On first sight, many of the details seem to conform to the visuals of street protests, however, upon further inspection, the scene is eerily devoid of any carnivalesque exuberance or emotional expression. The posters and banners held up by the figures are monochrome and blank, not bearing any inscription or message. Flanked on both sides by spectators donning the same orange uniform, the crowd seems to perform a muted, somewhat ritualistic procession. There is an emphasis on the parameters of the arena and, like when in a corridor, the inevitability of moving forward. Corridor is contextualized by a group of paintings featuring figures sitting on a scaffolding. They also hold up empty signs, the monochrome posters generating an ambivalent gesture. They appear both oriented outward, displaying an invisible message to an imagined audience, while simultaneously seeming to have a protective function, as if shielding themselves from unwelcome intrusion. In these paintings, the perspective of “corridor” is reversed. Here the viewer is positioned underneath the scaffolding, looking up to the figures. However, only fragments of the bodies are visible. Eggerer seems uninterested in depicting distinct bodies as intact individual entities. Instead, the viewer is confronted with dangling or propped up legs and feet, agglomerations of predominantly male body fragments assembled in a multi-perspectival collage. The erotic charge in these paintings derives from both the fetishistic display of the rendered flesh and the subtle interplay of what is exposed and what is concealed. The works in Corridor appear to carry a faint echo of propagandistic imagery, like that of socialist realism, while the smaller than life-size figures on the elevated stage enforce the association of a puppet theatre, where actors are being held up by invisible strings or collapsing onto the scaffolding floor. According to Freud, the uncanniness of the puppet derives from the fact that it appears unclear if it is dead or alive. Eggerer’s figures don’t resemble dolls, but their unemotional demeanor combined with the fragmentation and cropping of their bodies brings his realism closer to the puppets and automatons of Surrealism and Dadaism than to a more traditional type of Realism, which often engages in less conflicted representations of the intact bipedal human.

Derek Fordjour

SELF MUST DIE



November 12, 2020 - December 19, 2020
Featuring Fly Away, a puppet show experience, with two performances daily. What does it look like, entail and mean to attend to, care for, comfort, and defend, those already dead, those dying and those living lives consigned to the possibility of always-imminent death, life lived in the presence of death…It means work. It is work: hard emotional, physical and intellectual work that demands vigilant attendance to the needs of the dying, to ease their way, and also to the needs of the living. —Christina Sharpe, In the Wake: On Blackness and Being Petzel Gallery is pleased to present SELF MUST DIE, a solo exhibition event by New York-based artist Derek Fordjour. The show, Fordjour’s first with the gallery, is an offering of creative labor in response to our current moment, a deeply personal and collective state of anxiety around death and hyper-visible racial violence. It examines the nature of martyrdom, vulnerabilities inherent to living in a Black body, performance of competency, and the liminal space existing between autonomy and control. In SELF MUST DIE, Fordjour interrogates the inevitability of actual death, made more urgent by the realities of a global pandemic, and points to the aspirational death of the artist’s ego brought into focus by a burgeoning career. It is both cultural manifesto and personal declaration. The show is comprised of three parts: VESTIBULE, a site-specific sculptural installation; Fly Away, a live puppetry art performance; and a suite of new paintings. VESTIBULE offers a collection of sculptural objects imbued with biblical allegory and the spirit of James Cone’s Black Theology of Liberation. It refashions the gallery as a secular yet sacred space of memorial. Among its features, the small entry compels visitors to undergo a destabilizing bodily shift that elicits an intimate and reorienting experience. A directional light from above slowly combs the entire room, invoking both searchlight and spotlight, ideas central to the recent death of Breonna Taylor. Constructed of bituminous coal and wrought iron, Taylor Memorial hangs from above. Fly Away, a collaboration between Fordjour and award-winning puppeteer Nick Lehane, is performed by a stellar cast, with an original score composed by John Aylward and performed live by oboist Hassan Anderson. The puppet is a Fordjour-designed, hand-sculpted figure crafted by Robert Maldonado. The protagonist’s narrative arc rises and falls along a journey of personal discovery. Larger themes that course through Fordjour’s body of work become resonant. Fly Away performances are scheduled at 2pm and 5pm daily. Tickets are free and available upon request. For additional information on scheduling, COVID-19 safety precautions and reservations, please visit flyawayshow.com. Spanning two galleries are several new paintings, executed in Fordjour’s signature collage technique, representing the latest developments in his studio practice. The first is a suite of paintings based on Black funerary tradition. The second gallery presents a broad range of subjects including several at monumental scale.

Stefanie Heinze

Frail Juice



October 7, 2020 - November 7, 2020
Petzel Gallery is pleased to present Frail Juice, a solo exhibition of new paintings and their corresponding drawings by Berlin-based artist Stefanie Heinze. On view from October 7 to November 7, on the parlor floor of Petzel’s Upper East Side gallery, the show marks Heinze’s debut exhibition at Petzel and second solo show in New York. Encompassing six paintings (all 2020), and four works on paper — two shown as double-sided drawings on pedestals — the works in the show explore the dissolution of historical norms and the paradoxes that arise when investigating power structures. Heinze works from a process of coupling collaged drawings to paintings, starting on paper not strictly as studies but as companions. For Heinze, the act of drawing and collaging is a form of intuitive notetaking that then becomes a retracing of thoughts, almost like attempting to remember a dream, when applied to canvas. She aims to portray the familiar in ways she feels she has not yet seen; relatable objects take on new identities, complicated within the painting process and the translation from lines and ink into a repetition of shapes that fall somewhere between the figurative and the abstract. Her colors work in unexpected ways in vividly subversive worlds, what might first appear as a surrealist landscape will, in fact, turn out to be something else entirely. For this show, Heinze’s signature fantastic and impossible encounters, composed of playful, transformative, and (a)sexual motifs, are on full display. In these works, Heinze gives emphasis to the “small beings” — the subordinate, the banal — as memory mixes with utopian visions in surprising moments across canvas. She extracts the more indigestible themes of everyday life into fluid landscapes of absurd creations where giant eggplants and raspberry globules whiz around the composition, circling a puppy donning makeup, or a professor wearing many sets of glasses resting on multiple noses. The exhibition is made up, in part, by two large diptychs of oil and acrylic on canvas — A Hollow Place in a Solid Body and Innerspring. In the former, a yellow canary, morphs into various states of being, ghostlike, while attempting to find a safe surrounding in a strident neon orange-pink background. Illustrated in plastic states of becoming something new, dynamic, and sensual, the birds are vulnerable yet resilient. Canaries appear in many of Heinze’s past works — she began drawing the figure in childhood when her family had one as a pet. She sees them as both loners and survivors, watching scenes play out with no autonomy over their life, while standing in as a friend, an ally, or perhaps even, a witness. The second diptych, Innerspring matches the first in both dimension, orientation, and its centrally focused composition, with a mirroring horizon-like strip at the bottom of the tableau. Despite these visual similarities, the forms and objects described in Innerspring are directly opposite the vulnerability depicted in A Hollow Place. Steel chains, tousled mattresses, processed foods, and phallic forms protrude in a chaotic scene that seems to represent something much more repulsive: exuding dominance, influence, and entitlement, yet all characterized with a rather ridiculous flair. This tension appears and reappears in various approaches across the exhibition, where traditional, rigid, and patriarchal structures become as banal as everything and everyone else. On one hand “frail” implies deficiency, and on the other, “juice” signals abundance — it drips, oozes, seeps, and flows, malleable and nourishing. Heinze asks us to explore the strength that lies within fragility, and what propositions of alternative forms of power and relation could look like. In the short time since graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Leipzig, Heinze has exhibited widely. She has shown at Capitain Petzel, Berlin (2019); LC Queisser, Tbilisi (2019); Sammlung Philara, Düsseldorf (2019); Mary Boone Gallery, New York (2018); Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London (2017) among others. She has participated in numerous group shows including at the Deichtorhallen, Hamburg (2020); Saatchi Gallery, London (2018); Tanya Leighton, Berlin (2017); Good Press, Glasgow (2016); basis, Frankfurt (2015). Heinze’s works are in the collections of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden and the Marguerite Hoffman Collection, Dallas.

Pieter Schoolwerth

Shifted Sims



September 3, 2020 - October 31, 2020
The hidden cost of 21st-century convenience is that you are stalked by a muzzy dread, a feeling that everything you do inflicts some distant unseen harm. The extraordinary events of 2020 sharpen focus on the disastrous and racialized consequences of this estrangement. In Shifted Sims, his first solo exhibition at Petzel Gallery in New York, Schoolwerth gives form to the condition of being “remote” and retreating into masks—from the N95 to the quarantine selfie. What’s more, he pressures painting to catch up to the surge of online profiles, identities without bodies, that teem at the surface of this “once-removed” existence. Schoolwerth’s psychoactive tableaus depict CGI avatars let loose in the digital froth: a Baywatch-y beach, a fashion-brand showroom, a furry orgy. He pulls these scenes from screenshots of The Sims 4, the strategic life-simulation computer game where anything goes—or does it? Trailing every avatar is an estranged silhouetted double, snapped into existence by the “shift” of Shifted Sims. Each composition has been superimposed, askew, over the photograph of a handmade 3D relief sculpture of the image. What appears is a shadow realm of vestigial matter, yanked into view on inkjet-printed canvases and parceled in paint. It is a taut braid of formal practice and allegory, one that questions painting’s viability in the age of the internet. In the 2019 monograph Model as Painting, he delineates how these “forces of abstraction” conceal labor and infrastructure under a late-capitalist mirage of frictionless, disembodied connectivity. This schism plunges down to the scale of the individual, pitting avatar protagonist against human penumbra. Western painting tradition, with its claims to authenticity and representation, is pulled into this Thunderdome of online subject-formation. The works in Shifted Sims question expressionism’s historical claims to transcendent interiority. Schoolwerth renders the Sims’ faces with striking impasto marks that “expressionize the avatar,” humanizing these subjects through visibly manual, painterly gestures. But these subjective punctures of the digital network may be fleeting. Appearing on the canvas next to perfectly raked furrows of paint—Schoolwerth’s proxy for repressed physical infrastructure—expressionism becomes one style among many, attenuating its status as exalted painterly communiqué. You’re left with the dark thought that De Kooning’s Woman would make a pretty good Snapchat filter. Scrambling to address the malaise of social distance, a startup recently launched voice-controlled avatars for video meetings, a real-time Sim who wears pants so you don’t have to. Schoolwerth’s paintings of (often pants-less) avatars counter these riptides of isolation, approximating a shared affective experience of the present moment: the monumental, and the berserk. —Lucy Hunter

Nicola Tyson

Sense of Self



September 2, 2020 - October 3, 2020
Petzel Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of recent paintings by British-born artist Nicola Tyson. On view from September 2 to October 3, the show marks the second exhibition on the parlor floor of Petzel’s newly expanded Upper East Side gallery, located at 35 East 67th Street. This is Tyson’s tenth solo exhibition with Petzel, and her first show in New York since 2016. Known primarily as a painter, Nicola Tyson has been working for over 30 years across a range of media including painting, photography, film, performance, and the written word. In the new paintings on view this fall, we encounter figures that relay a gender-fluidity typical of Tyson’s work, but now with a more emotional twist. These new large-scale paintings were conceived and begun before New York’s lockdown due to COVID-19. Tyson temporarily abandoned the body of the work amidst the pandemic, and then returned to complete them over the summer months. As Tyson put it, “When the world suddenly stopped and the familiar cultural coordinates fell away — and with it ‘the argument’ — I was unnerved and found it difficult to paint.” Instead she turned to drawing, producing almost daily original graphite on paper works, and exhibiting over 50 of them on Petzel’s online exhibition platform, alongside time-lapse video footage documenting her drawing process. “The figures in Nicola Tyson’s drawings often seem haunted: elongated bodies, faces composed of blocky shapes filled in with dense pencil marks,” Jillian Steinhauer of The New York Times recently wrote when singling out her Instagram account as one to follow during these peculiar times. Upon returning to the paintings over the summer, Tyson found that the center of gravity had shifted. What had begun as an exploration of relationship to another, refocused instead on relationship with self. Familiar territory for Tyson who has deployed methods of self-portraiture since the beginning of her career — exploring the inherent strangeness of our fictional self, the me, and the I, that is nevertheless one’s ‘home’. Tyson’s self-portraits are always easily identified by the red hair, “something that singled me out as ‘odd’ growing up,” she explained. For Tyson, as for the Austrian master of self-portraiture, Maria Lassnig — humor and self-mockery are key. “Body awareness painting,” as Lassnig coined it, is the process of painting not how the body looks externally, but rather how it feels internally. Be it an emotion, human experience, gesture, or physical function, what exactly does it mean to be in a body and how can the experience be captured? Akin to this, Tyson notes that she is now interested in, “the self-portrait not as alienated self-examination, but as humorous proposition,” an investigation that is made central in this exhibition consisting of four giant, and at times absurd and somewhat inscrutable self-portraits – such as Big Yellow Self-Portrait and Self Portrait: Stripes (both 2020). “What is creative authority anyway” Tyson asks, “and who has it and why?” Additionally on view, are two large canvases which describe the struggle for connection with one another: Two One and Two Two (both 2020), and four explosive small canvases, Bouquets 1–4 (all 2020), in which the figure dissolves and reconstructs into four lively bouquets. ‘Sense’ here, refers to Tyson’s intuitive approach to image-making. As in her graphite drawings, the title and the explanation always come after the fact. The paintings begin life as drawings and the meaning emerges in the act of making the images. This is how her signature technique takes form.

Danica Barboza, Genesis Belanger, Meriem Bennani, Sascha Braunig, Florencia Escudero, Hadi Fallahpisheh, Anna Glantz, Ivy Haldeman, Christina Quarles, Emily Mae Smith, and Greg Parma Smith

A Love Letter to a Nightmare



July 15, 2020 - August 14, 2020
The skeleton was as happy as a madman whose straitjacket had been taken off. He felt liberated at being able to walk without flesh. The mosquitoes didn’t bite him anymore. He didn’t have to have his hair cut. He was neither hungry nor thirsty, hot nor cold. He was far from the lizard of love. – Leonora Carrington, The Seventh Horse and Other Tales As we reopen, Petzel Gallery is pleased to present A Love Letter to a Nightmare, a summer group exhibition that will be on view from July 15 – August 14 at the gallery’s Chelsea location. The exhibition’s premise is to take into consideration contemporary visual modes and expressions that trace back to historical movements such as Surrealism, Symbolism and Pop, through the lens of our current uncertain existence. Call it vamped Surrealism and Symbolism. The show ponders how the aesthetic of modern surrealism/symbolism has been dressed up and added upon, sexualized, feminized, and reworked in the 21st Century. How does the state of a bound subconscious affect these artworks? This has become especially prevalent while the world shelters from the coronavirus pandemic and confronts centuries of inequity in a moment of historic unrest and great potential for revolutionary change. Beneath our daily struggle for normalcy bubbles a shared unconscious anxiety, fear, loneliness, despair, and trepidation of the future. In these times, the fabric of society is now both flattened into two dimensions as we socialize through screens – from our Zoom meetings, family check-ins, and “cocktails with friends,” to the daily State and Federal news conferences, Instagram stories, and Tik Tok videos – and yet simultaneously burst open in valiant action both intellectual and physical as we gather, protest, and organize in efforts to reimagine and rebuild a more just world. Our dreams have become more “vivid” and “menacing,” according to The New York Times, and, of course, in fantasy there is room for radical possibility. How might these practices of contemporary Surrealism, Symbolism and Pop, be read and implemented in reaction to the current upheaval? As one of the artists offered – how might these daydreams and nightmares be used as “forms of resistance, or in addressing trauma, enfranchising the masses, and envisioning necessary escape?” The exhibition asks how does each artist’s subjective work – painting, sculpture, installation, and video – explain a world riddled with multiple “objective” truths? A Love Letter to a Nightmare includes work by Danica Barboza, Genesis Belanger, Meriem Bennani, Sascha Braunig, Florencia Escudero, Hadi Fallahpisheh, Anna Glantz, Ivy Haldeman, Christina Quarles, Emily Mae Smith, and Greg Parma Smith. Petzel Gallery thanks all the participating artists and their galleries for their collaboration: C L E A R I N G, Downs & Ross, David Lewis, LOMEX, Kristen Lorello, Perrotin, Regen Projects, and Simone Subal Gallery. Image: Sascha Braunig, Deep V, 2019, Oil on linen over panel, 60 x 38 inches.

Hiroki Tsukuda

They Live



March 5, 2020 - June 8, 2020
Petzel Gallery is pleased to present They Live, a solo exhibition of new works by Hiroki Tsukuda. The show will be on view from March 5 to April 18, 2020 and marks Tsukuda’s second exhibition at the gallery’s Chelsea location. An opening reception with the artist will be held on Thursday, March 5th, from 6–8pm. In reference to John Carpenter’s 1988 cult classic film with the same name, They Live presents a dystopian reality whereby current society has become surreptitiously controlled by humanoid extraterrestrials. Enamored by sci-fi since early childhood, Tsukuda has drawn inspiration from dystopic thrillers, apocalyptic novels, and cyberpunk manga. These fictions have percolated into the artist’s consciousness, transforming his ideas and artistic practice. Working in the realms of drawing and digital collage, Tsukuda creates multi-dimensional pictures by compositing a profusion of found and created images and coding them with computerized characters and cryptic hieroglyphics. The resulting images appear in states of controlled chaos and organic mutation, edging on a pictorial language that merges cyberpunk fantasy and real-life space exploration. Some of these abstractions hang off of large hollow wooden enclosures while a set of four bionic figures suspend from vacant steel-pipe scaffolds. Rocks, driftwood, and other organic materials are presented on wooden shelves alongside these cybernetic environments. This exhibition also features work that combines photographs and improvisational drawings, and engages with a new technique in which geometries and cartographic representations are rendered onto acrylic frames through silkscreen printing. Hiroki Tsukuda was born in Kagawa, Japan in 1978, and graduated from the Department of Imaging Arts & Sciences at Musashino Art University. In recent years he has received increasing international acclaim with numerous solo exhibitions including Monolog in the Doom, Museum of Modern Art, Gunma, 2019; 199X Storm Garden, Capitain Petzel, Berlin, 2019; 199X, Nanzuka, Tokyo, 2018; Hour of Excavation, Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen, Germany, 2017; Hiroki Tsukuda, Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne, Germany, 2017. A largescale work was recently acquired by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. His work is included in private and public collections worldwide.

Private View



March 5, 2020 - May 31, 2020
Petzel presents “Private View,” a special exhibition of works by gallery artists. The show, on view at 35 East 67th Street, Third Floor, includes works by Ross Bleckner, Cosima von Bonin, Keith Edmier, Derek Fordjour, Wade Guyton, Charline von Heyl, Sean Landers, Maria Lassnig, Jorge Pardo, Seth Price, Jon Pylypchuk, Dana Schutz, Nicola Tyson, Corinne Wasmuht, and Heimo Zobernig.

Rodney McMillian

Recirculating Goods



February 27, 2020 - July 31, 2020

Walead Beshty

Abstract of A Partial Disassembling of an Invention Without a Future: Helter-Skelter and Random Notes in Which the Pulleys and Cogwheels Are Lying Around at Random All Over the Workbench



October 24, 2019 - December 14, 2019

Wade Guyton and Stephen Prina



September 12, 2019 - October 5, 2019

Stephen Prina

English for Foreigners (abridged)



September 11, 2019 - October 26, 2019

Dana Hoey

Dana Hoey Presents



June 27, 2019 - August 2, 2019

Andachtsbild: Curated by Karel Schampers



May 3, 2019 - June 22, 2019

Ross Bleckner

Pharmaceutria



April 24, 2019 - June 15, 2019

Strategic Vandalism: The Legacy of Asger Jorn’s Modification Paintings



March 5, 2019 - April 13, 2019

Jorge Pardo

Eccentric Reflexivity 1988–1994



February 28, 2019 - April 27, 2019

Adam McEwen



January 22, 2019 - February 16, 2019

Dana Schutz

Imagine Me and You



January 10, 2019 - February 23, 2019