Andrew Kreps Gallery is pleased to announce On The Nature of Things, a group exhibition that surveys and traces key moments in the history of Assemblage as seen through the work of over 40 artists spanning nearly eighty years.
On the Nature of Things looks to curator William Seitz's landmark 1961 exhibition The Art of Assemblage at the Museum of Modern Art as a starting point that traced the origins of the medium from the early 20th century to the early 1960s, where it gained an increasing foothold across a variety of movements and styles. As Seitz said in the exhibition's press release, 'Every work of art is an incarnation: an investment of matter with spirit. The term 'assemblage' has been singled out with this duality in mind, to denote not only a specific technical procedure and form used in the literary and musical as well as the plastic arts, but also a complex of attitudes and ideas.' On The Nature of Things brings together several artists from Seitz's 1961 exhibition including John Chamberlain, Bruce Conner, Joseph Cornell, Jean Dubuffet, Louise Nevelson, Alfonso Ossorio, Anne Ryan, Kurt Schwitters, and Lucas Samaras, while also exploring how the medium has been adopted and pushed in the years since the exhibition. In considering how artists speak with and through extant materials, On the Nature of Things includes works by a broad range of artistic voices from around the globe including significant loans from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, which champions the work of Black Artists from the American South.
Throughout the exhibition, Assemblage demonstrates a unifying impulse to decode, and understand material culture, which transcends the societal and economic factors that have historically barred artists from receiving formal education, and artistic acceptance. The works included demonstrate the myriad ways artists have used found objects, and the traces of daily life, to not only address aesthetic concerns, but also form immediate responses to their own lived environment. Through a series of nearly alchemical processes, these materials are stripped, combined, transformed, and revised, remaining tied to their unique social contexts, while simultaneously accruing new resonance and meaning. Seen together, the exhibition suggests an ongoing, and open-ended history of a medium that remains foundational to the human experience, and at its most successful, creates a site where invention and authenticity can coalesce.
Terry Adkins, Yuji Agematsu, Uri Aran, Leilah Babirye, Darren Bader, Hannelore Baron, Mary Bauermeister, Chakaia Booker, Robert Bittenbender, John Chamberlain, Willie Cole, Arch Connelly, Bruce Conner, Joseph Cornell, Michael Dean, Thornton Dial, Jean Dubuffet, Jimmie Durham, Tony Feher, Isa Genzken, Nancy Grossman, David Hammons, Bessie Harvey, Lonnie Holley, Mr. Imagination, Kahlil Robert Irving, Gerald Jackson, Ronald Lockett, Liz Magor, Joe Minter, Louise Nevelson, Cady Noland, Alfonso Ossorio, Anne Ryan, Lucas Samaras, Raymond Saunders, Elias Sime, Judith Scott, Kurt Schwitters, Emmer Sewell, Michael E. Smith, Jessica Stockholder, Rosie Lee Tompkins, Philadelphia Wireman, Haegue Yang
Press release courtesy Andrew Kreps Gallery.