Hauser & Wirth is delighted to present Tables, Carpets & Dead Flowers, a four-week exhibition bringing together works by modern and contemporary masters that document and record daily activities in the studio. Taking inspiration from Rodney Graham’s series Dead Flowers in My Studio, Tables, Carpets & Dead Flowers, organised by Florian Berktold, examines the chance encounters between artist, artwork and the studio space.
Taking centre stage of the presentation will be a large, four metre long carpet from Dieter Roth’s Bali studio. Embedded with traces of studio life, including the scribbles and drawings from his children’s visits, this expanse of material is at once a visual document and a chance product of the artistic process itself. Formally reminiscent of works by Joan Miró or Arshile Gorky, Dieter Roth’s studio carpet is exemplary of a seamless combination of art and life. One of Roth’s renowned Tischmatten (table mats), entitled Tischmatte Bali (from office table) (c. 1996–1998), will also be presented as cumulative diary of the artist’s activities.
Following on from this line of inquiry, a selection of Paul McCarthy’s White Snow monochromes from 2012 will also be on view. Originally pieces of cardboard which covered the artist’s studio floor during the creation of his White Snow works, McCarthy later cut these into rectangular strips to resemble paintings. By collecting and catching the remnants and residue of the fabrication process and staining the cardboard, McCarthy’s monochromes become documents of the work’s journey from the studio floor to the gallery wall.
Tables, Carpets & Dead Flowers presents works by artists including Rodney Graham, Arshile Gorky, Guillermo Kuitca, Sterling Ruby and Ian Wallace. Further important works will include a selection of David Smith‘s Untiled series of sprayed enamel canvases, Lee Lozano‘s drawings which depict her studio surroundings, Keith Tyson’s Studio Wall (Punchcard) (2017), Isa Genzken’s Basic Research paintings and Roni Horn‘s Pair Object Vis: For Two Locations in One Place (1998/2007). Horn’s metal cone-shaped sculptures are rolled over the floor, picking up the residue from uneven surfaces and initiating a conversation between the artwork and its environment. Isa Genzken’s Research Paintings similarly react to the setting of the studio space; by laying monochrome painted canvases on the ground and raking over them, these works become physical impressions of the artist’s surroundings.
Also on display will be Matthew Day Jackson’s Lumpenproletariat (2010), a sculpture made of collected debris from the studio floor and sculpted into a life-size, sci-fi figure. The debris of the studio particularly plays an important role in Otto Muehl’s Untitled (1988–1991). Before commencing his prison sentence, Muehl destroyed the letters and documents left in his studio by burning them, their ashes were then applied to his canvas.
Last but not least, the exhibition explores the artistic possibilities when it comes to cleaning: Dieter Roth’s Tuchlauben collages comprise dust and scraps that he swept together from his studio in Vienna on Tuchlaubenstrasse. Günther Förg also finds use for his rubbish in his Untitled assemblages. In this manner, the contents of the studio become base material for the artists.
Press release courtesy Hauser & Wirth.