Me And My Arrow, a new solo exhibition by Tony Tasset, features an overwhelming grid of sixty-six Arrow Paintings alongside Arrow Sculptures.
Deceivingly simple in their use of signifiers, the paintings illustrate one arrow up and the other down. Although the arrows are uniform in size they are painted in an endless array of colour combinations. They call to mind the art market, rapid swings in popularity, and the sometimes arbitrary nature of assessment. The project’s repetitive nature is an unflinching acknowledgment that after aura, art now operates in points of contact. And yes, the title is an ode to the Harry Nilsson song of the same name.
This new body of work continues Tasset’s interest in wielding a pop sensibility to tap into shared visual knowledge. Tasset has said his goal was to create a universal logo that expressed the contemporary environment of chronic evaluation—a graphic emblem of trending.
Me And My Arrow coincides with the Chicago appearance of Tasset’s Artists Monument in Grant Park near Michigan and 9th. The egalitarian monolith is etched with the names of 392,485 artists and memorably debuted at the 2014 Whitney Biennial.
For over three decades, Tasset’s work has been a sophisticated and facetious evaluation of Americana, domesticity, and the art world. A valued professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Art & Art History for 27 years, he has influenced a generation of Chicago artists.
Significant exhibitions include Metaforms at Art Basel Miami Beach Public, curated by Nicholas Baume (2015);Civilization and Its Discontents: SAIC Alumni Exhibition, Chicago, IL (2015); Spill Paintings at Kavi Gupta CHICAGO | Washington Blvd. (2014); Look at Me: Portraiture from Manet to the Present at Leila Heller Gallery, New York, NY (2014); Shall I tell you the secret of the whole world? Painting, Parody, and Disguise, curated by Michael Stillion, at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH (2014); The Way of the Shovel: Art as Archaeology at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL (2013–2014); Domestic Abstractions: 1986–2013 at Kavi Gupta BERLIN (2013); MCA DNA: Chicago Conceptual Abstraction, 1986–1995, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL (2013); This Will Have Been: Art, Love and Politics in the 1980s, ICA Boston, MA and Walker Art Center, MN, curated by Helen Molesworth (2012–2013); Rainbow at Sony Pictures Studios, Culver City (2012); Judy at Leo Koenig, New York (2011); Life During Wartime at Rochester Art Center, Rochester (2011); Squib at Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria (2009); Basics at Kunsthalle Bern (2002); Judy at Donald Young Gallery, Chicago, IL (2001); as well as solo exhibitions at Feigen Contemporary in New York (2002), Feature, New York, NY 1993, and Karsten Schubert Ltd. in London, England (1987).
Tasset received his BFA at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and his MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Tasset's work has been the subject of many reviews and feature articles in various international art magazines including ArtForum, Flash Art, and Art in America; additionally, the artist's work is included in notable private and public collections including The Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Museum für Moderne Kunste in Frankfurt.
Press release courtesy Kavi Gupta.
At Kavi Gupta’s Elizabeth Street location, Tony Tasset has wallpapered the large warehouse space with 66 arrow paintings. The paintings, which feature pairs of arrows (one pointing up, the other pointing down), create a multicolored mosaic of seemingly endless permutations, each complicating the expanded illusion of flatness and depth.