The advent of the home studio in the 1970's democratized both music and art, with cities like New York becoming significant platforms for the convergence of both practices. Partially due to financial instability brought on by urban decay and political neglect, artists embraced a do-it-yourself mentality which inevitably led to interdisciplinary experimentation. Although this time period was marked by metropolitan downturn, the phenomenal successes of these new wave forms of art making led to their ironic commercialization. Through a diverse group of artists and media, New Pleasure showcases the intersection of music and art after punk rock and investigates how artists have taken direct influence from musicians, have participated within either genre, or have performed as musicians themselves.
A number of the artists presented in this exhibition have also practiced as musicians, including Condo, Chopin, Dalwood, Gordon, Roberts and Vega. Dalwood, who performed with influential Bristol-based punk band The Cortinas left the group in 1978 to pursue a career as an artist. Focusing on the legacy of some of history's most significant individuals, Dalwood's paintings are the composite of factual evidence and our collective imagination. In New Pleasure he presents Second Set, 2016, a painting capturing two different moments in time within one image, whose composition echoes the aesthetics of Lou Reed's album cover for Transformer. Another musician turned artist is George Condo, who toured with a punk band in the late 70s. This led to chance introductions to artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring; the latter allowed the young artist the use of his studio in 1985. As Condo would recall, it was there he completed a painting dedicated to Miles Davis, one of many musically informed works that followed. Included in this exhibition is John Lennon, 2001, an energetic yellow abstract painting cut abruptly at its head with a stark blue background with blocky red letters reading the titular musician's name. In this group of works he makes connections between his own improvisations and those of the musicians and writers that inspired him. They exist as a literal reassessment of his debt to music as the touchstone for an understanding of free expression in the visual field.
Other artists, such as Gordon, Vega, Roberts and Chopin are primarily known for their contributions to music rather than art yet each have an extensive body of artwork. Vega, the vocalist for the influential band Suicide, studied under Ad Reinhardt in the 60's where he first made assemblage sculptures from found objects. Within the gallery he presents a makeshift crucifix, a common trope for Vega, adorned with three light bulbs of different designs. Gordon, like Vega, also came to prominence within the downtown music scene. A founding member of Sonic Youth, Gordon has since made socially-conscious paintings from layers of paint and glitter. Often addressing issues of gentrification, protest, and resistance with her practice, her work in the exhibition entitled Destroy All Monsters, 2015 makes reference to the band name that artists Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw performed under. Roberts and Chopin both have interdisciplinary practices that mix experimental music with art. Like her music, Roberts's work deals with the composition of history and memory. On view here is Always Say your Name, 2014, a triptych collage of handwritten sheet music and found photographs interwoven with layers of charcoal and paint. One of the most accomplished avant-garde musicians of the 20th century, Chopin was a practitioner of sound poetry. Within the gallery are two examples of the deceased artist/poet's typewriter poems that reference both music and dance.
The impact that listening to music can have on an artist's practice is exceptional. This exchange, however, is just the surface of the ongoing discourse between music and art. Compositions both illustrative and conceptual manifest themselves through this tête-à-tête. Parmiggiani, Feldmann, Parrino and Wool all find inspiration for their work within music. Most literal are Feldmann's photographs portraying different models of car stereos, each taken by the artist while "good music was playing". While Feldmann presents the vessel for music, other artists show how this art form can manifest itself visually. Visceral and expressive responses to music by Parmiggiani, Parrino and Wool are presented within the gallery, each piece showcasing moments of quick action. Like a power chord or record break, these pieces are documentations of a broken space in time.
Works by Carpenter, Echakhch, Lloyd and Prince deconstruct the phenomenon that music's influence has on our collective consciousness. Echakhch presents Sans Titre (joueur de tambour a), 2010, a sculptural work consisting of abandoned civilian clothes scattered around a marching-band drum. Here, the musical object is divorced from its traditional function and silenced further by presenting it as a static object on a plinth. The silence of Echakhch's piece is broken by Lloyd's installation The Band, 2017 that includes a television screen placed on the ground playing footage of a musical group. With only its audio edited and playing in reverse, the camera moves throughout the venue unhinged, as if the filmmaker forgot their camera was turned on.
Prince's photo collage Bitches and Bastards, 1985-1986 is from a series of "gang" pieces where the artist would cannibalize photographs from life-style magazines and place them in a grid. For this particular ensemble, Prince has focused on twelve different hair-metal groups from the eighties. These photographs, originally taken for promotional use, are stripped of their originality. The subversive and androgynous attire of their subjects is lost within this multiplicity. Bringing these numerous photos together makes these musicians anonymous, thus stripping them of their notoriety. These are no longer fetishized rock stars but are now counter-culture conformists. Carpenter similarly critiques this failed rebellion with a portrait of Amy Winehouse from his Decades series. Mimicking the middle-brow aesthetics of a knock-off Warholesque screen print, the work is a hand-painted image of the late British singer-songwriter. The romanticization of music and art often leads to the capital appropriation of their original transgressive purpose. This occurred with Warhol (although he celebrated this sort of usurpation), as well as musical genres like jazz, rockabilly and definitively punk; all of which greatly influenced Winehouse. Winehouse - who once could have been a counter-culture icon - unintentionally became the neoliberal vision of resistance. This irony wasn't lost on the talented musician, who likely saw this regression as a tragic metaphor for the departure of punk from its original essence, despite having an earnest passion for its message.
About the artists
Merlin Carpenter was born in 1967 and lives in Shepperton, UK. Carpenter's work has been shown extensively internationally and has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions and projects, including Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, Switzerland, 2015; MD72, Berlin, Germany, 2015; Formalist Sidewalk Poetry Club, Miami, FL, 2010; American Fine Arts, Co., New York, NY, 2003; Kunstakademi Bergen, Bergen, Norway, 2001, and Secession, Vienna, Austria, 2000. Major group exhibitions include The Kitchen, New York, NY, 2016; Contemporary Art Centre (CAC), Vilnius, Lithuania, 2016; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY which travelled to Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, 2015, and Museum Brandhorst, Munich, Germany, 2015. His work is in major private and public collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France and The British Council, London, UK.
Henri Chopin was born in Paris, France in 1922 and died in 2008 in Dereham, UK. Recent solo exhibitions include Supportico Lopez, Berlin, DE, 2017; From Concrete to Liquid to Spoken Worlds to the Word, Centre d'art contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland, 2017; and Revue OU - Cinquième Saison: An Anthology of Sound Poetry, Argos, Brussels, Belgium, 2012. Selected group exhibitions include Poésie Balistique, La Verrière - Hermès Fondation, Brussels, Belgium, 2016; Poem N°0000000000000000000000000000,9, curated by Supportico Lopez, Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, Brazil, 2015; Collecting Lines - Drawings from the Ringier Collection, Villa Flora, Winterthur, Switzerland, 2015; ... all silent but for the buzzing ..., Royal College of Art Galleries, London, UK, 2014; Revue Ou, Poesie Sonore, Poesie Ouverte, Poesie Konkret 1964-1974, Oslo 10, Münchenstein, Switzerland, 2013; Homes & Gardens, Freedman Fitzpatrick, Los Angeles, US, 2013; Anton Voyls Fortgang /A Void, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany, 2013; Ecstatic Alphabet/Heaps of Language, MOMA, New York, NY, 2012; and Poor. Old. Tired. Horse. ICA, London, UK, 2009.
George Condo was born in 1957 and lives and works in New York. Recent solo exhibitions include George Condo: The Way I Think, The Phillips Collection, Washington DC; this exhibition is travelling to Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark, both 2017; Confrontation, Museum Berggruen, Berlin, Germany, 2016; Headspace, Simon Lee Gallery, London, UK, 2014; George Condo's Jesters, The Metropolitan Opera House, New York, 2013; Mental States, New Museum, New York, 2011. This exhibition travelled to Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Hayward Gallery, London, UK; and Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany, 2012. His works feature prominently in important public and private collections, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Broad Art Foundation, Santa Monica, CA; Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain; Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo, Norway; Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens, Greece; and Fonds National d'Art Contemporain, Paris, France. In the spring of 2017, the first major survey of his drawings will be held at The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C.
Dexter Dalwood was born in 1960 and lives and works in London, UK. He received his BFA from Central Saint￼ Martins, London and his MFA from the Royal College of Art, London. Recent solo exhibitions include Propaganda Painting, Simon Lee Gallery, Hong Kong, 2016, London Paintings, Simon Lee Gallery, London, UK, 2014, Kunsthaus, Centre PasquArt, Biel, Switzerland, 2013; Orientalism, David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2012; Dichter und Drogen, Nolan Judin, Berlin, Germany, 2011 and a major solo exhibition at Tate St Ives, UK, 2010, which travelled to FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, France and CAC, Malaga, Spain. Recent group￼ exhibitions have included Painters' Painters at Saatchi Gallery, London, UK, 2016, Mon art à moi, Centre PasquArt, Biel, Switzerland, 2016, The Painting Show, a touring exhibition by The British Council, London, UK which travelled to Limerick City Gallery of Art, Limerick, Ireland, 2017, and CAC, Vilnius, Lithuania, 2016, Fighting History, Tate Britain, London, UK, 2015, The Venice Syndrome - The Grandeur and Fall in the Art of Venice,￼ 2014, Not Being Attentive I Notice Everything: Robert Walser and the Visual Arts, Aargauer Kunsthaus,￼Aarau, Switzerland, 2014, Le Corps de l'Absence, FRAC Champagne Ardennes, Reims, France, Setting the Scene, Tate Modern, London, UK, 2012, and Dublin Contemporary, Dublin, Ireland, 2011. His work is in major private and public collections including Tate, London, UK, The British Council Collection, London, UK, The Saatchi Gallery,￼London, UK, FRAC Champagne-Ardennes, Reims, France and Centre PasquArt, Biel, Switzerland.
Latifa Echakhch was born 1974 in El Khnansa, Morocco and lives and works in Martigny, Switzerland. Echakhch was the recipient of the 2015 Zurich Art Prize. Recent solo exhibitions include Cross Fade, The Power Plant, Toronto, CA, 2016; LENTOS, Kunstmuseum Linz, Linz, Austria, 2015; Latifa Echakhch: there's tears, kaufmann repetto, Milan, Italy, 2015; L'air du temps, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, 2015; The scene takes place, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, Switzerland, 2013; Latifa Echakhch: Laps, MAC, Musée d'art contemporain de Lyon, Lyon, France, 2013; and Latifa Echakhch, Hammer Project, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA, 2013. Selected group exhibitions include (Sus)tentations, Centre d'Art Brasserie, Foncquevilliers, France, 2016; EMERGE SELECTIONS 2016, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2016; Practising Habits of the Day, Institute of Contemporary Art Singapore, Singapore, 2016; L'invitation au voyage - le prix Marcel Duchamp, CENTRALE for Contemporary Art, Brussels, Belgium, 2015; Work Hard, Swiss Institute, New York, NY, 2015; 30/60 opere dalla collezione del frac champagne-ardenne, Museo Marino Marini, Florence, Italy, 2014; EXPO 1 : New York, MoMA PS1, New York, NY, 2013; The Black Moon, Nouvelles Vagues, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France, 2013; and Hotel Abisso, Centre d'Art Contemporain Geneva, Switzerland, 2013.
Hans-Peter Feldmann was born in 1941 and lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany. His work has been shown extensively internationally and has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions and projects, including Sammlung Philara, Dusseldorf, Germany, 2016; C/O Berlin, Berlin, Germany, 2016; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark, 2015; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel, 2013; Serpentine Galleries, London, UK, 2012, which travelled to BAWAG Contemporary, Vienna, Austria, 2012, and Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany￼￼, 2013; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain, 2010, which travelled to Malmö Konstall, Malmö, Sweden, 2010, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany, 2010; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany, 2010, and the Arnolfini, Bristol, UK, 2007-2008. In 2010, Feldmann was awarded the Hugo Boss Prize for the Arts, in association with the Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY in 2010. His work is in major private and public collections including S.M.A.K., the Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art, Ghent, Belgium; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain ; Tate, London, UK and The Solomon R. Guggenheim Musuem, New York, NY.
Kim Gordon was born in 1953 in Rochester, NY and lives and works in Northampton, MA and New York, NY. Gordon's music projects include Sonic Youth, Free Kitten, and Body/Head. Selected recent exhibitions include Kim Gordon & Rodney Graham, L'Académie Conti, Dijon, France, 2017; Manifesta 11, Zurich, Switzerland, 2016; Noise Name Paintings And Sculptures Of Rock Bands That Are Broken Up, Benaki Museum / Deste Foundation, Athens, Greece, 2015; Design Office: The City Is A Garden, 303 Gallery, New York, NY; All Instruments Agree: an exhibition or a concert, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA, 2015; Coming Soon, Design Office, Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, 2014; 1NVERSIONS with Nick Mauss, Frieze Projects, London, UK, 2014; Design Office with Kim Gordon – 1980, White Columns, New York, 2013; and Music is a Better Noise, MoMA/PS1, New York, NY, 2006.
Hilary Lloyd was born in 1964 in Halifax, UK and lives and works in London, UK. Recent solo exhibitions include Dock Lands, Greene Naftali, New York, NY, 2017; Blaffer Art Museum, Houston, TX, 2016; Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel, Switzerland, 2012; Artists Space, New York, NY, 2011; Le Consortium, Dijon, France, 2009; and Kunstverein München, Munich, Germany, 2006. Selected group exhibitions include Room, Sadie Coles HQ, London, UK, 2017; Montage, organized by Alex Kitnick, Off Vendome, New York, NY, 2016; Répétition, Boghossian Foundation — Villa Empain, Brussels, Belgium, 2016; Images. Strategies of Appropriation, curated by Søren Grammel, Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, Basel, Switzerland, 2015; A Singular Form, Secession, Vienna, Austria, 2014; Janice Kerbel, Hilary Lloyd, Silke Otto-Knapp, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, Germany, 2012; and Remote Control, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK, 2012. Her work is in the collections of Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel, CH; Tate Collection, London, UK; Sammlung Goetz, Munich, Germany; and Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich, Germany.
Claudio Parmiggiani was born in Luzzara, Italy in 1943 and lives and works in Parma, Italy. Parmiggiani's work has been widely exhibited in international museums and collections. His work has been shown six times at the Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy (1972, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1995 and 2015). A retrospective of his practice between 1960 and 1995 was held at the Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland, 1995. Recent solo exhibitions have been held at Simon Lee Gallery, London, UK, 2017; Accademia di Francia Villa Medici, Roma, Italy, 2015; Ex Oratorio di San Lupo, Bergamo, Italy, 2014; Chiesa San Fedele, Milan, Italy, 2014; Palais des Beaux Arts - BOZAR, Brussels, Belgium, 2013; Palazzo del Governatore, Parma, Italy, 2010; Collège des Bernardins, Paris, France, 2008; Palazzo Fabroni Arti Visive Contemporanee, Pistoia, Italy, 2007; The Musée des Beaux-arts de Nantes, Nantes, France, 2007; The Grand Palais, Paris, France, 2005; Galleria d'Arte Moderna di Bologna, Bologna, 2003; Museum of Art, Tel-Aviv, Israel, 2003, and Musée Fabre, Montpellier, France, 2002. His work is held in the collections of Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Museo de Bellas Artes of Havana, Havana, Cuba; The National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland; Mamco - musée d'art moderne et contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland; Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris, France; Francois Pinault Foundation, Venice, Italy and Museo del Novecento, Milan, Italy.
Steven Parrino was born in 1958 in New York, NY and died in 2005 in Brooklyn, NY. Recent solo exhibitions include Steven Parrino: Armleder, Barré, Buren, Hantaï, Mosset, Parmentier, Toroni, Gagosian Gallery, Paris, France, 2013; Born to Be Wild: Hommage an Steven Parrino, Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland, 2009; Steven Parrino, Art & Public –Cabinet PH, Geneva, Switzerland, 2008; Steven Parrino, Gagosian Gallery, Madison Avenue, New York, NY, 2007; Steven Parrino, Palais De Tokyo, France, 2007. Selected group exhibitions include Chromophobia, Gagosian Gallery, Geneva, Switzerland, 2015; Endless Bummer II / Still Bummin', Marlborough Chelsea, New York, NY, 2013; Steven Parrino, Peter Halley, John Mc Cracken, Paul Morrison, Art & Public, Geneva, Switzerland, 2007; and Painting as Fact, Fact as Fiction, de Pury & Luxembourg, Zurich, Switzerland, 2007.
Richard Prince was born in 1949 in the Panama Canal Zone, Panama and lives and works in New York, NY. Recent solo exhibitions include Richard Prince: Cowboy, Gladstone Gallery, New York, NY, 2015; Richard Prince: The Figures, Luxembourg & Dayan, New York, NY, 2015; Richard Prince: Original, Gagosian Gallery, 976 Madison Ave, New York, NY, 2015; Richard Prince: New Figures, Almine Rech Gallery, Paris, France, 2014; Richard Prince: It's a Free Concert, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria, 2014; Richard Prince: Untitled (band), Le Case D'Arte, Milan, IT, 2013; Richard Prince: New Work, Jurgen Becker, Hamburg, Germany, 2013; Richard Prince, Sadie Coles, London, UK, 2013; Richard Prince: Cowboys, Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA, 2013; and Prince/Picasso, Picasso Museum, Malaga, Spain, 2012. Prince is included in the public collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX; Museum of Fine Arts Collection, Boston, MA; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK.
Matana Roberts was born in 1978 in Chicago, IL and lives and works in New York, NY. Recent exhibitions and performances include Fridman Gallery, New York, NY; MoMa PS1, New York, NY; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; The Kitchen, New York, NY; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY; ICA Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA; and Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway. Roberts was a recipient of the 2013 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Artists Award.
Alan Vega was born in 1938 in Brooklyn, NY and died in 2016 in New York, NY. Recent solo exhibitions include DREAM BABY DREAM, a commemoration, Jeffrey Deitch, New York, NY, 2017; Galerie Laurent Godin - Space II, Paris, France, 2017; In prison, The Armory Show, New York, NY, 2015; Welcome to Wyoming, Invisible Export, New York, NY, 2015; and Holy Shit, Galerie Laurent Godin, Paris, France, 2012. Selected group exhibitions include On aime l'art!, Collection Agnes B. et Collection Lambert Musee d'art Contemporain, Avignon, France, 2017; Station to Station: A 30 day Happening – A project by Doug Aitken, Barbican Centre, London, UK, 2015; Semiotext[e] presents The Return of Schizo-Culture, MoMa PS1, New York, NY, 2014; Lux, Le Fresnoy Studio national des arts contemporains, Tourcoing, France, 2014; ART IN POP, Le Magasin/CNAC, Grenoble, France, 2014; Upheaval, Galerie Sebastien Bertrand, Geneva, Switzerland, 2013; Neon, Who's afraid of red, yellow and blue ? La Maison Rouge, Paris, France, 2012; and It's Not Only Rock & Roll Baby, Part 2, Triennale Bovisa of Milan, Milan, Italy, 2010.
Christopher Wool was born in Chicago, IL in 1955 and lives and works in New York, NY. In 2013 the Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY staged a major mid-career survey of the artist's work, which travelled in 2014 to the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL. In 2012 Wool completed his first public commission of a series of stained-glass windows for an eleventh-century church priory in the city of La Charité-sur-Loire, France. He has exhibited extensively in international institutions such as Philbrook Downtown, Tulsa, OK, 2017; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, 2015; Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France, 2012; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany, 2009; Museu Serralves, Porto, Portugal, 2008; IVAM Institut Valencià d'Art Modern, Valencia, Spain, 2006; Camden Arts Centre, London, UK, 2004; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA and Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland, both 1998. He was included in the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011 and the 7th Biennale de Lyon in 2003. His work features prominently in important museum collections worldwide, including amongst others Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Kunsthaus Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; Tate, London, UK; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.
Press release courtesy Simon Lee Gallery.