Galerie Thaddeaus Ropac is celebrating Georg Baselitz’s 80th year with a show of his work from the 1980s at their London gallery during Frieze week. Meanwhile, at the fair, Ropac will feature work by Robert Rauschenberg (above), Adrien Ghenie, Antony Gormley, Oliver Beer, Alvaro Barrington, Daniel Richter coming off a strong auction sale in Hong Kong over the weekend, and Rosemarie Castoro. Here’s Ropac on what they’re bringing to Frieze:
Robert Rauschenberg, Rumor (Spread), 1980
- A clear example of how in his Spread series, started in 1975, Rauschenberg revisits his Combine series, reintroducing daily objects in his paintings, together with all the techniques and elements he kept working on until then.
- Robert Rauschenberg’s Spreads series consists of around 95 large-scale multimedia works that feature solvent transfer images and patterned fabrics on wooden panels, often in combination with electrical components and unwieldy, three-dimensional objects. Several of the Spreads have drainpipes, gutters or, as in Rumor, a pail suspended from the canvas, which Rauschenberg jokingly said was ‘to contain the excesses’. A lightbulb embedded in the pail is plugged into a socket, activating the work and linking it to the surrounding space.
- Forthcoming exhibitions: Rauschenberg: Spreads, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac London, 20 November 2018); In and About LA, LACMA (August 11, 2018 through February 10, 2019); The ¼ Mile, LACMA(from 28 October 2018 -9 June 2019)
Adrien Ghenie, Untitled, 2018
- In Adrian Ghenie’s Untitled (2018), the facial features have been obliterated, replaced by a repulsive smudge of textures that the artist gleaned from images of pizza, bacon rashers and dried mushrooms. Despite this, the figure is immediately identifiable as Donald Trump by his characteristic, and oft-caricatured, sweep of golden hair, along with his politician’s uniform of white shirt, suit and tie. Trump’s image has dominated the media since his election in November 2016, to the extent that it has become almost self-parodying. At the heart of Ghenie’s portraiture is his fascination with the uniquely human ability to interpret abstract signs and symbols, mentally filling in the blanks so that not only do we read a faceless figure as a portrait, we can even “recognise” its subject.
- ‘I am not painting a portrait in celebration of the subject (Donald Trump) rather, I am interested in the formal “deconstruction” of the portrait. In the 20th century, the people who did this really radically were Picasso and Bacon. They took elements of the face and rearranged it. There is no nose, there is no mouth, there is no eye – no sense of anatomy. The portrait as a landscape, basically.’
Antony Gormley, FRONT, 2016
- A highlight of recent survey of his Polyhedra works at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Salzburg, covering an eleven-year-long investigation into the polyhedra as a geometric language for sculpture.
- The cast-iron sculpture FRONT forms part of Antony Gormley’s POLYHEDRA series, begun in 2008, which translates the human form into an accumulation of tightly nested and sharp-edged polygonal cells derived from natural structures. The life-size figure in FRONT leans its upper body against the wall, in a posture that the artist has described as a landslide in human form.
- Forthcoming exhibition: Antony Gormley: Royal Academy (from 21 September – 3 December 2019)
Oliver Beer, Euphoria in the Home, 2018
- The first work to be shown from a new development of his Two-Dimensional Sculptures, in black resin (previously used white gesso) and incorporating laughing gas canisters and ancient ceramic fragments embedded so that only the flat, cut surfaces remain visible, becoming two-dimensional objects.
- Forthcoming exhibitions: Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris Marais (12 January – February 2019); Quebec Biennale (from 14 February until 15 May); Vessel Orchestra, Met Breuer (2 July -11 August 2019).
Alvaro Barrington, P1, 2018
- A new portrait work by Alvaro Barrington
- “I think Alvaro Barrington is an artist to watch. He is an intense and serious artist who is both of his time but reaches back to artists like Phillip Guston and Joseph Beuys.” Norman Rosenthal
- “I wanted to make portraits that felt informed by early 20th century modernism that also felt new very distinctively me. It’s goes through artists like Basquiat, Giacometti, Dubuffet, Picasso, Matisse, Thornton, in that a lot of the decisions in how the paintings comes together is whorled out through them and a conversation with the yarn, the openness of burlap. Which yarn are placed next to each other…” Alvaro Barrington
- Forthcoming exhibition: Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris, Marais, 2019
Daniel Richter, Classic, 2018
- New work by German artist Daniel Richter, who has shaped painting in Germany for over two decades.
- His latest paintings represent the next experimental step in the visual language he’s been developing since 2015, which marked a radical aesthetic shift.
- Classic, shown at Frieze for the first time, depicts transient figures flickering in and out of view, coalescing around an abstracted, skull-like face or an implied erotic act before dissolving again, their splayed legs, gaping mouths and bestial, claw-like feet suggesting ambiguous, episodic encounters.
- Forthcoming exhibitions: Group Show: Draiflessen Collection in Germany (from 14 October); Group Show: Schloss Derneburg at the Hall Collection (with Albert Oehlen); Group Show at EMMA in Helsinki Finland (January 2019)
Rosemarie Castoro, Blue Red Gold Pink Green Yellow Y Bar, 1965
- In line with Frieze’s own focus on female artists this year, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac will be showing a sought-after, rare, large-scale early (1965) painting by Rosemarie Castoro. These are rarely seen on the market, and this work was recently shown as centrepiece at MACBA (Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona) show. Featuring this work follows Ropac’s acclaimed recent Land of Lads, Land of Lashes exhibition (named after two of Castoro’s large-scale sculptures).
- Castoro is a pioneering female artist whose work from the 1960s and 1970s has only recently been internationally recognised.
- This work did not appear in Ropac’s Land of Lads, Land of Lashes show.
- Rosemarie Castoro’s earliest mature works were paintings composed from tessellated Y shapes that later broke apart into a scatter of bars across the monochrome ground, as in Blue Red Gold Pink Green Yellow Y Bar. Their orchestration across the canvas creates a dynamic sense of movement, recalling Castoro’s dance training, introducing a visual playfulness that enlivens the geometric rigour of Minimalism.
- Forthcoming exhibition: Rosemarie Castoro: Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris, Marais (23 February – March 2019)