Artists: Dan Graham, Corey McCorkle
Venue: Murray Guy, New York
Date: January 7 – February 11, 2012
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Murray Guy, New York
Murray Guy is very pleased to announce an exhibition with Dan Graham and Corey McCorkle, bringing together works that take up the design and architecture of gardens. Ranging from the folly-filled leisure grounds of an eighteenth century chateau to the “corporate arcadias” which occupy the atriums of many post-1960s office towers, both artists engage the histories of garden architecture and its attendant fantasies of nature, enlightenment, contemplation, antiquity, leisure, and utopia.
Among the works on view is Corey McCorkle’s video Hermitage (2010), which takes as its subject the dormant grounds of an eighteenth century leisure garden that was a favorite of the Surrealists as well as George Bataille. Planned by the French aristocrat François Racine de Monville as a counterpart to the rationally organized gardens of nearby Ermenonville, the Désert de Retz held up to twenty pavilions (including faux Bedouin tents, ornamental Gothic priories and numerous grottos) before it closed during the French Revolution. McCorkle animates the landscape, producing a series of narratives, roles, and emotional states in response to a design that—characterized by fantasy and role-play—anticipates the amusement parks of the 20th century. Meanwhile in Tower of Shadows McCorkle brings to life Le Corbusier’s “Tower of Shadows” in Chandigarh, India, an unfinished structure which was designed “brise- soleil” to block as much sunlight as possible. Filmed from dawn to dusk on the shortest day of the year (the day on which the least possible amount of light would enter), McCorkle treats this folly as an allegorical ruin of a modernist, utopian dream of integrating architecture and nature.
Dan Graham’s photographs from the project Private “Public” Space: The New Corporate Atrium Garden show the landscaped interiors of office buildings that take up the dream of the “earth as garden.” In these privately-owned yet “public” spaces, “green-and-white metal openwork chairs and green lettering on shop windows connote a suburban arcadia in the midst of a city – an urban fantasy of the picturesque brought into the central city.” In contrast, Two-Way Mirror Bridge and Triangular Pavilion to Existing Mill House for Domaine de Kerguéhennec (1987) is an insertion into the grounds of a Breton chateau originally landscaped in the French formal style and later redesigned as an English picturesque garden and then as a public park (with elements of all three schemes remaining today.) Converted to an art center in the 1980s as part of the French government’s plan to decentralize cultural institutions, Graham responded to the triangular roof of a 19th century faux “mill house,” proposing to build two triangular structures, one standing upright like a gazebo and the other sitting on its side to form a bridge across a nearby stream (with a base resembling a urban sidewalk grate.)
None of the works in this exhibition has been exhibited previously in New York, and they are presented here in a space just adjacent to the High Line, one of the most ambitious new models of the urban garden.
The work of Corey McCorkle (b. 1969 La Crosse, Wisconsin) has been included in numerous institutions around the world including Centre Pompidou, Paris; Haus der Kunst, Munich; Louisiana Museum, Copenhagen; Kunst-Werke, Berlin; Kunsthalle Bern, Bern; and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Recently McCorkle’s work has been presented at the MuHKA, Antwerp; ArtPace San Antonio; and at FRAC Ile de France, Paris and at FRAC Lorraine, Metz. A major monograph on McCorkle’s worth is forthcoming from Ludion Publishers.
Dan Graham (b. 1942 Urbana, Illinois) has exhibited widely and extensively since the mid-1960s. Among the numerous retrospectives of his work was Dan Graham: Beyond, on view in 2009 at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Graham has an exhibition opening February 2 with Robert Mangold at Galerie Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen, and an exhibition around the theme of rock music opening on February 10 at Hauser & Wirth, Zurich. Graham’s Alteration to a Suburban House (1978) is currently on view at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and hewill give a talk at the museum on February 23.