ABOUT THE FAIR

Muntean/Rosenblum

Booth 722 | Pier 94 | 711 12th Avenue | New York City

Galerie Ron Mandos proudly presents a new group of paintings by Muntean/Rosenblum to The Armory Show 2019, with an additional selection of works by Anthony Goicolea, Hans op de Beeck and Sebastiaan Bremer.

The artist duo Muntean/Rosenblum mixes references from art history with contemporary popular culture. Playing with visual codes from the past and the present, they mostly depict groups of young people – ambiguous scenes seeming to present unresolved situations in the making. In their latest works, the artist duo explores YouTube as a space of contemporary iconography by introducing scenes inspired by video’s gone viral. Their paintings and drawings are often accompanied by captions or texts not directly relating to the depicted scene, adding another layer of complexity.

Muntean/Rosenblum consists of Markus Muntean (AT, 1962) and Adi Rosenblum (IL, 1962). Based in Vienna, they have been collaborating since 1992. Solo exhibitions were held at i.a. MAC, Coruña; MOCAK, Krakow; Parkview Museum, Beijing; Institut für zeitgenössische Kunst, Nürnberg and Tate Britain, London. Group exhibitions they recently participated in were, among others, at Kunsthaus Graz; Nam June Paik Art Centre, Gyeonggi-do; The Parkview Museum, Singapore; Oude Kerk, Amsterdam and MAXXI, Rome. Their work is collected by museums such as MoMA, New York; Albertina, Vienna; Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf; Museum der Moderne Salzburg; Tel Aviv Museum of Art and MUSAC, Léon.

For their presentation at The Armory Fair 2019, Muntean/Rosenblum have invited two other artists to show new works: Anthony Goicolea and Sebastiaan Bremer. During the opening on March 6 at 4pm and 6pm, acclaimed choreographer and artist Jonah Bokaer (US, 1981) will perform a live choreography at the booth, responding to and interacting with the artworks.

Growing up in the Deep South, Anthony Goicolea was socially stigmatized for being Cuban, gay, and Catholic. These circumstances brought about a heightened awareness of social constructs, which continues to influence his work. He created New York’s first public LGBTQ Memorial monument, which was revealed in Hudson River Park last year. For this monument, as well as for the new sculptures debuting at the fair, he takes boulders as a formal starting point. The presentation also includes drawings from the Anonymous Self-portraits series.

Anthony Goicolea (USA, 1971) is a mixed-media artist based in Brooklyn. He has exhibited widely, notably at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, Illinois; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the International Center of Photography, New York and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid. Goicolea’s art is held in many public collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and MoMA, New York.

Using pre-existing images, Sebastiaan Bremer explores ideas about time, memory, melancholy and processing. Experimenting with different techniques and materials to alter photographs, he adds new dimensions, giving the images more possible meanings and shifting the viewer’s perception. He creates hybrid images using collage techniques and by meticulously cutting and carving away sections of emulsion to create etchings on the photographic surface.

Sebastiaan Bremer (NL, 1970) is based in New York. In 2016 Fort Worth Contemporary Arts at TCU held a mid-career retrospective. His work has also been shown at museums including Tate Modern, London; The Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; Gemeentemuseum, The Hague; Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York; Projektraum I, Berlin; MOCA Tucson and the Warhol Museum, Pittsburg. Bremer's work is represented in collections such as Victoria & Albert Museum, London; MoMA, New York and LACMA, Los Angeles.

Hans Op de Beeck produces large installations, sculptures, films, drawings, paintings and photographs. He seeks to create a form of visual fiction that delivers a moment of wonder, silence and introspection. His monochrome sculptures depicting children are inspired by the artist’s experiences and dreams as a child and evoke notions of innocence and vulnerability.

Hans Op de Beeck (BE, 1969) has shown extensively in solo and group exhibitions around the world, including at the Venice Biennial; Tate Modern, London; Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels; PS1, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Reina Sofia, Madrid; MACRO, Rome; Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; Tampa Museum of Art and Sammlung Goetz, Munich.

 

ABOUT Anthony Goicolea

Born in 1971 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Lives and works in New York

Anthony Goicolea (USA, 1971) is a first-generation Cuban American artist. He grew up in the Deep South of the United States of America, in the midst of the Cuban refugee crises, coupled with the advent of the AIDS crises, and the rise of the religious right. Goicolea was socially stigmatised for being Cuban, gay, and Catholic. These circumstances brought about a heightened awareness of social constructs, and the changing nature of identity in politics – a theme that continually influences his work. Goicolea explores themes ranging from personal history and identity, cultural tradition and heritage, to alienation and displacement.

His diverse oeuvre encompasses digitally manipulated self-portraits, landscapes, and narrative tableaux executed in a variety of media, including black-and-white and color photography, sculpture and video installations, and multi-layered drawings on Mylar. Best known for his powerful, and often unsettling, staged photographic and video works, Goicolea made his artistic debut in the late 1990s with a series of provocative multiple self-portrait images. These early works featured groups of young boys on the threshold of adolescence, acting out childhood fantasies and bizarre rituals of revelry and social taboo in highly staged domestic or institutional settings or dense, fairy-tale forests. Revealing a playful self-consciousness, they often consisted of complex composites of the artist himself, in all manner of poses and guises. Soon thereafter, Goicolea garnered international attention with his ambiguous, yet strangely compelling, landscapes, ranging from dream-like woodland environments to vast, unforgiving urban and industrial wastelands. The artist has created several series of digitally composited, and heretofore uncharted, topographies, often populated by bands of masked and uniformed figures.

In recent series, many of the images are devoid of humans, although the landscape reflects an anonymous and increasingly tenuous human presence. In these works, primitive lean-tos and crudely constructed shanties coexist in an uneasy union with the technological vestiges of an industrialized society. Suggesting a world on the brink of obsolescence, these chilling images further cement the pervasive undercurrent of human alienation—from one another as well as the natural environment—that can be traced throughout the artist’s work.

Anthony Goicolea has exhibited widely, notably at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, Illinois; the International Center of Photography, New York and Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid. Goicolea’s art is held in many public collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The Guggenheim Museum of Art, New York, NY; The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY; Yale University Art Collection, Photography, CT; the Museum of Contemporary Art of Castile and Leon, Spain;  21c Museum, Louisville, KY, the Akzo Nobel Art Foundation, Amsterdam, and Cobra to Contemporary/The Brown Family Collection, among others.

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ABOUT Hans Op de Beeck

Hans Op de Beeck was born in 1969 in Turnhout, BE
He lives and works in Brussels, BE

Visual artist Hans Op de Beeck lives and works in Brussels, where he has developed his career through international exhibitions over the past twenty years. His work consists of sculptures, installations, video work, photography, animated films, drawings, paintings and writing (short stories). It is his quest for the most effective way of presenting the concrete contents of each work that determines the medium that the artist ultimately selects. The scale can vary from the size of a small watercolour to a large, three-dimensional installation of 600m2.

The artist not only uses a very wide variety of media, but also deliberately employs a diversity of aesthetic forms, ranging from an economical, minimalist visual language to overloaded, exaggerated designs, always with the aim of articulating the content of the work as precisely as possible.

Thematically, the work concentrates on our laborious and problematic relationship with time, space and each other. Op de Beeck shows the viewer non-existent, but identifiable places, moments and characters that appear to have been taken from contemporary everyday life, aiming thereby to capture in his images the tragicomic absurdity of our postmodern existence. Key themes are the disappearance of distances, the disembodiment of the individual and the abstraction of time that have resulted from globalisation and the changes to our living environment that developments in media, automation and technology have brought about.

Hans Op de Beeck sometimes calls his works “proposals”; they are irrefutably fictional, constructed and staged, leaving it up to the viewer whether to take the work seriously, as a sort of parallel reality, or immediately to put it into perspective, as no more than a visual construct. His work is nourished by a keen interest in social and cultural reflection. The artist also questions the difficult relationship between reality and representation, between what we see and what we want to believe, between what is and what we create for ourselves in order to make it easier to deal with our own insignificance and lack of identity. The visual output of that investigation often produces slumbering, insidious, melancholy and astonishing images.

Multi-disciplinary artist Hans Op de Beeck creates interworlds. Suspended between past and future, fiction and reality, his works sound out a mirage-like contemporary universe and a sensory vertigo where the familiar rubs shoulders with the strange. From installation to sculpture, from video to animated film, from short stories to painting and drawing, from photography to sound material, the media he employs seem to converge on the definition of a topos: a mental theatre that projects the viewer into a reflexive social and cultural experience, the intimate thinking of the human condition. —Eva Prouteau

Op de Beeck has shown his work extensively in solo and group exhibitions around the world. He has had substantial institutional solo shows at the GEM Museum of Contemporary Art of The Hague, The Hague, NL (2004); MUHKA Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp, BE (2006); Centraal Museum, Utrecht, NL (2007); the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, US (2010); Kunstmuseum Thun, CH (2010); Centro de Arte Caja de Burgos, Burgos, ES (2010); Butler Gallery, Kilkenny, IRL (2012); Kunstverein Hannover, D (2012); Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, USA (2013); the Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, FL, USA (2013); FRAC Paca, Marseille, F (2013); MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Boston MA, US (2014); MOCA Cleveland, OH, US (2014); Sammlung Goetz, Munich, D (2014); Screen Space, Melbourne, AU (2015); Espace 104, Paris, FR (2016); Art Unlimited, Basel, CH (2016); Kunstraum Dornbirn, Dornbirn, AU (2017); Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, DE (2017); Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, DE (2017); Fondazione Museo Pino Pascali, Polignano a Mare, IT (2017); His work is included in museum collections of the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Royal Museum for Modern and Fine Arts, Brussels; Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar; Museum Arnhem, Arnhem; the ING Art Collection, Amsterdam; the Akzo Nobel Art Foundation, Amsterdam, and Cobra to Contemporary/The Brown Family Collection.

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ABOUT Muntean / Rosenblum

Markus Muntean was born in 1962 in Graz, Austria. Adi Rosenblum was born in 1962 in Haifa, Israel.
Muntean/Rosenblum live and work in Vienna, the city where they met while studying at the end of the 1980s. The artists have collaborated since 1992.

Large-scale painting is one of the core aspects of their practice. However, they often expand their work by creating large installations with sculptural elements where performances are staged or films screened. In addition, they make drawings as well as collages with texts and photographs.

In their work, Muntean/Rosenblum mix references to art history and present-day popular culture. They mostly depict groups of apparently lethargic or melancholic young people in idle situations, which are either ordinary and everyday or mysterious and ambiguous. The often-dreamy scenes take place in rooms, public spaces or landscapes as if part of a film, presenting unresolved situations in the making. The characters seem to adopt postures copied from fashion magazines, or from paintings originating from the renaissance to the nineteenth century. Their work is frequently accompanied by captions or texts not-directly relating to the depicted scene, adding another layer of complexity. The artists themselves described their work as ‘precise ambiguity’. By playing with visual codes from the past and the present, Muntean/Rosenblum scrutinise the power of images and how these constitute an overwhelming collective memory.

Work by Muntean/Rosenblum has been exhibited widely in international museums, institutions and galleries. Recent solo exhibitions were at Espacio Marte, Mexico City (2020); MAC, Coruña (2018); MOCAK, Krakow (2018); Group exhibitions they recently participated in were, among others, at Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2019); Kunsthaus Graz (2018); Nam June Paik Art Centre, Gyeonggi-do (2018); The Parkview Museum, Singapore (2017); and Oude Kerk, Amsterdam (2016). Their work is included in both private and public collections, such as the MoMA, New York NY; the Albertina, Vienna; 21c Museum, Louisville, KY; the KRC Collection, Voorschoten; The Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL, and Cobra to Contemporary/The Brown Family Collection.

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ABOUT Sebastiaan Bremer

Sebastiaan Bremer is renowned for transforming ordinary snapshots into grandly baroque and surreal tableaux by a careful process of retouching and enlargement. Since his first solo show, in 1994, he has exhibited in venues such as the Tate Gallery, London, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, and the Aldrich Museum, Connecticut. He has been based in the United States since 1992.

Although Bremer has always been interested in photography, it wasn’t until the late 1990s that he began to draw directly on the surface of photographs. He has been inspired in part by nineteenth century spirit photography, and fin de siècle Symbolists such as the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, and painter Odilon Redon, but his methods partake of advanced photographic techniques. Often he will begin with a simple snapshot of friends or family or familiar places, and after enlarging it far beyond conventional dimensions, he will begin altering and embellishing the image with India ink and photographic dye.

He has often used the ink to produce fine patterns of lines reminiscent of cobwebs, or readings from seismographs. Photographic dyes also enable him to blur and mute some forms while accentuating others, and make some colors bloom while others recede into mysterious darkness. The result is an image that seems to literally vibrate with hidden consequence, as if the subject matter has sent cracks across the surface of the picture. Whilst Bremer’s choice of images inevitably grounds his work in his own biography, his imagery also makes reference to alchemy, art, and the occult, establishing unexpected connections between ordinary life, history, and the unconscious.

Sebastiaan Bremer lives and works in New York. He studied at the Vrije Academie, The Hague, and Skowhegan School of Art and Sculpture, Maine. He has published two major catalogs: Monkey Brain (2003), and Avila (2006). His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

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