Galerie Rodolphe Janssen is pleased to announce Adam McEwen’s third exhibition at the gallery.
Adam McEwen has gained international recognition through different series who draw their inspiration in various places : popular imagery, slogans, star-system but also history. From the Second World War to present days, McEwen draws a link between capitalist development and destruction and is seen as a modern times illusionist. He looks upon history as a huge lie and plays with the perception of things and the audience’s confidence towards the media.
For its third exhibition at the gallery, Adam McEwen will show his new series Sponge works in the line of his emblematic series Bomber Harris.
As a reminder, the Bomber Harris were born from Adam McEwen’s walks in New York City and his observation of the sidewalks. Sidewalks covered by tons of chewing gums that made him think of German cities bombed by Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris, the man who perfected the technique of aera bombing during World War II. In this series, the location of the gums on the canvas comes from photos of New York sidewalks covered with gums and the title is a reference to a bombed city. As McEwen says, « I’m suggesting a gap between ‘elegant’ or ‘beautiful’ paintings on the one hand, and their titles that refor to horror on the other, to reflect the friction between different versions of hisory, or history as fiction. » The Bomber Harris series are now part of his most representative works.
For this show, Adam McEwen gets back to his photographed sidewalks and prints them onto cellulose sponge which is soaked into resin and then mounted on aluminium. The large format inkjet prints onto sponge (193 x 150 cm) present themselves as black and white abstact paintings with suggested skylines created by the marks on the ground. An impression of perspective but also desorientation exudes from the sidewalk presented vertically rather than horizontally, the viewer is thrown off balance by the image. As for the medium, a greyish sponge, it is tranformed into an elegant black and white painting. Again, Adam McEwen drives us into this gap between ‘elegant’ or ‘beautiful’ paintings on one hand, and their titles that refer to horror on the other hand.
Adam McEwen was born in1965 in London, he currently lives and works in New York.
His work has ben shown in numerous international solo shows including: The Goss Michael Foundation, Dallas (2012); 11.11.11, Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills (2011); A Real Slow Drag, Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York (2011). McEwen has participated in numerous group shows including those at : Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis; White Flag Projects, Saint Louis; Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao; Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami; Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York; White Columns, New York; Gagosian Gallery, London and Beverly Hills; Hayward Gallery, London; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco.