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Harris Lieberman gallery

Exhibition Detail
Curated by: Martha Kirszenbaum
508 West 26th Street
New York, NY 10001

March 23rd, 2012 - April 28th, 2012
March 22nd, 2012 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
, Agnieszka PolskaAgnieszka Polska
© Courtesy of the artist & Harris Lieberman gallery
Tues-Sat 10-6
photography, installation

Grey Peak of the Wave brings together six European artists whose work shares an interest
in geometric constructions and abstract symbolism. The exhibition’s point of departure is
the works on paper of Guy de Cointet (1934-1983, French), an influential figure in Los
Angeles’ conceptual art scene of the 1970s; the show’s title is taken from a drawing by
de Cointet who in turn borrowed a line from an Ezra Pound poem. De Cointet was fascinated
with language and explored its resources in his performances and drawings. Reflecting
aesthetics that oscillate between games and logical constructions, his drawings take the
form of cabbalistic aphorism, mystical signifiers or coded imagery. Composed according to
algorithmic visual codes, they were often constructed as mirror images and given
performative titles. Thus visual reflection and performativity are the two main axes of
the exhibition, which is constructed around the physicality of the gallery space and,
more specifically, its corners.
In the context of de Cointet’s drawings, five emerging artists have been invited to
present a multidisciplinary ensemble of works motivated by a reflection on abstraction
and the avant-garde. Alicja Kwade’s (b. 1979, lives and works in Berlin) surrealistic
bent mirrored sheets of Vom Zukünftigen Hintergrund unter anderer Bedingung betrachtet
(2010) and her installation of reflecting lamps, Teleportation (2010), contradict our
perception of the world with their poetic absurdity, as they recall de Cointet’s mirror
writing. They face Alexandra Leykauf’s (b. 1976, lives and works in Berlin) black and
white untitled kaleidoscopic grouping of historical posters and found photographs (2011),
in which she deconstructs images out of their context and rearranges them into new
Agnieszka Polska (b. 1985, lives and works in Krakow, Poland) revisits Polish modernism
by recycling old material, collages and archival photographs into narrative and
melancholic animated films, such as the enchanting The Plunderer’s Dream (2011). Florian
and Michael Quistrebert’s (b. 1976 and 1982, live and work in Paris and Amsterdam) bleach
paintings made on black canvas, all Untitled (2012), suggest both geometric compositions
and playful dancing characters realized through a reversed photographic technique, where
the bleach simultaneously illuminates and erodes the canvas.
Wojciech Bąkowski (b. 1979, lives and works in Poznań, Poland), focuses on his intimate
surroundings and produces analog video material that features his chaotic speech, as in
the film Making New Worlds Instead of Forgetting About It (2011), and physically engages
the viewer in a rough spoken performance, Take A Minute (2012), where sound and image are
related to his everyday environment.
Martha Kirszenbaum is an independent curator and writer based in Paris.

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