The Paula Cooper Gallery is pleased to announce a one-person exhibition of works by renowned artist and avant-garde film pioneer Bruce Conner (1933-2008), which will be on view at 521 W 21 Street beginning May 7.
This exhibition presents a selection of felt-tip pen and inkblot drawings dating from 1962 to 2000. The works underscore Conner’s ongoing interest in abstraction and the development of an intricate visual vocabulary: undulating densities of line, kinetic geometry, plays of light and dark. A prolific artist whose interests ranged from punk rock to non-Western mysticism, Conner maintained a crucial relationship to abstraction not only his drawings but also throughout his career.
Central to the exhibition will be EASTER MORNING, considered to be Conner’s most abstract film. EASTER MORNING is a montage of dreamlike images generated from footage shot by the artist on a spring morning in San Francisco in 1966. Like the assemblages for which he first gained critical attention and the rhythmic patterning of his drawings, Conner’s films have been described as collages that explode linear narrative and produce a sense of “optical overload.”1 EASTER MORNING breaks with the artist’s signature deconstructive editing process. He achieved the hypnotic rhythms in camera using frame rates, camera movements, and multiple exposures; Conner called it a “perfect movie.” The film was completed in 2008 shortly before the artist’s death. It is considered his last major work.
In conjunction with the Jay DeFeo retrospective at The Whitney Museum of American Art, Conner’s 1967 short film, THE WHITE ROSE will be screened from April 25 to May 12, 2013. In 2000, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis organized an exhibition of Conner’s work titled “2000 BC: The Bruce Conner Story, Part II.” This show traveled to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco, and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. His works have been included in major exhibitions, such as the historic 1961 “The Art of Assemblage” at The Museum of Modern Art. His works are also in the collections of many major museums, including The Guggenheim Museum; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Whitney Museum of American Art; The Museum of Modern Art; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The Art Institute of Chicago; The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; and The Centre Pompidou, Paris.
This exhibition has been organized with the support of the Conner Family Trust, San Francisco and Michael Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles.