Lombard Freid Projects is pleased to present Fairview, the premier solo exhibition in the United States of Vienna based artist Andreas Fogarasi. Awarded the Golden Lion Prize at the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007), Fogarasi has designed his show at Lombard Freid around representations of place and the power of image branding in America. His work explores the mechanisms by which architecture and public space are constructed as both sites of daily experience and as spaces defined by political, economic and cultural interests. Using the vocabulary of minimalism and a diverse array of media–video, drawing, photography, sculpture—Fogarasi engages with the concept that the particular identity of place is subject to constant ideological transformation.
Investigating the capacity of images to inform desire and create potential for identification, the focus of Fogarasi’s exhibition at Lombard Freid Projects is cities. The exhibition title, Fairview, refers to the most common city name in the United States, simultaneously calling attention to the specificity and generic quality of certain indicators used to identify place. In the main gallery, three sculptural elements that embody this duality of particularity and anonymity function as markers of place: a small-scale marble monument, a black wooden platform and a floor-piece. An artist book that accompanies the platform treats the subject of how visual representations of the State create, sustain and legitimize borders, while the platform itself repeats the gesture of border limits. It creates an obstacle for passage through the gallery while at the same time offering a kind of stage from which to view the exhibition. The floor-piece, developed after prominent American graphic designer, Herb Lubalin's 1966 logo design for the city of New York, forms an accumulation of arrow-like shapes. Fogarasi cleverly inverts the function of the logo as a useful identifier by deconstructing the form of the original symbol such that the pattern becomes disorienting—pointing in different directions—entirely divorced from its initial purpose.
As logos informed by corporate design increasingly replace traditional insignia such as coats of arms and flags as cultural identifiers, the lines between state and entrepreneurial interests become blurred. Commenting on the fact that public sector industries such as tourism now follow the example of private companies in trying to position geographical locations as brands, Fogarasi presents a series of pencil drawings based on nicknames of US cities ("The Golden City", "The Silver City", "The Brick City") that are paradoxically specific yet interchangeable. Shown on an LCD screen anchored between the ceiling and floor, Public Brands—German Cities collects the logos of over 120 cities, arranged alphabetically and reduced to absolute black on white, prompting a focus on the power of the symbol.
Born 1977 in Vienna, Andreas Fogarasi has participated in several important international exhibitions of contemporary art, such as the 52nd Venice Biennale, Manifesta 4 (Frankfurt/Main) and the 6th International Biennale in Armenia. Recent exhibitions include solo shows at the Ernst Museum, Budapest and MAK, Vienna, among others, and a group show at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.