Willie Doherty, Victor Grippo and Sylvia Plimack Mangold
Willie Doherty’s triptych, Abandoned Interior I-III, 1997, a seminal work from this period, depicts domestic interiors as sites of social dissolution. Completed one year before the armistice in Northern Ireland, these large cibachromes suggest that the reverberations of conflict are reiterated in the architecture of everyday life. Born in 1959 in Derry, Doherty has remained close to the specifics of his immediate socio-political environment while generating a body of work with significant relevance to the world beyond his immediate community. In 2007. his video installations were the subject of a survey exhibition at Lenbachhaus, Münich and the Hamburger Kunstverein; in 2005 and 2007 Doherty’s work was exhibited at the Venice Biennale and in 2009 his video and photographic work was the subject of a one-person exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art. In May of this year, Alexander and Bonin exhibited UNFINISHED and BURIED, his two most recent video works and in October the artist will premiere a new video installation at Manifesta 8 in Murcia, Spain.
Victor Grippos’s La comida del artista (Puerta amplia- Mesa estrecha)* a 1991 installation which takes the viewer through a generous half-open door to a narrow table set with seven white ceramic plates. Each plate holds an object (a golden egg, burnt bread, slices of eggplant) symbolizing conscience and consciousness, abundance and scarcity. Victor Grippo (1936-2002) lived and worked in Buenos Aires and his work was informed by his early training in chemistry, his commitment to material specificity and nuance as well as the repressive politics of Argentina in the 1970s. His work was widely exhibited during his lifetime and after his death in 2002 a number of works were included in Documenta 11 in Kassel. In 2004 it was the subject of a retrospective at Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA). Alexander and Bonin has shown Grippo’s installations, sculpture and drawings from 1965 through 2001 in one-person exhibitions in 2006 and 2009.
The Elm Tree (Winter), 1990-93 was painted outdoors over three successive winters. Painting from direct observation has been a hallmark of Sylvia Plimack Mangold’s work. Outdoor motifs change in large and small ways by the day and month and it is the structure of the tree on which her winter paintings focus. At the change of seasons, as the structure is obfuscated by, or denuded of foliage, a painting is set aside until the next year when similar conditions allow continued exploration. The passage of time implicit in her practice can be seen as a metaphor for painting. Plimack Mangold’s work has been the subject of more than thirty solo exhibitions including three museum surveys. Solitaire, a 2008 exhibition at the Wexner Center for the Arts juxtaposed paintings selected from her entire career with bodies of work by Lee Lozano and Joan Semmel. Last year, her etchings and drawings were shown alongside those of Lovis Corinth in Natural Sympathies at Alexander and Bonin.