Multiple Pleasures: Functional Objects in Contemporary Art
Curated by Nathalie Karg / Cumulus Studios
25 June - 30 July 2010
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Press Release

Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is extremely pleased to present Multiple Pleasures: Functional Objects in Contemporary Art, a broad and dynamic survey exhibition featuring over 150 specially selected
objects and artworks by more than 90 contemporary artists. Each work blurs the boundaries between utility and aesthetics in a complex series of compellingly seductive and thought provoking ways. Emphasizing a trend in contemporary art that has only become more evident over the past several years, the exhibition features artists from the renowned to the emerging, each of whom embraces the soft definitions between architecture, design, and artmaking, creating items for use while staying completely authentic to the core of their art making and studio practice.


The works span a broad range of categories –an executive desk, a working lamp, a functional chair, a wearable sweater, salt and pepper shakers, a chess set, puzzles, swings, garden fountains and bird feeders-- each with a dual life, existing both to serve a practical purpose and an appealing aesthetic one. In a contemporary culture that celebrates the complex interdependence of form, function and material accumulation, these items somehow fulfill needs and desires never before proposed or considered.

From Andrea Zittel’s bronze Vertical Accumulators wall hooks to Ed Ruscha’s limited edition beach towels, the exhibition covers both the cerebral and lighthearted. Many of the pieces are endowed with a sense of whimsy and capriciousness; though intellectually compelling, they provide a sense of levity and entertainment. And while there is a certain playfulness to each work featured, their exquisite materiality and substance is only compounded by their potential for employment.


Presenting a broad and exacting selection of work by well-known contemporary artists, alongside some of today’s most vital newcomers, the exhibition includes a sonic table by Doug Aitken, a bubbling fountain of stacked truck tires by Rob Pruitt, Olafur Eliasson's Starbrick lamps, newly produced outdoor benches by Jason Meadows, Tom Burr and Rirkrit Tiravanija, an oversized chess set by Barbara Kruger, a dining table by Urs Fischer, and dinner and tea sets by Cindy Sherman. Among the smaller items in the exhibition are newly produced mugs by Cary Leibowitz, a shower curtain by Lisa Yuskavage, t-shirts by Olaf Breuning, Kathryn Garcia and many others.

Artists