Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is incredibly pleased to announce the reopening of the gallery to the public with a group exhibition of new and recent work by gallery artists entitled, The Return of the Real. Quoting the title of Phil Collins' 2006 exhibition that investigated constructed reality of "reality tv", itself echoing the 1996 title of Hal Foster’s analysis of contemporary art at the end of the 20th century, the phrase is re-contextualized here to describe this unprecedented moment of contemporary life. After months of lockdown, and virtual consumption of visual art, the experience of art in a gallery space, IRL (in real life), is to be celebrated and appreciated more than ever. As reality and fiction battle daily on mediated screens, projecting and reflecting a veritable hall of mirrors, the exhibition offers an experience of individual direct perception.
The exhibition features new and recent work by Kelly Akashi, Mark Dion, Olafur Eliasson, Meschac Gaba, Liu Shiyuan, Jónsi, Mark Manders, Lisa Oppenheim, Analia Saban, Sarah Sze, Gillian Wearing and Nicole Wermers. Over the course of the summer, new works will be installed and rotated into the exhibition by Tomás Saraceno, Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg, Ernesto Neto and Sandra Cinto among others, encouraging return visits.
Relationships of scale, textures and patterns abound: the woven acrylic strands of Analia Saban’s ainting and Meschac Gaba’s braided architectural model of the Washington monument; the concentric circular pedestal representing Kelly Akashi’s heartbeat and the circular trays of Nicole Wermers’ ashtray sculpture; the spilling light of Olafur Eliasson’s “Return of the Arctic light sphere” and the dappled pattern of Sarah Sze’s gray stone mirror. These juxtapositions only reveal themselves to the viewer in the same space, as angles and perspectives shift and transition.
Elsewhere in the exhibition, Gillian Wearing’s latest self-portrait, Me as Julia Margaret Cameron and two muses, hangs near the sculpturally framed Liu Shiuyan’s “rebar” photographic collage. A new wall mounted sound sculpture by Jónsi presents a distorted sonic composition through a flower like configuration of trumpet speakers. Lisa Oppenehim’s silvery reflective celluloid photo-based works and Mark Manders bronze portrait bust make subversive use of tradition materials.
While we are excited to welcome you back, the safety of our visitors and staff is of utmost importance. In accordance with New York’s guidelines, we will require all guests to wear a mask and practice social distancing when at the gallery. Visits to the gallery require an advance appointment, available in 30-minute time slots for up to 2 people at a time. We also understand that travel remains difficult and in-person visits are near impossible for many, at this time. As such, this exhibition will be posted online and PDF information and images representing works featured in the exhibition is available upon request.
Finally, a portion of the proceeds from all sales from the exhibition will be divided equally among the following three organizations:
- Artist Relief
- NYC COVID relief