Multiple Pleasures: Functional Objects in Contemporary Art: Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York

June 25 - July 30, 2010
Installation Views
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.

Multiple Pleasures is curated by Nathalie Karg, founder of Cumulus Studios. Established in 2008, Cumulus Studios invites contemporary artists to create a functional object for outdoors including furniture and items related to games, sport, and gardening.

A full list of the artists included in Multiple Pleasures is listed below.

Doug Aitken, Kai Althoff, Lisa Anne Auerbach, Tauba Auerbach, Ross Bleckner, Barbara Bloom, John Bock, Martin Boyce, Olaf Breuning, Cecily Brown, Tom Burr, George Condo, Confetti System, Catherine Czacki, N. Dash, David Deutsch, Francesca DiMattio, Mark Dion, Peter Doig, Coco Dolle. Jim Drain, Marcel Dzama, Olafur Eliasson, Urs Fischer, Ryan Gander, Kathryn Garcia, General Idea, Liam Gillick, Piero Golia, Mark Gonzalez, Douglas Gordon, Mary Heilmann, Damien Hirst, Jim Hodges, Evan Holloway, Christian Jankowski, Matt Keegan, William Kentridge, Barbara Kruger, Shio Kusaka, Jim Lambie, Cary Leibowitz, Atelier Van Lieshout, Charles Long, Lovett/Codagnone, Sarah Lucas, Jan Mancuska, Ari Marcopoulos, Adam McEwen, Jason Meadows, Jonathan Meese, Jessica Sofia Mitrani, Damian Moppett, Dave Muller, Yoshimoto Nara, Ernesto Neto, Marcel Odenbach, Jorge Pardo, Jack Pierson, Richard Prince, Rob Pruitt, Noam Rappaport, Tobias Rehberger, Ed Ruscha, Will Ryman, Kenny Scharf, Thomas Scheibitz, Joel Shapiro, Jim Shaw, Cindy Sherman, David Shrigley, Peter Simensky, Andreas Slominski, William Stone, Sarah Sze, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Tom of Finland, Rosemarie Trockel, Paloma Varga Weisz, Ben Vautier, Leo Villareal, John Waters, Nicole Wermers, Eric Wesley, Franz West, Kehinde Wiley, Rob Wynne, Aaron Young, Lisa Yuskavage, and Andrea Zittel.

All installation images above: Photo by Jean Vong