The Guggenheim Museum presents ?? Gillian Wearing: Wearing Masks ??
Exposure: Gillian Wearing: Wearing masks
Location: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, New York
Location: Tower levels 2, 4, 5, 7 and new media theater
Dates: November 5, 2021 ?? April 4, 2022
From November 5, 2021 to April 4, 2022, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum presents Gillian Wearing: Wearing masks, the first retrospective of Wearing’s work in North America. Showcasing over a hundred pieces, the exhibition traces the development of the British artist’s practice, from his early Polaroids to his latest self-portraits, all of which explore the performative nature of identity.
Gillian Wearing: Wearing masks is organized by Jennifer Blessing, Senior Curator, Photography, and Nat Trotman, Curator, Performance and Media, with X Zhu-Nowell, Assistant Curator, and Ksenia Soboleva, Marica and Jan Vilcek Curatorial Fellow.
Gillian Wearing’s deeply empathetic and psychologically intense photographs, videos, sculptures and paintings explore tensions between self and society in an increasingly media saturated world. Over her three-decade career, Wearing has focused both on her own self-portrait and on representations of others, testing the boundaries between privacy and advertising, challenging fixed notions of identity and anticipating frequently the cultural transformations brought about by social media. Throughout his works, the masks serve as both literal props and metaphors for the performances each of us presents each day as individuals and citizens.
For its flagship piece Signs that say what you want them to say and not Signs that say what someone else wants you to say (1992 ?? 93), bearing photographed strangers holding signs with messages they themselves wrote. In doing so, she changed the terms of documentary street photography and artistic performance by giving voice to the subjects of her images. This series established Wearing’s long-standing practice of engaging audiences through classified ads, casting calls, or direct street solicitation to create platforms where people’s often very personal stories could. be shared with a wider audience.
Wearing has also repeatedly turned the camera around to examine how sense of self is established in family, social and historical contexts, particularly following a traumatic experience. Thanks to her in-depth questioning of the self-portrait, she ostensibly developed Andy Warhol’s notion that “everyone will be known worldwide for 15 minutes”. predict the rise of selfie culture. In addition to presenting versions of herself, she engaged with images of people closely linked to her identity as a person and as an artist. In his photographic series Spiritual family (2008 ?? present), for example, she uses silicone prostheses, wigs and lighting to disguise herself as central figures in art history who have been fundamental influences on her practice. Wear masks will present the first comprehensive presentation in this series, including many examples that have never been shown in a museum setting.
In recent years, Wearing has incorporated digital technologies into her photography and video while expanding her practice to the mediums of painting, collage and sculpture. Porter, Gillian (2018), a short video produced in collaboration with global advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy, centers around a seemingly candid statement of artistic purpose, delivered by actors whose faces have been digitally transformed with Wearing? ? s. Confinement (2020), a series of paintings produced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and My charms (2021), a sculptural self-portrait in the form of a gigantic charm bracelet, extends Wearing’s ongoing investigation into the complex tensions between authentic self-disclosure and deception. These new pieces will make their museum entry at the Guggenheim.
Housed in the four galleries of the museum tower and featuring screenings of Wearing’s work in the New Media Theater, Gillian Wearing: Wearing masks is accompanied by a 192-page richly illustrated monograph that will retrace the artist’s three decades of career with particular emphasis on his work over the past ten years. The exhibition will also coincide with a new sculptural tribute to photographer Diane Arbus by Wearing, inaugurated on October 20, 2021 at Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Central Park, organized by Public Art Fund.
Major support for Gillian Wearing: Wearing masks is provided by the Edlis-Neeson Foundation, Alessandra and Alan Mnuchin, Ted Pappendick and Erica Gervais, Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein, Naomi Milgrom and Maureen Paley. Additional support is provided by Zabludowicz Collection in collaboration with Tamares Real Estate Holdings Inc., Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Angelo KH Chan and Frederick Wertheim, Joseph M. Cohen Family Collection, Ann Cook and Charles Moss, Nion McEvoy and Leslie Berriman, Lauren and Scott Pinkus, Regen Projects, John L. Thomson, Cristina von Bargen and Jonathan McHardy, Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker, and Ann and Mel Schaffer.
Support is also generously provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
About the artist
Gillian Wearing (born 1963, Birmingham, UK) graduated from Goldsmiths College in 1990 and received the Turner Prize in 1997. Personal exhibitions of her work have been organized by Le Consortium, Dijon, France (1996); Contemporary Art Center, Geneva (1998); Serpentine Gallery, London (2000); Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris (2001); Sala de Exposiciones de la FundaciÃ³n ?? la Caixa, ?? Madrid (2001); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2002); Galleria Civica de Arte Contemporanea, Trento, Italy (2007); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2012); and IVAM, Valence (2015); among many others. Recent exhibitions include Gillian Wear and Claude Cahun at the National Portrait Gallery, London (2017); Gillian Wearing: Family Stories at SMK, Copenhagen (2017); and Life: Gillian Wearing at the Cincinnati Art Museum (2018). In 2018, the Mayor of London commissioned Wearing to create a public monument to Dame Millicent Fawcett, the first sculpture of a woman and the first created by a woman in Parliament Square in London. The port lives and works in London.
About the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation was established in 1937 and is dedicated to promoting understanding and appreciation of modern and contemporary art through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives and publications. . The international constellation of museums includes the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; and the future Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. An architectural icon and ?? temple of the spirit ?? where radical art and architecture meet, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is now part of a group of eight structures by Frank Lloyd Wright in the United States, recently designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To learn more about the Guggenheim Museum and activities around the world, visit guggenheim.org.
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The Guggenheim implements health and safety measures with consideration for visitors and employees and in accordance with New York City and State guidelines. Face masks are mandatory inside the museum for anyone over two years old. The new requirements should be reviewed before a visit; they are posted on COVID-19 Safety Measures: What to Expect When Visiting.
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