Vito Acconci, Dan Coombs, Rachel Harrison, Mary Heilmann, Kadie Salmon, Franz West
This year the summer show at Fred London is presented in association with maverick curator and art aficionado, Kenny Schachter. Drawing on a shared passion for extraordinary work, Kenny and Fred have selected a group of works by artists from every career level that explores cultural collage at its very best.
Included is a seminal, and classically confessional diary based work by Vito Acconci, new and amazing paintings of female nudes by Dan Coombs, a structure that pushes the relationship between painting and installation by Rachel Harrison, a sculpture that confounds the made and the found by Kadie Salmon, and some extraordinary and rare paintings and a sculpture by the late Franz West.
Franz West was born in Vienna in 1947. He has been seen in some of the world’s most important museums work, including The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum Ludwig in Cologne and the Kunsthaus Graz in Graz. His work is typically made from plaster, papier-mache, wire and polyester, aluminium and other ordinary materials. The early paintings gave way to collage, sculptures, portable sculptures – ‘Adaptives’, environments and furniture. During the 1990s, he made large-scale lacquered furniture pieces, inspired by the shapes of Austrian sausages, with patch-work surfaces and monochrome colours. West said, “It doesn’t matter what it looks like, but how it’s used.” He died in 2012.
Born in New York in 1940, Vito Acconci is a landscape architect and installation artist. His practice as a visual artist began in 1969 with a series of subversive social commentary photographs, after the Situationists. During the early 1970s he made performance pieces, and for the rest of the decade he made installation work. He made permanent sculptures and installations in the 1980s, from natural materials and strange mass-produced materials, and in 1988 he founded Acconci Studio, in Brooklyn, where he worked on theoretical design and buildings, and more recently architecture and landscape design.
Mary Heilmann was born in San Francisco in 1940, and now lives and works in New York. Her paintings, ceramics, and furniture come out of a patchwork of recollections and stories from her imagination, music and dreams. She pulls together various divergent and seemingly incompatible elements to form new symbiotic relationships within her paintings, which are often shown alongside furniture to further breakdown any boundaries between the Applied Arts and Fine Art. Her strong colours come from natural light, her laptop, and from TV cartoons. Heilmann has had major exhibitions at New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, Orange County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, and Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, among other places.
Rachel Harrison uses a wide range of media, including photography, painting, sculpture, video, installation and architecture, to create what the Whitechapel Gallery called “a kaleidoscopic field of visual sensation and cultural references” – a tug-of-war between pop culture and the history of art. Born in New York in 1966, Harrison has shown in museums and galleries throughout the world, including the 53rd Venice Biennale. Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in Philadelphia.
The British painter, Dan Coombs, makes collages and paintings from illustrations and photographs of nudes. The finished works have supercharged colours applied in a complex process, which brings together figures, invented landscapes, dreamscapes and interiors. These mysterious and symbolic paintings explore notions of guilt, isolation, beauty and fear through myth, religion and psychoanalysis, and originate deep in the artist’s psyche. The high energy on the surface of each painting is kept in check by the balanced and formal compositions. Dan Coombs was born in 1971. His work has previously been seen in various group exhibitions and a major solo exhibition at FRED.
Kadie Salmon was born in 1986. She graduated with from Edinburgh College of Art in 2009 and now lives and works in London. She uses a variety of media in her practice, but photography is usually, at some stage, central to it. Notions of romance and eroticism, both historical and contemporary, are frequently drawn upon as the key concepts in her work.
Photo: Dan Coombs, Woman, 2012, oil on canvas, 60x45cm
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe
Fred: 18 July – 31 August