Spencer Finch - Through a Glass, Darkly


Mala galerija

8 November - 11 December 2005
Guest curator: Daniel Birnbaum

Spencer Finch is an American artist of the middle-generation, whose work focuses on colour theory and language, on questions surrounding perception and recollection. "The difficulty of 'seeing yourself seeing,' for Finch, is above all an existential experience of perception, and only secondarily an abstract idea that develops out of modern philosophy and art. /.../ The artist draws on problems surrounding perception as a way to catapult his work beyond the merely formal or merely conceptual into the realm where vision, memory, and desire blend, then separate out again." (Saul Anton, Artforum, April 2001)

Finch's projects go beyond mere research into color, light, and perception; they are always based on some specific, concrete detail (such as the pink of the hat Jacqueline Kennedy wore on the day her husband was assassinated; or the shade of the ceiling directly above the couch in Sigmund Freud's office in Vienna; or the azure of the sky above the place in the Los Alamos desert where the atom bomb was developed) or on a scientific problem (e.g., the project Prussian Blue, exhibited at the Galerie Nordenhake, is a model made of light bulbs of various sizes, representing the molecular structure of the pigment Prussian blue, the first artificial pigment invented by Heinrich Diesbach in Berlin three centuries ago).

Spencer Finch has exhibited internationally since 1990. His recent shows include the Whitney biennial, New York (2004), and solo exhibitions at the Artpace, San Antonio (2003), the Portikus, Frankfurt am Main (2003), the Postmasters Gallery, New York (2004), and the Galerie Nordenhake, Berlin (2005).

At the Mala galerija, Spencer Finch is presenting his work Through a Glass, Darkly, based on the idea of transferring a particular kind of light from the United States to Slovenia. This is the very intense light in the Hudson River Valley, where a group of landscape painters known as the Hudson River School was active in the mid-19th century. With special meters, Finch measured the light there at the end of the day, and then recreated it with neon lights and various color filters in the Mala galerija.

The exhibition curator, Daniel Birnbaum, is a major international art critic, curator and theorist and a regular contributor to Artforum. Currently, he is the Rector of the Städelschule für Bildende Künste and the director of the Portikus Gallery in Frankfurt am Main. He has served as a board member for the Yokohama Triennial of Contemporary Art and the Manifesta Foundation, Amsterdam. He directed the International Artists Studio Program in Sweden until 2000, and was a co-curator of the major exhibitions such as Delays & Revolutions at the 50th Venice Biennale, 2003 and the first Moscow Biennale, 2005.

The exhibition is being staged with the kind support of:
The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, The Embassy of the United States in Ljubljana, Arcadia

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