Artist: Isa Genzken
Venue: Institute of Contemporary Art, London
Exhibition Title: Basic Research Paintings
Date: July 1 – September 6, 2015
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Institute of Contemporary Art, London. Photos by Mark Blower.
Isa Genzken is one of the most important and influential artists of the last forty years. Since the early 1970s, Genzken has developed an extraordinary practice as evidenced through museum shows such as her recent retrospective at MoMA, New York in 2014. Increasingly ambitious displays of the artist’s work have tended toward a focus on large-scale sculptures, installations and impressive wall mounted panel works. Lesser known are her paintings.
Having experimented with a variety of different materials and art forms, to include assemblage and photography, film and video, Genzken also produced two prominent series of paintings spanning the late 80s and early 90s. This included her MLR (More Light Research) works from the early 90s, and
the Basic Research paintings produced between 1989 and 1991. The latter have rarely been shown in isolation, or in the context of a freestanding painting show.
The Basic Research paintings are compelling in that they invite scrutiny from the micro to the macro, revealing themselves as close-up impressions of urban architecture, or aerial views of alien landscapes. These works are sometimes compared to the abstract paintings of Gerhard Richter, due to Genzken’s relationship with the artist at that time. By contrast, Genzken’s approach to abstract painting is emboldened through a more straightforward and direct method, using a limited palette that rarely strays from a range of naturalistic hues such as dark green or brown.
Curated by Gregor Muir, Isa Genzken: Basic Research Paintings has been made possible with the help and support of Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne. The first iteration of this exhibition was included as part of the ICA touring exhibition Beware Wet Paint held at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in 2014/15.