Monday, February 10, 2014

GREGOR HILDEBRANDT @ PERROTIN

A few weeks back I made my way uptown NYC to visit a couple galleries in the 70's. Galerie Perrotin was the 2nd I visited that day. I had been thinking of making my way to the building of the two amazing galleries that inhabit 909 Madison Avenue. Perrotin is the ground floor gallery and therefore is the first thing you see when walking through the door.

Gregor Hildebrandt is on the turntable for this episode...sit back and enjoy.

Immediately bombarded with a black wall in front of you does put you off your normal gallery viewing experience. Notice that this wall is actually made from vinyl records pressed into a shell like form and made into a wall. Walk around the vinyl wall and you are greeted with walls that flow with the air of the heating vents. It makes me wonder how many people would notice within a minute that these walls are actually made from cassette tape. It's quite an unusual and cool experience. Beyond this is the actual viewing area for four large paintings, one on each wall. Each made with cassette tape again, but this time adhered to linen canvas. So these normally just look like a standard oil/acrylic on canvas until once again you peer deeper and see they are paint on magnetic cassette tape again. It's quite amazing the way the light plays upon this material. You really do need to see it for yourself. I spent a while in this room, checking everything out, before moving downstairs...where I was fully impressed and a bit depressed by the floor in the basement gallery.

Floor covered from one end to the other with a bevy of old cassette tapes like you used to buy to record your friends tape collection because you weren't able to afford the real thing. Funny how they've always given us the material to "steal" audio recordings, and then blasted us for doing it. Each cassette tape has been put into a group of eight for easy transport and then laid out in a herringbone pattern along the floor to make for what I believe to be, THE COOLEST FLOOR EVER! I spent much time walking over the tapes, looking for ones I remembered using myself. Checking to see whom this person might have been listening to, and then wondering how in the world he got so many tapes to do this project with, were they all Hildebrandt's, or did he put out a call to his friends... "hey man give me your cassette tapes, I need them for an art project".

In the midst of all this sits on the wall, a huge roll of magnetic tape. You could tell it was from various rolls from the colors within all the layering that went on. I really couldn't think of a much more cooler thing to do with old tapes. You could even see one of the cassette rollers in the center to give the piece a base to grow on. I sat there admiring that work of art for quite some time. Probably so much that the guy upstairs watching me on the camera thought I was going to do something. "No sir, just enjoying the art thoroughly". The piece was under glass, which made it hard to get a good photo of, but you can see my attempts in the photos below.

Hildebrandt got into the idea of magnetic tape and has really made it one heck of an art material for himself. On one of the lower level walls was a piece I didn't really pay much attention to until I told myself to really go view it. It looked from a distance just like any minimal type painting could in NYC. On further inspection, I found out it was all made from the pads that protect the magnetic tape from the pressure needed to keep it on the playhead. Hundreds of little felt pads, each with it's own color, all blended together to create such a wonderful piece of art that (dare I say it) Duchamp would have been proud.

So who am I to tell you all of this. Just a painter with a strong sense of what he thinks is good, great, interesting, and just plain awesome. Get your butt down to Perrotin Galerie and see this exhibition. You have till the 19th. I know i'll be down there in a few days.

You can learn more from their website. I hope you too are able to experience this fantastic exhibition.
https://www.perrotin.com/exhibition-Gregor_HILDEBRANDT-2080.html







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