“Counter Forms” group exhibition is currently on view at Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York. This exhibition brings together an extraordinary group of rarely seen works, predominantly from the 1960s and ‘70s, by four artists whose oeuvres remains as fresh and visceral today as they must have first appeared in their time. “Counter Forms” gathers an unprecedented constellation of artists and exceptional historical material, provoking us to look at the innovation and continuing relevance of each artist anew while also highlighting the unexpected resonance of their oeuvres. Involving many loans from institutional and private collections, archives and artists’ estates, “Counter Forms” continues the gallery’s commitment to featuring influential historical artists whose full significance is growing both in the United States and internationally.
During their lives, each cut too short, Tetsumi Kudo (1935-1990), Alina Szapocznikow (1926-1973), Paul Thek (1933-1988) and Hannah Wilke (1940-1993) likely never met or learned of the others’ practices. Yet in the 1960s and ‘70s they were almost simultaneously developing an art that was at once raw and sexualized, acerbic and resolutely human. Their immediate contexts were different, but whether grappling with the implications of post-war America, post-Holocaust Poland, or post-Hiroshima Japan, their works seem haunted—materially and actually—by their makers’ willing exploration of disaster and disintegration in a way that was quite at odds with the clean, optimistic and perfected forms that more widely circulated in their epoch.
“Counter Forms” is on view through November 16th, 2013.