at Helwaser Gallery, New York / November 24, 2020 - February 26, 2021
Helwaser Gallery is pleased to announce Translucent Concrete, an exhibition of new paintings by multi-disciplinary artist Anton Ginzburg, running from November 24, 2020 - February 26, 2021. Since 2016, Ginzburg has developed a signature painterly language of hard-edged abstraction. Ginzburg has consistently developed color-spatial explorations over the course of three bodies of work, examining the processes involved in the act of human perception. Spanning works on paper and paintings on wood, this latest series deconstructs the dynamics of viewing interior and exterior spaces. Ginzburg’s recent works are the subject of a new monograph, Blue Flame: Constructions and Initiatives, published by Hatje Cantz in December 2020.
Ginzburg’s paintings are conceived of as a series of distinct scenes that collectively read as a pictorial montage of the city. In developing this body of work through long periods of isolation, Ginzburg drew from his own living environment of Chatham Towers — a concrete, brutalist building constructed during the Cold War in 1969 in Lower Manhattan. Ginzburg’s views of emptied-out glass towers, light-filled public spaces, and concrete environments are framed against large window panes with acute geometries, resulting in the structure of each painting as an “unfolding” perspective, where geometric compositions of the color, plane, and line become abstract references to Ginzburg’s impressions of interior and exterior spaces. Viewed together, Ginzburg’s paintings serve as visual records, where perceptions of the material nature of modern architecture are transformed by emotion and affect. Each painting registers a particular geometry and atmosphere, collectively serving as an index of psychogeographical situations based on the artist’s observations.
Also on view is a recent video work, Constructivist Drift (2016). The video is based on Russian-born French poet and activist Ivan Chtcheglov’s manifesto, "Formulary for a New Urbanism", which was published in 1953 by the Situationist International as a radical response against what he saw as an imposition of soullessness within Modernist architecture and mass-produced culture. The title of the exhibition, Translucent Concrete, references a term that Chtcheglov cites in his manifesto; Constructivist Drift expands on Ginzburg’s paintings by turning the viewer’s gaze back to the built landscape, and how the human dimension of the city can interact with it. In the video, texts by Chtcheglov are projected onto the wall of Chatham Towers, interspersed between images of Soviet architecture. The changing daylight that occurs throughout the duration of the film acts as a structural device; at the beginning of the video, the outline of the buildings are clearly visible. As twilight sets in, the buildings fade into the background, eventually disappearing into the black screen.
Link to the artworks
Installation photography by Phoebe d'Heurle