Skarstedt Opens at Chelsea Gallery Today
Skarstedt announces the opening today, March 7, 2014, of a new space in New York in the heart of Chelsea, in addition to its two existing locations on New York's Upper East Side and in London. The new gallery at 550 West 21st Street comprises over 6,000 square feet, occupying an entire freestanding building, and will be designed by Selldorf Architects, a renowned New York-based firm with particular expertise in cultural and art-related projects. The additional gallery space enables Skarstedt to expand on its core program of museum-quality, historically researched exhibitions from modern and contemporary masters.
The inaugural exhibition at the Chelsea gallery will present the pairing of Oxidation Paintings by Andy Warhol and Fire Paintings by Yves Klein, two major bodies of work by canonical 20th Century artists and fundamental to the history of abstraction, never before exhibited together. The exhibition will be on view from March 7 through April 12, 2014.
In the spring of 1961, access to a destructive testing laboratory in France, led Klein to one of his most innovative and, quite literally, explosive, bodies of work, the Fire Paintings. Klein used a blowtorch to "burn" abstracted forms onto receiving paper. Klein's technique bears striking similarity to the photographic technique of a heliograph, but Klein used flame, rather than light, to create shapes and forms. Intensely haunting and ethereal, the Fire Paintings exemplify what Klein referred to as "dangerous paintings," that which jeopardized him in the process of his art making.
A decade later, Warhol did his own creative experiments with scientific process, but instead chose urine and metallic paints as the catalysts. For the Oxidations (1977-78), Warhol created brilliant, lavishly textured surfaces of gold and green, fashioning the "physical presence" he desired while satirizing the physical act of painting privileged by his forefathers, the Abstract Expressionists. This series marks an important point of departure for Warhol, being his first foray into abstraction, and disclosing his intrigue with the Abstract Expressionist painters who had dominated the New York art scene in the 1950s, during his early career.
"We have an on-going commitment to mounting key historical exhibitions," says Per Skarstedt, "and I'm delighted to open this new gallery space in Chelsea with an exhibition of incredible works by these quintessential modern masters." Skarstedt continues, "This approach suits the collaborative way we have always worked with artists and their estates."
About Skarstedt: Skarstedt (20 E. 79th Street, New York, NY) was founded in 1994 by Per Skarstedt to mount historical exhibitions by Contemporary European and American artists that had become the core of his specialty in Sweden and New York in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The New York gallery's program focuses on artists of the late 20th century whose work explores concepts such as representation, authorship, identity, and sexual politics across a wide-range of media. Skarstedt's unique relationships with artists allows it to present exhibitions both on the primary and secondary markets, creating a dialogue between the generations.
Skarstedt opened its London space at 23 Old Bond Street in 2012 with the inaugural exhibition Andy Warhol: The American Indian. Skarstedt London presents exhibitions and publications devoted to the gallery's established area of expertise while also seeking to evolve and expand its focus. Skarstedt is committed to sharing both its aesthetic perspective and philosophical approach through high-quality exhibitions and collaborations with top international Museums and private collections.
The gallery works with the following artists and artists' estates: Francis Bacon, John Baldessari, Georg Baselitz, George Condo, Carroll Dunham, Eric Fischl, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Lucio Fontana, Günther Förg, Keith Haring, Jenny Holzer, Mike Kelley, Martin Kippenberger, Yves Klein, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, Robert Mapplethorpe, Juan Muñoz, Cady Noland, Albert Oehlen, Richard Prince, David Salle, Thomas Schütte, Cindy Sherman, Rosemarie Trockel, Andy Warhol, Franz West and Christopher Wool.
Image: Yves Klein. F 121. 1962. Charred cardboard laid down on board. 16 1/8 x 13 inches.