Director Anthony Allen highlights the current and future plans of Paula Cooper Gallery
PAULA COOPER’S CURRENT EXHIBITION, A RETROSPECTIVE OF THE WORK OF CARL ANDRE, HALLMARKS THE GALLERY’S LONG TERM AND ON-GOING COMMITMENT TO ITS ARTISTS. PRESENTING A SELECTION OF MAJOR SCULPTURES PRODUCED OVER A THIRTY YEAR PERIOD, ON VIEW AT 534 WEST 21st STREET THROUGH JULY 25TH, THE EXHIBIT INCLUDES WORKS IN THE DIVERSITY OF MATERIALS FOR WHICH ANDRE IS KNOWN: STEEL, CEDAR AND SANDSTONE. http://www.paulacoopergallery.com
THE EXHIBIT DEMONSTRATES ANDRE’S COMMITMENT TO PURE MATTER IN GEOMETRIC ARRANGEMENTS AND DOCUMENTS HIS DEPARTURE IN THE 1960s FROM THE TRADITIONAL SCULPTURAL PRINCIPLES OF VERTICALITY AND MONUMENTALITY TO WORKS OF STRICT SIMPLICITY USING ELEMENTS FROM THE INDUSTRIAL WORLD. THIS SHOW COMPLEMENTS THE CARL ANDRE RETROSPECTIVE CURRENTLY AT THE PRESTIGIOUS DIA:BEACON, A WONDERFUL SUMMER DAY VISIT.
ADDITIONALLY AT PRESENT, MANY OF THE GALLERY ARTISTS ARE ACKNOWLEDGED IN A VARIETY OF INTERNATIONAL AND LOCAL EXHIBITIONS AND EVENTS. CHRISTIAN MARCLAY’S THE CLOCK IS BEING SHOWN AT THE CENTRE POMPIDOU, PARIS; LIZ GLYNN’S RANSOM ROOM, A CONTINUALLY EVOLVING INSTALLATION INSPIRED BY THE VESSELS AND ARTIFACTS OF INCAN TREASURE SEIZED BY SPANISH CONQUISTADOR FRANCISCO PIZARRO IN THE 16th CENTURY, INVIGORATES THE SCULPTURECENTER IN QUEENS; GALLERY ARTIST, CELESTE BOURSIER-MOUGENOT, WHOSE UNIQUE INSTALLATIONS MERGE SOUND AND MOVEMENT, HAS BEEN SELECTED TO REPRESENT FRANCE AT THE 2015 VENICE BIENNALE.
ANTHONY, THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS SUMMER’S EXHIBITIONS BOTH AT THE GALLERY AND AT OTHER VENUES DEMONSTRATES PAULA COOPER’S COMMITMENT NOT ONLY TO ITS ORIGINAL ROSTER OF CONCEPTUAL AND MINIMALIST LUMINARIES BUT ALSO TO ITS CONTINUAL EVOLUTION IN ADDING NEW ARTISTS TO THE GALLERY.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS OF CONSIDERATION?
It is a very organic process that takes place in conversations between all of us. We get excited about an artist’s work and there may be a possibility to do a show, or a project or include the work in a group show, and things evolve from there. In the last year or so, we’ve added Matias Faldbakken, Charles Gaines, and Liz Glynn to our program.
WHAT EXHIBITIONS ARE SCHEDULED THIS SEASON? WHICH ONES ARE YOU PARTICULARLY EXCITED ABOUT AND WHY?
We’ve had an amazing fall and winter season with incredible shows one after the other: a really striking and powerful Sol LeWitt wall drawing in the large gallery, recent works by Charles Gaines (his first show at the gallery), a very personal Sophie Calle installation about absence and mourning, Christian Marclay’s new paintings – his first one-person exhibition after The Clock, Kelley Walker’s first one-person show since 2008 and our first exhibition of Matias Faldbakken’s work. We just exhibited a very powerful group of new works by Sherrie Levine, and are currently showing Carl Andre works to celebrate his current retrospective at Dia: Beacon. Last but not least, part II of Sophie Calle’s exhibition is on view at The Church of the Heavenly Rest on 5th Avenue.
DO YOU COLLECT AND, IF SO, WHAT ARTISTS INTEREST YOU? WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS AS A COLLECTOR? WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE JUST STARTING TO COLLECT?
I wouldn’t call myself a collector, though I do have a tendency to hoard things, especially books! But I’ve purchased art over the years and I understand the desire to collect, to build a collection that expresses a certain idea of who we are – which is very often something one discovers along the way. I tend to respond to abstract painting or works on paper most directly, but my most recent acquisition is a Robert Heinecken polaroid piece that I love. When I speak with collectors who are starting out, I generally encourage them to learn as much as possible about the artists they are interested in but also to trust their instinct – because the collections that have impressed me the most are the ones where you sense a great understanding of the art and artists being collected but also where the personality of the collector comes through in original ways.
DO YOU SEE THE MARKET SHIFTING EVEN MORE STRONGLY TO ASIA AND, IF SO, HOW DOES THE GALLERY CREATE A PRESENCE AND FAMILIARIZE THE COLLECTORS FROM ASIA AND THE MIDDLE EAST WITH THE ARTISTS IT REPRESENTS?
We’ll continue to focus on our gallery program and to develop relationships in these new areas, to assess opportunities for our artists in this expanded world. The growth of the art market in Asia and the Middle East is exciting, but the contexts are very different and it takes time to build fruitful, long-term exchanges. There is a lot to learn on both sides for a real dialogue to take place.
ANTHONY, I APPRECIATE YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO THE LRFA BLOG SO MUCH. YOU HONORED MY REQUEST WITH SUCH A CAREFUL AND THOUGHTFUL INTERVIEW.
IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG, GAVIN SPANIERMAN, A SEASONED EXPERT IN THREE CENTURIES OF AMERICAN ART, WILL SHARE HIS KNOWLEDGE AND ENTHUSIASM FOR THESE SIGNIFICANT AREAS OF COLLECTING AND INFORM US OF THE DETAILS OF THE EXCITING MERGER OF HIS GALLERY WITH VETERAN AMERICAN DEALER, GERALD PETERS. A GREAT RESOURCE FOR ANY AND ALL THINGS RELATED TO OUR GREAT LEGACY OF AMERICAN ART, I ENCOURAGE YOUR COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS TO GAVIN ABOUT THIS MARKET AND ITS HISTORY.