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Karl Fritsch + Richard Wathen

Salon 94 Freemans
1 Freeman Alley, 646-672-9212
East Village / Lower East Side
March 2 - April 10, 2010
Reception: Tuesday, February 2, 6 - 9 PM
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Salon 94 Freemans is pleased to present a new exhibition of jewelry by Karl Fritsch and paintings by Richard Wathen.

Challenging the conventions of both sculpture and jewelry making, Munich-based artist Karl Fritsch creates rings that read as miniature sculptures. Often intricately constructed yet coarsely finished, Fritsch’s rings are marked by rough, oxidized finishes and detectable fingerprints, conveying the urgency of the rings’ materialization. He playfully mixes high and low materials, giving equal billing to diamonds, rubies, plastic pearls and glass gemstones. By making all his sculptures wearable in the form of rings, Fritsch liberates his media from static presentation and creates an unprecedented intimacy to the works, simultaneously subverting the notion that jewelry is mere décor and that sculpture must be admired at a distance.

Among Fritsh’s works on display are a grouping of 7 rings inspired by the Seven Deadly Sins (Die 7 Todsünden)— pride (superbia), envy (invidia), avaice (avaritia), wrath (ira), sloth (acedia), gluttony (gula), and extravagance (luxuria). Decadently Baroque yet ominous in appearance, Fritsch interprets each sin with visual and material metaphors, using shards of glass, hand-formed oxidized gold & silver, recycled estate jewelry, along with diamonds and pearls to create these spectacular allegorical pieces.

The exhibition also features three new paintings by British artist, Richard Wathen, each featuring an enigmatic female figure of undeterminable age against a muted, tonal background. Transposing the cubist idea of using multiple perspectives of a singe object or person to describe the whole subject or experience, Wathen’s paintings convey multiple emotional and psychological states, revealing a subject whose lack of specificity tends toward the allegorical rather than the representational.

Karl Fritsch (b. 1963, Sonthofen, Germany) lives and works in Munich and Auckland, New Zealand. Recent exhibitions include Metrosideros Robusta, Stedelijk Museum S`Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands; Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design, Tallinn, Estonia, and in 2008 Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne and Neues Museum Nurenberg in cooperation with the International Design Museum, Munich.

Richard Wathen (b. 1971, London, UK) lives and works in Norfolk. Since 2003 he has had solo exhibitions at Max Wigram Gallery, L&M Arts (NYC) and Salon 94 (NYC). He has taken part in group exhibitions in the UK and internationally including Old School at Hauser & Wirth Colnaghi (London) / Zwirner & Wirth (NYC), The Monty Hall Problem at Blum & Poe (Los Angeles), Silent Stories at Galerie Martin Janda (Vienna) and Britannia Works (curated by Katerina Gregos) at Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Centre & Xippas Gallery (Athens).
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