Peter Blum is pleased to announce the exhibition Reflection, with works by John Beech, Walead Beshty, Stephanie Brooks, Helmut Federle, Alex Fleming, Robert Irwin, Jacob Kassay, Rosy Keyser, Yves Klein, Yayoi Kusama, Justen Ladda, John McCracken, Robert Ryman, and Ben Vautier.
The exhibition opens with the Japanese print Shinano Province, The Moon Reflected in the Sarashina Paddy-fields, Mount Kyodai, 1853, by Ichiryusai Hiroshige, to illustrate the theme in Japanese art and poetry, where the moon, often unseen, is rendered only as a reflection in the water or landscape. This concept – of the concealed object or force revealed through mirror image – relates to the work of the artists included in this show.
In his Coated Drawings, John Beech applies silver paint, concealing a photographic image. Likewise, the layers of shimmering gold surface against black of Für die Vögel E, 2000, by Helmut Federle, conveys the artist’s meditative approach to the composition. Yayoi Kusama’s silver painting Nets, 2001, reveals her obsessive play with surface texture and repetition. Robert Ryman is represented with two works that reference the concept of reflection, as image and contemplation.
Several artists in the exhibition engage non-traditional techniques or materials. For example, the paintings of Jacob Kassay are created using a mirror plating process, which result in the reflective surface. Similarly, Yves Klein burns the cardboard in his work Peinture de feu (F65), 1961, producing an image of reflection. Rosy Kesyer pushes the limits of painting using non-traditional materials such as fringe, sawdust, and obsidian, while Justen Ladda’s Mirror works enhance reflection with shiny resin on cedar wood. Other artists, such as Stephanie Brooks, Alex Fleming and Ben Vautier combine reflective surfaces with text, rendering the viewer as the reflected object of their playful although elusive sentences. Walead Beshty’s FedEx boxes exposes the duality of cause and effect, while his photograms create a mirrored kaleidoscopic abstractions.
The sculpture Column by Robert Irwin at once reflects and is translucent, displaying the world around it. Lastly, John McCracken’s glossy Plane (Red Plank), 1988-93, interacts with the relationship of the object itself and its surroundings.