Lehmann Maupin Gallery is pleased to present a reexamination of Stefano Arienti’s installation Library, commissioned in 2007 by the International Artist-in-Residence program at Artpace San Antonio, which will mark the artist’s third exhibition in New York. On view for the first time in New York, at Lehmann Maupin’s 201 Chrystie Street location, Library will transform the gallery into an interactive landscape composed of nearly 300 bushels of wheat and 99 altered books. On the eve of Artpace’s 15th anniversary, Lehmann Maupin will remount one of the foundation’s most provocative exhibitions and to recognize Artpace’s contributions in support of contemporary artists and contemporary cultural discourse.
In the tradition of Arte Povera, Arienti utilizes familiar objects and printed materials that are altered to affect our perceptions of the everyday. In Library, the modified tomes range in subject from biography and science to arts and philosophy, and each has been selectively traced, pierced, or illustrated by the artist. Arienti encourages the viewer to engage the work by wading through the mounds of unprocessed grain to unearth the books buried within. Library will continue to evolve as the mounds of wheat shift over time and the books are redistributed. Here, the tactile experience of the wheat juxtaposed with the cerebral connection to books explores the poetic connections between the organic and the synthetic, instinct and knowledge.
Arienti debuted Library at Artpace San Antonio, Texas, in July 2007. Founded by the late philanthropist and artist Linda Pace in 1995, Artpace San Antonio has served as an advocate for contemporary art through its International Artist-in-Residence programs, exhibitions, and educational programs. Each year Artpace invites 3 guest curators to select 3 artists to conceive and create art projects during a two-month residency. Previous residents include Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Annette Messager, Teresita Fernandez, Isaac Julien, Maurizio Cattelan, and Do-Ho Suh, among others. Arienti was chosen to participate by James Rondeau of The Art Institute of Chicago. More information about Artpace San Antonio please visit www.artpace.org or contact them at 210 212 4900 / [email protected]
Stefano Arienti lives and works in Milan. Later this year, his work will be included in Italics: Italian Art Between Tradition and Revolution, 1968 – 2008, a monumental exhibition curated by Francesco Bonami debuting at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice and then traveling to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Arienti has had solo exhibitions at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice (2008), and Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum, Boston (2007). He was also the subject of a major retrospective at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (2005) in Turin and the Maxxi Museum in Rome (2004). Select group exhibitions include Spazio GAM, MAMbO, Bologna (2008), Milano Europa 2000 Triennial (2000), the 3rd International Istanbul Biennial, curated by Vasif Kortun, and at the Hara Museum in Tokyo. Major public and private collections worldwide contain his work, including the FRAC in France.