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Thomas Helbig, Remote Pulse

Bortolami Gallery
510 West 25th Street, 212-727-2050
October 7 - November 8, 2008
Reception: Tuesday, October 7, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

“Not without a certain irony [Helbig] points to the fact that we can neither formulate today’s world of images by the pure means of Modernism and its aim of formal innovation, nor do without its forms, because our optical and mental vocabulary is still broadly influenced by them.”

-Felix, Zdenek, “Modernism’s Ruins”, Homo Homini Lupus, Thomas Helbig Cat. 2008,15.

For this installation of paintings and drawings, Thomas Helbig questions the line between history and mythology and the inevitable overlapping of the two. He evokes haunting images of a world destroyed, by offering distorted forms recalling things that once were. As in an imaginary 19th century phantasma,”Remote Pulse” creates an immaterial, poetic world to be discovered.

Born in Rosenheim in 1967, Thomas Helbig currently lives and works in Berlin. In 2008, Oldenburger Kunstverein presented his first institutional exhibition Stern der Musen. He has had solo exhibitions with Galerie Guido W. Baudach, Berlin and Modern Art Inc, London and China Art Objects, Los Angeles. Group shows include “Painting on the Roof” at the Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, and “Rings of Saturn” at Tate Modern, London.

JUSTIN BEAL In the veiwing room

Bortolami is pleased to present a project by Justin Beal which will include four new works in aluminum, glass, plaster and cotton. The project takes as a point of departure Le Corbusier's first impressions of New York originally recounted in When the Cathedrals were White: A Journey to the Country of Timid People, where American modernist architecture is derided as sinisterly superficial and cleanliness is described as a "national virtue."  In White Walls, Designer Dresses: The Fashioning of Modern Architecture, Mark Wigley links Le Corbusier's understanding of repressed American architecture to his thesis of the psychosexual charge of the white wall, "the desire for white is a desire for the control of desire. But, like all obsessively puritanical rejections of sexuality, it is itself sexual."

The four sculptures on the wall and floor have a metonymic relationship to the architecture that surrounds them. The cotton rags, like the fruit and pomegranate bottles in preceding works, act as a surrogate for the occupant of the built environment. The untreated aluminum shows the traces of a progression from an architectural material to sculptural surface. Together, the works evoke the possible intersections of postmodern furniture, minimalist sculpture, glory holes, corporate lobbies and fetish objects. As a whole Beal’s practice uses sculpture, photography, graphic design and installation to address the ides of repression, mistranslation, entropy and association that inevitably emerge within the grey areas between the logical systems of design, politics, advertising, language and aesthetics.

Justin Beal received a BA in Architecture from Yale and an MFA from the University of Southern California. He also attended the Whitney Independent Studio Program and the Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting. He recently had his first solo exhibition at ACME in Los Angeles and his work has been included in recent group exhibitions at Esther Schipper in Berlin, The Modern Institute in Glasgow, The Zabludowicz Collection in London, as well as Artists Space, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Casey Kaplan Gallery and Sculpture Center in New York. His work will be included in the 2008 California Biennial. Beal lives and works in Los Angeles.
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