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Monographs and Catalogues: Featured Artists, Photographers, and Curators

Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons was born in York, Pennsylvania, in 1955. The former Wall Street commodities broker rose to prominence in the mid-80s and has been the subject of numerous solo museum exhibitions, such as those seen at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Bilbao Guggenheim, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. His 2009 solo exhibition at the Palace of Versailles and Skin Fruit, the exhibition he curated from the collection of Dakis Joannou for New York's New Museum, have both generated considerable recent attention in the art world and beyond. Koons lives in New York City.
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Luc Tuymans

Born in Mortsel, Belgium, in 1958, Luc Tuymans first exhibited his paintings in 1985, at Palais des Thermes in Ostend. His first U.S. exhibition came ten years later, at The Renaissance Society in Chicago. From 2009 through 2011, his major retrospective will travel from the Wexner Center in Columbus, Ohio to SFMOMA, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and the Bozar Center for Fine Arts in Brussels.
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Josephine Meckseper

Born in Germany in 1964, artist and Fat Magazine publisher Josephine Meckseper attended Berlin University of the Arts and the California Institute of the Arts. She is currently based in New York, where she is represented by Elizabeth Dee Gallery. In 2007 a major retrospective on her work was shown at the Museum of Arts in Stuttgart. Meckseper's work was featured in the 2010 Whitney Biennial.
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Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1977, and received his MFA from the Yale University, School of Art in New Haven, CT in 2001. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, Walker Art Center, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. The artist currently lives and works in New York City, and exhibits with Deitch Projects in New York, Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago, and Roberts & Tilton in Los Angeles.
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Yoko Ono

"Our emotional memory creates reality. And we are totally insecure now, because of the memory of our cruelty and atrocity we exercised on others. The sign is there already. The proof is what we create. We are creating smaller and smaller communication machinery--Blackberry for instance. It's hard for your fingers to work on it. A machinery of communication is one of the most important emotional properties, yet we are doing that. That's because we think we want to shrink--protect ourselves physically. Let's be tiny. Almost invisible. Wouldn't that be nice?!
They say, in the end it will only be cockroaches that survive. It's not that cockroaches will survive, it's us who become cockroaches and survive. That's what I think. We will be cockroaches for our emotional survival. That's what I think."

Excerpted from a conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist in The Conversation Series.
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Ferdinand Hodler

Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler (1853-1918) is one of Europe’s most influential artistic personalities, whose work bridged the styles of Realism, Symbolism, and the modern period. Despite initial praise, his extensive oeuvre has not always been an object of admiration; its diversity and originality, however, deserve international re-evaluation. Hodler’s Symbolist vision of a large, harmonious union of man and nature is expressed both in unique and monumental figurative compositions, and in stylized landscapes of sheer mountain peaks and glinting lakes.
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Karin Kneffel

"We can’t see things what they are. What we see is always our idea of things. I had this image of chocolate pudding in my mind and then tried to see it with different eyes and keep my own subjective feelings out of the picture as I was painting, like a Martian who has never seen molded chocolate pudding. Because I was able to set aside everyday perceptions, the whole thing appeared to me in a new, unaccustomed light- accompanied by the awakening of memories in the present."

Karin Kneffel in conversation with Daniel J. Schreiber, excerpted from Karin Kneffel 1990-2010.
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Rodney Graham

Rodney Graham’s books, sculptures, photographs, films, objects, paintings and music; his artistic involvements with Sigmund Freud, Edgar Allen Poe, Herman Melville, Donald Judd, Richard Wagner, the Brothers Grimm and Pablo Picasso; his practice of borrowing from, referencing, turning upside down and adapting other works and authors; his constant oscillating between quotation and autobiography, between the discourse of the professional and the pose of the amateur, offer, when taken together, such a broad field for critical, interpretive and theoretical approaches that looking back on 30 years of his work, one sometimes has the impression the artist is merely a postmodern fiction, the protagonist of an art novel related to the late twentieth century’s ambitious zeitgeist by an endless series of references and allusions, a figure who, as it were, goes about in disguise behind his various possible interpretations. This is not to say, however, that the character R.G. in any way disappears; on the contrary, despite all his different disguises he remains palpably present in the work, so much so that one cannot get rid of the suspicion that this is a person trying to construct a kind of self-portrait, or rather, trying to sound out allusively and theatrically all the possibilities that remain open to art in his time.

--Julian Heynen, excerpted from the essay, “A Kind of Author,” published in Through the Forest.
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Hannah Höch

"The mordant Dada photomontages of Hannah Höch...made significant contributions to revising the representations of gender. Placing a profeminist spin on the concept of the neue Frau or femme nouvelle-- the emancipated New Woman of Weimar Germany and Third Republic France, crossing class, ethnic, and gender boundaries-- Höch's...practices deliberately overturned codified mannerisms to experiment with what Artur Rimbaud called Je est un autre (I is another)...[Hannah] Höch's politics, intertwined with race and ethnography, are well represented in her provocative photomontages from the 1920s and 1930s. With cutout pictures of Weimar women combined with those of tribal sculptures, Höch developed a critical language that challenged racist and colonialist ideas as well as European gender definitions."

Excerpted from Roxana Marcoci's essay From Face to Mask: Collage, Montage, and Assemblage in Contemporary Portraiture in Modern Women, published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
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Kurt Schwitters

Hero of Dada, Constructivist virtuoso, patron saint of collage, sound poetry and installation art, Schwitters made his greatest impact in the postwar era--while he himself was living in relative seclusion in the north of England--influencing American Pop art (especially Robert Rauschenberg's Combines), Fluxus and assemblage art throughout Europe and America; artists as different as Damien Hirst and Ed Ruscha cite him as an influence.
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Wangechi Mutu

"There are almost always figures in my work, and they all gravitate towards being quite 'female-ish.' Again, often they have a slightly deformed or skewed quality, like I believe every single one of us does. In my mind, there's always a disjuncture between who they are and what we see them as, as well as what they think they appear to be. I believe our bodies are only a single part of the many dimensions of our identity and, in some ways, the body becomes a trap in the understanding of the whole. We can invent, transform, re-imagine ourselves through manipulating our outer appearance and, thus, 'conquer' adversity through our physicality; or we can become subjugated…often there may not be a choice."

Wangechi Mutu, excerpted from Wangechi Mutu: This You Call Civilization?.
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James Ensor

"A paintbrush is like a brain. But the knife is the dumb instrument of the laborer, it is unconscious, irresponsible, mechanical. It directs the hand, it collaborates with chance, even handled by a virtuoso, it keeps its inborn flaw, which is to turn everything it touches into matter. The knife invented the nearly-good-enough painting. The masons of art have found it convenient to perform their work with a trowel: it has simplified things, and they have been able to go without painting or drawing. It has been an enormous relief for lazy artists, who are numerous."

James Ensor, quoted by Michel Draguet in James Ensor.
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Sigmar Polke

"Since the 1960s Polke has devoted himself, with a lucid and ironic turn of mind, to the study of our postwar consumer society. With hand-painted halftone dots, he transformed newspaper illustrations into symbols of a media-filtered reality, and throughout his career, this device has remained the key to a wide-ranging visual grammar nurtured by an all-embracing lust for knowledge."

Jacqueline Burckhardt and Bice Curiger, excerpted from the chapter, "Illuminiations," in Sigmar Polke: Windows for the Zürich Grossmünster.
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Bridget Riley

Bridget Riley, born in 1931 in London, is the foremother of 1960s movement Op Art. Educated at Goldsmiths College of Art and at the Royal College of Art in London, she has exhibited widely since her first solo exhibition in 1962. Among numerous group exhibitions, Riley participated in the 1968 Venice Biennial--where she won the international prize--and the 1986 Venice Biennial, as well as Documenta 4 in 1968 and Documenta 6 in 1977. Retrospectives of her work toured Europe and the world during the 70s, and she has exhibited work at institutions including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and Tate Britain, London.
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Bruce Nauman

"Although Nauman thinks of himself as a political artist, he avoids any kind of programmatic categorization he consciously renounces all forms of communicative commitment; all the same, what is not--or cannot be--said in his work nevertheless contains a statement as to the structure of what is actually supposed to be being said. Formulated in various media but not described as such, this statement is not in the least way random, but merely liberated from any kind of prejudice. In a certain regard it is virginity that Nauman is after, a mode of being that is altogether untouched by 'pre-scription,' which quite simply means finding the body concealed beneath layered and historical overwritings, as well as he language of that body."

Eugen Blume, excerpted from Bruce Nauman: Live or Die--or: The Measuring of Being in Bruce Nauman: Live or Die.
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Ernesto Neto

"The ideas that drive Neto's works are never singular, but a dense web of interests and observations drawn directly from experiences of contemporary life itself. At any time, one can always find equal measures of opposing concepts: order and entropy, nature and nurture, restraint and excess, mechanical and organic..."

Cliff Lauson, excerpted from Intimate Immensity in "Ernesto Neto.
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Donald Baechler

"When Donald Baechler made his debut in the world of art, graffiti art stood for something new: the exaltation of a young language influencing people's lifestyle and social behavior. While Baechler was much appreciated by young members of the public, he never brought his art to the street, but preferred to keep it in museum halls and gallery spaces more suited to him." --Luca Beatrice, excerpted from Donald Baechler: XL + XS.
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Nalini Malani

"Malani's work is not about trauma and its effects per se. Rather it seeks a visual language capable of encompassing eruptions of the irrational and the repressed, and the ways they made the world and processes of history…"

--Whitney Chadwick, excerpted from "Splitting the Other.
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Lee Lozano

"Lee Lozano was an important, inventive and eccentric artist, and as one reviewer put it, a self-consciously 'bad-ass girl.' Her production truly deserved the title 'experimental'--daring, gutsy, precarious. Simultaneously driven by the art world and y a need to reject it, she produced a compelling range of work between 1962 and 1972. She made it her mission to be more radical than anyone else, and the dead end to which this led was self-inflicted. Although her motives elude and fascinate her admirers, perhaps above all she was 'avoid[ing] boredom,' as she once noted. Lozano's mind was always racing. Her attraction to esoteric mathematics and her attempts to translate its discipline into art reflected a need for order in a life that denied all other order--a life committed to juggling contradictions. Had she had succeeded in resolving them, she would've been bored."

Lucy R. Lippard, excerpted from Cerebellion and Cosmic Storms in Lee Lozano.
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Uta Barth

Often blurred or with only one element rendered sharply, clinging to the margin of the composition, Uta Barth's deceptively simple photographs of ordinary, ambiguous places are both elegant and challenging. Walls, windows, patches of light on a rug, the glow of an out-of-focus glance toward the horizon: all these provoke phenomenological reflections on perception and subjectivity, often suspending a viewer in the midst of the customary attempt to make sense of what is being seen, to reduce it to an accessible package of associations and meaning.
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Rodney Graham

Rodney Graham’s books, sculptures, photographs, films, objects, paintings and music; his artistic involvements with Sigmund Freud, Edgar Allen Poe, Herman Melville, Donald Judd, Richard Wagner, the Brothers Grimm and Pablo Picasso; his practice of borrowing from, referencing, turning upside down and adapting other works and authors; his constant oscillating between quotation and autobiography, between the discourse of the professional and the pose of the amateur, offer, when taken together, such a broad field for critical, interpretive and theoretical approaches that looking back on 30 years of his work, one sometimes has the impression the artist is merely a postmodern fiction, the protagonist of an art novel related to the late twentieth century’s ambitious zeitgeist by an endless series of references and allusions, a figure who, as it were, goes about in disguise behind his various possible interpretations. This is not to say, however, that the character R.G. in any way disappears; on the contrary, despite all his different disguises he remains palpably present in the work, so much so that one cannot get rid of the suspicion that this is a person trying to construct a kind of self-portrait, or rather, trying to sound out allusively and theatrically all the possibilities that remain open to art in his time.

--Julian Heynen, excerpted from the essay, “A Kind of Author,” published in Through the Forest.
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Marilyn Minter

I know people who are my age--or sometimes younger, even a lot younger--who have decided that they are not going to pay attention to what’s going on around them anymore. Their development as an artist stops. In a way they become a bit like Donald Judd. Almost everything he wrote toward the end of his life was bitter; according to him, the only good art was made by his generation and everything after that sucks. I just want someone to shoot me if I say I’m not going to pay attention anymore.

--Marilyn Minter, excerpted from "Twenty Questions," a project by Matthew Higgs, in Marilyn Minter.
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Otto Dix

"I am a realist. I must see everything. I must experience all of life's abysses for myself."
Otto Dix spoke these words toward the end of his life, six years before his death in 1969. This credo is testimony to the artist's uncompromising commitment to even the harshest realism and stood as a guiding principle throughout his life. Dix's artistic development was intrinsically tied to the historical events and political debacles surrounding the two World Wars in Germany. As a soldier in the killing fields of World War I, Dix witnessed the brutality of industrialized warfare, the killing, the rape and the destruction. Registering all he witnessed and experienced in arresting artworks alone had meaning to him: to depict reality just as it is perceived, no matter how terrible or hideous. To reach this goal, he employed his exceptional proficiency in diverse artistic techniques and painting styles to express what existed in the world in the most compelling way possible. Dix's lifelong and unrelenting quest for uncompromising realism remains impressive and relevant to this day. His art has been shown in numerous exhibitions around the globe and continually earns ever greater recognition. Still, the themes of Dix's paintings, their portrayal and the artist's biography have also caused controversy. Dix viewed his artistic production outside of any social or religious moral framework; one could say he was politically incorrect avant la letter. His radical stance resulted in several trials during his lifetime, and to repeated posthumous accusations of glorifying violence and misogyny. Yet because Dix refrained from formulating a theoretical explanation of his art, it is rather difficult to ascertain the motivation or intention behind his more explicit works. It is therefore essential to view the "original" paintings, works on paper and prints and follow his often expressed principle, the closest he came to formulating an artist's statement: "Trust your eyes."

Philipp Gutbrod, excerpted from the preface to Otto Dix: The Art of Life.
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Mark Bradford

Erase. Erase and reclaim. Erase memory, reclaim history. Erase the past, recall the present.
These are the words that come to mind while thinking of Mark Bradford's work: a work built--literally, physically built--through a methodical process of erasure. Bradford has invented for himself a method of creative destruction.

Philippe Vergne, excerpted from Mark Bradford: Merchant Posters.
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Joep van Lieshout

When Joep van Lieshout (b. 1963) founded the art and architecture studio that bears his name, he set in motion what has been described as "a new Dutch architectural style… dirty, delicious and direct."
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John Baldessari

John Baldessari was born in National City, California in 1931, and lives and works in Santa Monica, California. His work has been exhibited in museums such as The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, and in art galleries worldwide. He has also recently curated exhibitions at The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, in Washington D.C., The Museum of Modern Art, New York and The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. He is represented by Marian Goodman Gallery in New York.
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Trisha Brown

Trisha Brown, the most widely acclaimed choreographer to emerge from the postmodern era, first came to public notice when she began showing her work with the Judson Dance Theater in the 1960s. Along with like-minded artists including Yvonne Rainer, Steve Paxton, and Simone Forte, she pushed the limits of what could be considered appropriate movement for choreography thereby changing modern dance forever. This “hot-bed of dance revolution,” was imbued with a maverick spirit and blessed with total disrespect for assumption, qualities that Ms. Brown still exhibits even as she brings her work to the great opera houses of the world today.
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