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Special Report

Liam Gillick Creates Sculpture Mural at MoMA


Liam Gillick
Applied Discussion Platform. 2003. Detail
Courtesy Deka Bank, Frankfurt am Main, and Schipper und Krom
powder-coated and anodized aluminum, dimensions variable.


Liam Gillick
Signage for an indoor market near Alicante, Spain. 2002
MorotoCourtesy Javier Lopez, Madrid.
For Soto y


Liam Gillick
I can¹t answer that question it’s a question of conscience.
Public Commission for Alcobendas District, Madrid, Spain.
Painted laser-cut aluminum. 400 cm x 400 cm x 400 cm


Liam Gillick
Installation view of Consciens Lobby. 2001
Commission for Telenor Corporation, Oslo, Norway
Powder coated aluminum. 12’ x 12’ x 12’

 

NEW YORK.- For Projects 79: Liam Gillick, Literally, the artist has created a site-specific installation composed of a 127-foot-long mural near the museum entrance and an eight-foot cube suspended from the ceiling of the Museum’s lobby.  Literally is organized by Claudia Schmuckli, former Assistant Curator, Department of the Chief Curator at Large, The Museum of Modern Art, and will be on view at MoMA QNS through December 1, 2003.  

Literally is the latest adaptation of ideas Gillick developed in his recent publication Literally No Place (2002).  The installation makes open reference to behaviorist B. F. Skinner’s Walden Two (1948), a fictionalized outline of a utopian commune in postwar America.  Gillick adopts the sentence, "My step was light and I could feel the ball of each foot pushing the earth down from me as I walked," from Skinner as the encapsulation of a moment of revelation about communal life.  At MoMA QNS, laser-cut aluminum letters forming these words hover above the viewer.  

The cube is adjacent to the mural, a diagrammatic rendering of a landscape, whose earthen tones echo those of the letters in the text cube and allude to the commune’s desert setting.  The artist intends the work to function as a moment of pause when visitors to the Museum can reflect on their own surroundings. 

Ms. Schmuckli states, "The primary aesthetic function of Gillick’s installations is their playful appropriation and structural redefinition of a given space.  But they are also conduits of meaning, props in the staging of abstract ideas.  In Gillick’s work, text and objects are created in a parallel and open-ended thought process that revolves around the critical investigation of modern societies and that draws liberally from history as well as the utopias envisioned by writers, filmmakers, philosophers, and scientists." 

The exhibition is supported by The Junior Associates and The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, with additional generous funding from Junior Associate members. 

About the Artist Liam Gillick was born in Aylesbury, Great Britain, and currently lives and works in London and New York.  He was a 2002 Turner Prize finalist. Solo exhibitions include Communes, bar and greenrooms, The Powerplant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto (2003); Exterior Days, Casey Kaplan, New York (2003); and The Wood Way, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (2002). 

Gillick’s work was exhibited at the 2003 Venice Biennale; the group exhibition What If, Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2000); and Documenta X (1997).  Books include Literally No Place (London: Book Works, 2002); Five or Six (New York: Lukas & Sternberg, 1999); Discussion Island/Big Conference Center (Ludwigsburg: Kunstverein Ludwigsburg, and Derry: Orchard Gallery, 1997); and Erasmus Is Late (London: Book Works, 1995).  Mr. Gillick holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honors from Goldsmiths College, University of London.  He has taught at Columbia University, New York, since 1997. 

About the Curator - Claudia Schmuckli is an independent curator and former Assistant Curator, Department of the Chief Curator at Large, The Museum of Modern Art, from 2002 to 2003.  She joined MoMA in 1999 as Curatorial Assistant to the Chief Curator at Large and is a recipient of the Lee Tannenbaum Award.  Prior to joining MoMA, Ms. Schmuckli was Curatorial Assistant, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, from 1997 to 1999.  She holds an M.A. in Art History from Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universität, Munich.  For MoMA, Ms. Schmuckli was the curatorial assistant for Matisse Picasso (2003) and was a co-curator of Projects 73: Olafur Eliasson-Seeing yourself sensing (2001) and Garden Hall installations by Teresita Fernandez and Ernesto Neto, part of Open Ends, the third cycle of MoMA 2000 (2000).  She was also a member of the Curatorial Selection Committee of Greater New York (P.S.1, 2000) and was a curatorial assistant for ModernStarts, the first cycle of MoMA 2000 (1999).


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