SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA.-From the artist who destroyed the Johann Konig Gallery with a steel sphere hurtling uncontrollably around the exhibition space, to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, is the latest International contemporary art exhibition Neonwall by Jeppe Hein.
Hein's installation is a wall of neon lights that switch off as the viewer approaches. One side of the wall is interactive. If you walk along the wall, the neon modules turn off - one after the other. As they turn on and off the light modules change from a live, healthy, humming luminescence to a dull, cloudy object but the moment the visitor leaves, all of the neon lights are restored again.
Hein's works contest the accepted conventions of viewing with their energy and playfully antagonistic dialogue between the artwork and the gallery audience. Other works, such as Bear the Consequences (2003), of a gas flame that expands as the gallery visitor gets closer, initially evoke fear and embarrassment but ultimately they fulfil Heins aim to directly engage the spectator with his work.
Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he attended the Royal Academy of Arts, Hein has exhibited extensively in Europe. In 2003 Hein exhibited his outdoor installation, Water Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. In the same year, Raimar Stange produced a monograph of his work, called Jeppe Hein: Take a walk in the Forest at Sunlight. This year Hein has a solo exhibition at Miami Beachs Moore Space and his work has been shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art in both Los Angeles and Chicago. Hein is represented by the Johann Konig Gallery, Berlin, where his solo exhibition, Minimal Overload, was on show in May this year. Hein is also represented internationally by Union Gallery, London.
This exhibition is the fourth in a series of projects supported by Clayton Utz. The first project resulted in the commissioning and purchase for the permanent contemporary collection of a major work by Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto. The second project facilitated an exhibition and acquisition of a video installation by Susan Norrie, titled Undertow; and the third enabled Australian artist James Angus to create a work entitled Truck Corridor: a life size MACK truck installed in the Level 2 Contemporary Project Space.