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First London exhibition of the late Romanian-born American artist Serge Spitzer at Faggionato Fine Art
Serge Spitzer, Lawlines. Photo: Courtesy Faggionato Fine Art.

LONDON.- Faggionato Fine Art presents the first London exhibition of the late Romanian-born American artist Serge Spitzer. Long regarded as one of the most significant artists of his generation the last exhibition in the UK was a survey, Serge Spitzer / Index 1972-1992, at the Henry Moore institute in Leeds in 1994.

A Forty Year Perspective is a selection of works in Spitzer’s career that reflected his development as an important pioneer of post-Minimalist and site-specific art, and convey his enduring concerns with the complexity of meaning, the implications of ambiguity and stereotype for social, historical and metaphysical understanding.

In 1991 Harald Szeemann described Spitzer as “a master at installing this new sculptural quality that makes us so uneasy, that so shocks our perceptual habits ...Everything has his own particular signature of commingling – sophistication in the guise of banality, circumspection and innovation brought back into the everyday language of elements screwed together.”

Objects and materials saturated with prosaic content – legal paper, industrial metal, recycled glass, wood, rubber – are re-contextualised in the space they inhabit, displacing and subverting their meaning. Formally precise, witty and direct, works such as Deadload/Deadlock, 1985, foreground the processes and problematic economies of industrial production in their use of milled aluminium and rubber, while simultaneously engaging with their architectural context – About Sculpture, 1984-87, is held by shock absorbers against the walls, while Corridor (Berlin), 1984, transects the gallery space and impedes the flow of viewers through the exhibition. Conversely, works using fused thread on legal paper, all Untitled (Law Blanks), 1994, challenge the conventions of perceptual representation by compelling us to read both the recto and verso at the same time, as the thread lines disappear through and re-emerge visible through the thin printed paper.

Serge Spitzer was born in Bucharest in 1951. His works have been exhibited in many museums and art institutions, among them Folkwang Museum Essen, 1979; Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1983; Kunstmuseum, Bern, 1984 and 2006; Magasin, Grenoble, 1987; Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, 1992; Kunsthalle and Kunstverein, Düsseldorf, 1993; IVAM Centro Julio Gonzales and Centro del Carme, Valencia, 1994; Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster, 1995; Kunsthalle, Bern, 2003; (MMK) Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, 2006; Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut, 2008; Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2010. He died on 9 September 2012.

Spitzer participated in a number of international art exhibitions and biennials including Documenta 8, Kassel, 1987; Istanbul Biennial, 1994; Biennale de Lyon, 1997; Kwangju Biennial, 1997; Venice Biennale, 1999, Sydney Biennial, 2010.

His work is represented in public and private collections, among them, Brooklyn Museum, New York; Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge MA; Museum Folkwang, Essen; Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague; Kunstmuseum, Bern; IVAM Instituto Valenciano d’Arte Moderno, Valencia; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Musée d’Art Contemporain, Lyon; Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK), Frankfurt am Main; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; Staatliche Museen Neue Galerie, Kassel; Staatens Museum for Kunst, Kopenhagen; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Menil Collection, Houston TX; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven CT.

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