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Final display of works from the Collection Sandretto Re Rebaudengo opens at the Whitechapel Gallery
Paola Pivi, Have you seen me before?, 2008. Polyuretheane foam, feathers, plastic, wood, steel, 108 x 200 x 100 cm. Courtesy Collezione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo.

LONDON.- The Whitechapel Gallery presents Have you seen me before?, the fourth and final display of rarely seen works from the Collection Sandretto Re Rebaudengo. Bringing together major international artists including Katharina Fritsch, Fischli & Weiss, Anish Kapoor, Philippe Parreno and Paola Pivi, the display includes photography, sculpture and film which play on the idea of the absurd.

Have you seen me before? (2008) by Paola Pivi, a sculpture of a large polar bear covered in yellow chicken feathers, is at the centre of the display. Pivi’s work often combines familiar objects and images with unusual and surprising contexts. Prompting a childlike sense of wonder, the work plays on our expectations, blurring the boundary between reality and fiction.

An uncanny ambiguity is also present in Katharina Fritsch’s sculpture Table with Cheese (1981). With Fritsch’s work populated by painstakingly crafted everyday objects, the over-sized cheese is unsettlingly realistic while its simple form is that of a minimalist sculpture. Philippe Parreno’s Jean-Luc Godard (1993) comprises a decorated Christmas tree surrounded by outdoor chairs where visitors can sit and listen to a soundtrack of Parreno posing as filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard. Listening to musings on popular culture, television and cinema, the work warns us against our tendency ‘to believe what we think we see’.

The negotiation between perception and imagination is present in Ceal Floyer’s projected image of a nail on a wall, Projection (1997), and Angela Bulloch’s Yellow Corner (1993), which displaces lights from a pedestrian crossing in the Gallery space. Other works use deceptive visual effects such as Tauba Auerbach’s Crumple VII (2009), a mesmerising flat surface of undulating black dots that when seen from afar suggests the three dimensional shape of crumpled paper.

Further highlights from the display include Anish Kapoor’s wall sculpture1000 names (1983) and Fischli & Weiss’s black and white photograph Untitled (Equilibre) (1984) featuring precariously balanced manufactured tools. This exhibition also includes work by Micol Assael, Roberto Cuoghi, Thomas Demand, Giuseppe Gabellone, Paul Pfeiffer and Rudolf Stingel.

The presentation of the collection of Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo is part of the Whitechapel Gallery’s ongoing programme of opening up collections that are rarely seen by the public in the UK. The Whitechapel Gallery Collections programme is supported by specialist art insurer Hiscox.

Since the 1990s Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo has collected contemporary art. One of the most important private collections in Europe, it includes work from leading international artists such as Doug Aitken, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Damien Hirst, Mike Kelley, Sarah Lucas and Paul McCarthy.

The series of four displays, which began in September 2012, are shown in the dedicated Collections Gallery.

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