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Pace Gallery announces representation of Trevor Paglen and solo exhibition at Pace in London this fall
Installation view, Trevor Paglen: From ‘Apple’ to ‘Anomaly’ (Pictures and Labels) - Selections from the ImageNet dataset for object recognition, Barbican Centre - The Curve, London (September 2019 - February 2020) © Trevor Paglen, Courtesy of the Artist and Barbican Centre - The Curve, London. Photo by Max Colso.

NEW YORK, NY.- Marc Glimcher, CEO of Pace, today announced that New York and Berlin-based American artist Trevor Paglen has joined the gallery’s roster of leading international contemporary artists. Pace will work in cooperation with Paglen’s American galleries, Metro Pictures, New York, and Altman Siegel, San Francisco, together offering a comprehensive global network through which to maximize exhibition opportunities and exposure for Paglen’s work.

Paglen’s multi-faceted practice examines themes such as technology, power, and politics, through an approach that incorporates methods from investigative journalism, engineering, and critical geography. His previous projects have involved in-depth inquiries into cloud computing and artificial intelligence platforms, global surveillance systems, clandestine military sites, the politics of outer space, and the consequences of climate change. Paglen defines his motivation as attempting to define “how we can learn to ‘see’ the historical moment we live in.” In pursuit of this, Paglen invokes traditions of abstraction, conceptual art, and minimalism in a practice centered around sculpture, video, photography, and installation.

In joining Pace, Paglen’s work enriches a historical program that focuses on art’s intersection with technology, perception, and epistemology, including early proponents such as James Turrell, Robert Irwin, and Robert Rauschenberg, as well as contemporary artists Adam Pendleton and John Gerrard, whose work examines systems of power and broader relationships to image culture.

Pace’s deepening relationship with Paglen will be celebrated through a solo exhibition at its gallery space in London, opening in September 2020 and continuing through Frieze London. The exhibition will explore phrenology and the politics of interpretation within automated systems. This is Paglen’s second exhibition with Pace following The Shape of Clouds at Pace in Geneva in late 2019.

Andria Hickey, Senior Director and Lead Curator at Pace, says: “Trevor is one of the most visionary artists working today. We have followed each other’s work for a long time and I am thrilled that this new relationship is growing. Throughout his career, Trevor has approached some of the most significant and controversial topics facing our ever-evolving technologically driven world with sensitivity, depth, and clarity. His awareness of how quickly our world is changing in ways we cannot see and his ability to reveal these blind spots is critical. Like all good artists he is teaching us how to see more clearly. In a time when vision and meaning are highly malleable his work is evermore vital.”

Simon Preston, Senior Director at Pace, says: “We are thrilled to announce our representation of Trevor. After a hugely successful exhibition in Geneva last year, we look forward to supporting the ambition of his forthcoming projects in Europe and solo exhibition at the gallery in London this fall. Trevor’s complex research-driven work will expand the vocabulary of the artists represented by the gallery and have the potential to create many exciting dialogues with existing and future artists of the program.”

Trevor Paglen, says: “It is wonderful to be joining Pace at this exciting moment in its evolution. I have already witnessed first-hand the gallery’s global reach and their commitment to artists through our project together in Geneva last year. While my work explores contemporary technologies, it equally speaks to art historical precedents and it is hugely exciting to be showing alongside many of artists I have long admired, including important points of reference for my practice, such as Agnes Martin.”

Paglen will have a forthcoming exhibition of satellites-as-sculptures at the Officine Grandi Riparazioni, Torino. Paglen recently exhibited at The Barbican, London, in a Curve commission that revealed how artificial intelligence networks are taught to perceive the world through image datasets in an installation composed of thousands of individually pinned cards.

Other recent institutional projects include the mid-career survey of the artist’s photographic work, Trevor Paglen: Sites Unseen at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2018–19, which traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego in 2019. His numerous awards include a MacArthur Genius Grant in 2017 and the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Pioneer Award in 2014, for which he was described as a “groundbreaking investigative artist.”

Trevor Paglen (b. 1974, Camp Springs, MD) engages with modes of seeing and the systems and technologies that shape human experience to produce image-based sculpture, photography, and installation. Paglen draws on a range of art historical reference points encompassing the composition and motifs of classical painting, the history of landscape photography, and the language of Minimalism.

His Clouds series, for example, consists of large-scale photographs that depict cloud formations overlaid with strokes and lines that display interpretations from various computer vision algorithms. The works express the algorithms that are used in technologies of war, surveillance, facial recognition, 3-D modeling, and many other computer-driven contexts, while also making reference to Alfred Steiglitz’s early conceptual photographs concerning nature and abstraction and the work of Agnes Martin.

Other seminal projects include The Last Pictures (2012) and Autonomy Cube (2014). Commissioned by public art organization Creative Time, The Last Pictures marked a cosmological moment for the artist. Inspired by years of conversations and interviews with scientists, artists, anthropologists, and philosophers, Paglen developed a microetched disc containing one hundred photographs that tell an impressionistic story of uncertainty, paradox, and anxiety about the future. In November 2012, the communications satellite EchoStar XVI reached geostationary orbit with the work mounted to its anti-earth deck. Autonomy Cube engages with government surveillance and issues of privacy. Each cube sculpture provides free access to the internet through Tor, a global network of volunteer-run servers and relays that work to anonymize data.

In addition to his extensive art and photographic projects, Paglen has also contributed research and cinematography to the Academy Award-winning film Citizenfour (2014) and created Trinity Cube (2015), a radioactive public sculpture made from material collected within the exclusion zone in Fukushima, Japan and from Trinitite, the radioactive material made from molten sand after the testing of the Atomic Bomb at the Trinity Site in New Mexico, 1945.

Paglen has had numerous one-person exhibitions, including at the Vienna Secession, Austria (2010); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands (2013); Protocinema Istanbul, (2013); Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, East Lansing, (2015); Frankfurter Kunstverein, Germany (2015); and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (2019). He has participated in group exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2008, 2010, 2018); Tate Modern, London (2010); The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2012); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2014), and numerous other institutions. He is the author of five books and numerous articles on subjects including experimental geography, state secrecy, military symbology, photography, and visuality. Paglen’s work has been profiled in The New York Times, Vice Magazine, The New Yorker, and Artforum. Paglen holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago, and a PhD in Geography from University of California, Berkeley.

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