Aspen Art Museum announces its 2023 summer program

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Aspen Art Museum announces its 2023 summer program
On view from May 24 through September 24 is everybody rise, the first institutional exhibition in the United States by Florian Krewer.

ASPEN, CO.- Aspen Art Museum announces its summer 2023 program, showcasing work by some of the most forward-thinking international artists working today. Highlights include a major exhibition by Iranian artist Nairy Baghramian; a solo show by German painter Florian Krewer; and a new rolling series of artist-led exhibitions titled A Lover’s Discourse. The program will culminate in the museum’s third annual Aspen ArtWeek and the longstanding ArtCrush Gala, in a celebratory week of events honoring those whose creativity and vision have greatly impacted the field of contemporary art.

On view from May 24 through September 24 is everybody rise, the first institutional exhibition in the United States by Florian Krewer. Curated by Matthew Higgs, Director and Chief Curator of White Columns and Aspen Art Museum’s Curator-at-Large, the show traces Krewer’s career from his graduation from Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf, where he studied under the mentorship of Peter Doig—to the present. A painter, Krewer is recognized for his expressive representations of lone humans and animals, as well as pairs and groups that merge both species, often set in cityscapes or against vibrant backdrops of color. A feeling of anonymity pervades Krewer’s canvases despite his subjects’ particular modes of dress and interaction. Tucked around corners, running down streets, contorting and touching in raw states of sexual abandon, the figures that populate Krewer’s paintings are in pursuit of action, though the precise intent of the activity is left unclear. This persistent tension between private desires and public identities unites the artworks gathered in this exhibition—the most comprehensive overview of Krewer’s practice to date. Focusing on works made over the past five years, everybody rise proposes a chronological reading of Krewer’s work, one that amplifies key moments and shifts in his practice often made in relation to significant biographical events.

The exhibition will travel to the M WOODS Museum in Beijing directly following the presentation at the Aspen Art Museum. The M WOODS exhibition will be curated by their Artistic Director Victor Wang and will include additional works.

The major solo exhibition, Nairy Baghramian: Jupon de Corps, running from June 22 through October 22, brings together significant constellations of artworks made by Iranian artist Nairy Baghramian over the past decade for the first time. Displayed across two floors, the exhibition establishes a personal and poetic dialogue between key works from the artist’s output, alongside a new body of sculptures specially conceived for the museum’s outdoor commons. 

Jupon de Corps brings to the fore foundational aspects of Baghramian’s practice, such as the artist’s sustained dialogue with art historical traditions of the twentieth century; her ongoing interest in expressions of bodily attitudes; the symbolic—social and psychological—charge of prosthetic and mechanical apparatuses deployed in physiognomic corrections; as well as her tireless experimentation with a wide array of materials, ranging from steel to silicon, resin, leather, wax, and wood. The reconsideration of sculpture’s modes of production and institutional display is at the heart of Baghramian’s interest in combining formal and material languages from the realms of art, design, technology, and nature. Works in varying scales will be installed to create intimate and, at times, uncanny atmospheres in which fragmented forms evoke bodily environments. As often in Baghramian’s work, many of the sculptures will appear in clusters, establishing visual and physical connections with each other and with the existing infrastructure of the museum’s architecture.

The exhibition is curated by Nicola Lees, Nancy and Bob Magoon Director, and Stella Bottai, Aspen Art Museum Curator at Large.

Also launching on June 22 is A Lover’s Discourse, a new, rolling series of artist-led presentations inspired by the unexpected dialogues that can emerge by exhibiting artworks from different generations of artists side-by-side. Each presentation will juxtapose recent works by emerging contemporary painters with pieces borrowed from private collections in the Aspen community, selected by each featured artist. The program is inaugurated with a presentation by Zeinab Saleh, followed by other participating artists: Chase Hall, Ulala Imai, Guglielmo Castelli, Stanislava Kovalcikova and Issy Wood. Driven by a dialogic approach, the exhibition takes its name from Roland Barthes’ book, A Lover’s Discourse (1977) in which the author embarks on a fragmented philosophical exploration of love as an emotional language from absence to drama, from fulfilment to waiting, dedication and embrace. The first presentation features two new paintings by London-based artist Zeinab Saleh (b.1996, Kenya) exhibited alongside Katharina Fritsch’s sound work Regen (Rain) from 1987. It is curated by Stella Bottai, Aspen Art Museum Curator at Large.

The summer program culminates with Aspen Art Museum’s third annual Aspen ArtWeek, taking place from August 1 to 4, and offering a vibrant program of artist projects, conversations, and performances to complement the exhibitions on view. The celebratory climax of the week is the Museum’s annual ArtCrush Gala, held on Friday, August 4, which will see the honoree artist Nairy Baghramian awarded the 2023 Aspen Award for Art. For nearly two decades, the ArtCrush Gala has been the largest annual fundraiser for the Aspen Art Museum, with proceeds from a live and online auction supporting innovative exhibitions and dynamic educational programs that impact both local and international communities. The ArtCrush 2023 Auction Exhibition will be on view at the museum from July 25 to August 3 in the run up to the Gala, showcasing works donated by major international artists to the live auction. A week of performances, talks, and other live events will unfold throughout the week. An immersive installation and performance by artist Matt Copson will take place at Aspen's Smuggler Mine, and additional programs will be announced later this summer.

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