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18 Sep 2008

Rirkrit Tiravanija at The Drawing Center

Rirkrit Tiravanija, 'untitled (demonstration no. 290),' 2006. Graphite on paper, 8 1/4 x 11 3/4 inches. Courtesy of the artist; 1301PE, Los Angeles; and Gavin Brown's enterprise, New York.

Rirkrit Tiravanija: Demonstration Drawings


September 12 – November 6, 2008

Tue – Fri, 10am – 6pm; Sat, 11am – 6pm


35 Wooster Street
New York, NY 10013

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The Drawing Center is pleased to present 'Rirkrit Tiravanija: Demonstration Drawings' in the Main Gallery. This exhibition, featuring more than 200 works on paper, is the first U.S. museum exhibition of the artist's ongoing series of commissioned drawings derived from photographs of demonstrations published in the 'International Herald Tribune.'

While public protests and mass demonstrations are often associated with the leftist politics of the 1960s, Tiravanija's project reconsiders their relevance in today's political climate. For the 'Demonstration Drawings,' Tiravanija has commissioned Thai artists, many of them former students, to create a series of photorealistic pencil drawings depicting multifarious responses to power, oppression, and global capital. Tiravanija's drawings translate photojournalist depictions of acts of political spontaneity into a medium itself characterized by immediacy—turning ephemeral images of strife and social conflict into documents of political aspiration.

By providing a perspectival view of collective actions, political protests, and popular sovereignty movements worldwide, the 'Demonstration Drawings' confront commonly-held assumptions about globalization and the resistance to economic liberalism. This exhibition is curated by João Ribas.

In conjunction with the exhibition, The Drawing Center has published the newly-formatted 'Drawing Papers 79: Rirkrit Tiravanija: Demonstration Drawings,' a 120-page publication featuring approximately 75 black-and-white reproductions of the works exhibited in the show as well as essays by curator João Ribas and noted journalist and literary critic David Rieff.

Rirkrit Tiravanija (b. 1961, Buenos Aires, Argentina) was raised in Thailand and studied in Canada, Chicago, and New York. He is currently Associate Professor of Professional Practice, Faculty of the Arts, at Columbia University, New York and lives in New York, Berlin, and Thailand. Tiravanija's work has been presented widely at museums and galleries throughout the world including solo exhibitions at Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2005); Serpentine Gallery, London (2005); Secession, Vienna (2002); and The Museum of Modern Art, New York (1997). He has participated in such notable group exhibitions as the Sharjah Biennial 8, United Arab Emirates (2007); 27th São Paulo Biennial, Brazil (2006); Whitney Biennial 2006: Day for Night, New York (2005), and the 50th Venice Biennale (2003). Tiravanija is the recipient of numerous awards including the Silpathorn Award in 2007 from the Ministry of Culture of Thailand and the Hugo Boss Prize in 2004 from the Guggenheim Museum. His work will be included in a forthcoming exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York opening in October 2008.