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22 Jun 2009

Oscar Tuazon. That's Not Made For That at David Roberts Art Foundation Fitzrovia

Oscar Tuazon 'NM 522' 2008.
Courtesy the artist and Balice/Hertling, Paris.

Oscar Tuazon. That's Not Made For That


10.07.09 - 19.09.09
Private view:
9th July 2009 from 6:30
Opening hours:
Tue-Fri 10am - 6pm,
Sat 11am - 4pm

+44 (0)20 7637 0868

111 Great Titchfield Street
London W1W 6RY

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For his first solo exhibition in a public gallery in London, American artist Oscar Tuazon presents a new body of works especially commissioned by The David Roberts Art Foundation.

Writer, publisher and curator, Oscar Tuazon is above all one of the most captivating and radical sculptors of his generation. Tuazon's practice is characterised by a form of contemporary sculpture bricolage, which recalls Arte Povera in its inventive use of natural and industrial materials. References to minimalism and artists such as Richard Serra or Sol LeWitt can be found in the formal structure and positioning of his sculptures and installations.

Tuazon's use of raw materials infuses his work with an energy and tension, which sets him firmly within the lineage of Gordon Matta-Clark and Robert Smithson. However, the way he considers this heritage draws upon concepts prevalent in contemporary culture, such as ideas of collapse and ruin, recycling and reforming.

For his project at The David Roberts Art Foundation Fitzrovia, Tuazon was asked to challenge the space. He will create a new body of site-specific sculptures, working with marble for the first time. Using materials in new and unexpected ways he questions the gallery's architecture and the public's interaction with it.

Tuazon's starting point for this exhibition was the desire to create an autonomous artwork. 'Starting with a kind of abstraction and pushing it towards function. Take something and use it, misuse it. So the autonomous work of art wouldn't necessarily tend towards emptiness, negation, blankness—but towards function. This 'abstract function' is a more straight-forward, literal idea of autonomy than Ad Reinhardt would have it: it is simply a self-contained artwork, something that can stand on its own. An object, actually, that doesn't need any kind of support structure. It doesn't need a wall, it doesn't need lights, it doesn't even need to be displayed inside. It's just a thing. It can be left outside, left alone. It doesn't even need to be looked at. And so it remains stubbornly abstract. Abstract in the sense that it doesn't need anyone. It can function on its own, but the only function the object is capable of performing is that of an artwork, useless and inexplicable. To put it another way, the work is onanistic.'

Special Performance: Karl Holmqvist

Performance artist Karl Holmqvist (born in Sweden 1964, based in Berlin) has been invited by Oscar Tuazon to perform during his opening night. Holmqvist works mainly with language, engaging with the inner structures of texts, transmission and communication. 'Distinguished by their non-spectacular almost casual format, his readings have a hypnotic quality that engenders a momentary shift of focus within the gallery going experience. The possibility of a community, suggested and investigated by Holmqvist's tridimensional and written works, become fleetingly actual. Arching back to beat poetry, they layer moments of sound and concrete poetry with political and religious indictments, individual musings, art references, and cover versions of well-remembered pop songs.' Gregorio Magnani

Oscar Tuazon (born USA,1975) lives and works in Paris. This is his first solo exhibition in a public gallery in the UK. Recent and upcoming solo exhibitions include: Standard, Oslo (2009); Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin (2009); Michele Maccarone, New York (2008); Seattle Art Museum (2008); and the Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2007). Recent group exhibitions include: Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Vigo (Marco), Vigo (2009); Kunsthalle St Gallen, St Gallen (2008); Contemporary Art Museum St Louis, St Louis; Sculpture Center, New York (2008).
Oscar Tuazon is represented by Balice/Hertling in Paris, Standard in Oslo and Michele Maccarone in New York.

The exhibition is curated by Vincent Honoré, Curator, David Roberts Art Foundation in collaboration with Sandra Pusterhofer, Assistant Curator. The Foundation would like to thank Daniele Balice and Alexander Hertling for their assistance in the preparation of the exhibition and the production of the works.