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Richard Prince

Proof of Life (group show)
Weserburg I Museum für Moderne Kunst, Bremen
20 May 2017 - 25 February 2018

The construction of the Tower of Babel as a massacre. The artist as a dead revolutionary. A stained-glass window made from butterfly wings. Proof of Life brings together 100 paintings, sculptures and photographic works that investigate existential questions in a both palpable and profound manner. Their aesthetic impact inevitably draws the viewer into its spell. What these works bring to view is linked to a tradition of influential pictures, some of which go far back in time. The presented works simultaneously quote, seduce, irritate, provoke and thematize concepts of moral values. This includes a summons not only to situate in historical terms what is being seen, but also to relate it quite concretely to the present. The works come from a private collection that has never before been publicly presented in this form.

Proof of Life raises the question as to whether and why such images anchored in our memory are still relevant today. The exhibition shows how striking pictorial models are updated in a surprising manner and transformed into new visual inventions. The artistic results are simultaneously fascinating and shocking; the aesthetic experiences they make possible are complex and revelatory. They become documents and symbols of our present era and thus vital signs of contemporary culture.
“The exhibition derives its strength from the impact of the pictures, which in no way excludes deeper insights but instead fosters them. The works don’t immobilize us in wordless veneration but cause astonishment, questioning and doubt which we relate directly to the present. Fundamental questions raised by this exhibition are how art possesses this capability and why certain age-old motifs don’t become petrified manifestations in a museum but instead remain extremely lively.” Peter Friese, Director of the Weserburg

Weserburg I Museum für Moderne Kunst, Bremen


Additional:

Richard Prince

Utopia Post Utopia (group show)
Aspen Art Museum, Aspen
22 December 2017 - 13 May 2018

Featuring works by Albert Bierstadt, Robert Gober, Richard Prince, and Meg Webster, this exhibition is a re-presentation of Untitled Installation Conceived by Robert Gober, presented at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, in the show Utopia Post Utopia, in 1988. Like the original, the Aspen Art Museum’s iteration includes Bierstadt’s Lake Tahoe, California (1867), Gober’s wooden door and doorframe, a handwritten joke by Prince, and Webster’s Moss Bed (1986–88). Together, these disparate objects offer a space in which the viewer wrestles with reality versus appearance, and nature becomes farther and farther removed from actuality.

Aspen Art Museum, Aspen