01.11.2007 — 30.01.2008Russian ProjectOne Man ShowVik Muniz
Vik Muniz is an internationally renowned artist and photographer based in Rio de Janeiro and New York.
Driven by the work of postmodernists Cindy Sherman and Jeff Koons, Muniz in his works uses popular images and presents them in a new perspective, demonstrating one of the main principles of contemporary art – a primacy of the concept over the exclusivity of the visual context. Experimenting with a wide range of non-traditional materials (dry pigment, dust, sugar, chocolate, diamonds, caviar, children’s toys, garbage, magazine scraps), Muniz reproduces them into famous works by old and contemporary masters.
Thus, for the ‘Pictures of Pigment’ series Vik Muniz replicates the paintings of world-known artists by evenly distributing the layers of dry pigment on a flat surface. Capturing the result of his work in high-resolution images, Muniz creates a series of photographic works that rediscover the masterpieces of Van Gogh, Picasso, Klimt, Mondrian, and Matisse.
For the collages in the ‘Gordian Puzzles’ series, the artist uses multiple colored puzzles printed with their original images, yet cut at different angles. In this way, he assembles the picture into a whole, leaving the puzzle itself unresolved.
In the ‘Pictures of Caviar’ series Muniz uses black caviar – a material that precludes the long production process. To preserve the natural intensity of the black color and the texture of the raw product, artist reduced the production time to a several minutes, while leaving the detail of the image steady.
The “Russian Project” exhibition reflects the artist’s view of Russian Art history through the works by Malevich, Rodchenko, Vereshchagin, Vrubel, and Mashkov. Paying tribute to the traditional paintings of Vereshchagin (“The Apotheosis of War”) and his predecessors, Muniz focuses on the Suprematist compositions of Kazimir Malevich and the Constructivism of Alexander Rodchenko, which exerted invaluable impact on the art world and anticipated the concepts of American Minimalism and Geometric Conceptualism.
Muniz declares that art is meant to change the world for the better and should not be primarily elitist. He strives to turn it more accessible: his unexpected techniques and elaborate visual gestures arouse the interest of any viewer, from connoisseurs of museum classics to the young audience. The external ease of the complex images makes his work a peculiar guide to the world of new art and technology, inextricably linked to the heritage of the old masters and the history of art.
‘Time’ magazine called Muniz one of the leading artists of the new millennium, and ‘The New York Times’ recommended his work as ‘a reliable antidepressant’, calling it ‘an idea wrapped in a shell of humor and surprise’.
SELECTED MUSEUM EXHIBTIONS
Whitney Museum of American Art (New York City, NY, USA)
Musée d´art contemporain de Montréal (Montreal, QC, Canada)
Museum of Contemporary Art (San Diego, CA, USA)
MoMA (New York, NY, USA)
Seattle Asian Art Museum (Seattle, WA, USA)
Irish Museum of Modern Art – IMMA (Dublin, Ireland)
MACRO Museo d´Arte Contemporanea Roma (Rome, Italy)
The Menil Collection (Houston, TX, USA)
Musée de l´Elysée (Lausanne, Switzerland)
International Center of Photography (New York, NY, USA)