Please book appointments to see the exhibition safely with Covid protocols in place, through the See Saw app or the link above. Appointments become available one week in advance at midnight.
Perrotin is pleased to present Time Dilation, Daniel Arsham’s latest exhibition, encompassing all three floors of our New York gallery. Transporting audiences inside the artist’s universe, the exhibition will introduce visitors to a range of Arsham’s practice that will feature several new bodies of work alongside the artist’s continued exploration of his signature sculptures cast in geological materials.
What I’m trying to create for viewers is to pull them outside of this moment, 10,000 years from now and where that time period has been collapsed.
Excerpts below are taken from “Supercollider,” an essay written by curator, author, and historian Glenn Adamson.
The paintings included in the present exhibition may be a surprise to some, who have come into contact with Arsham only in the past few years. But he was trained as a painter, and the first works he showed with Perrotin were in this medium. The disrupted circumstances of 2020 all but forced him back to the easel, as social distancing made his usual studio operations impossible. Suddenly it was just him and the blank canvas.
His response, in this down-tools moment, attests to the depth of his inner artistic resources. After first laying out his images, he transfers them manually to the canvas, employing a special formulation of acrylic, super-matte with a high pigment load. Because the pictures are monochromatic, they have something of the character of photographs, but also a rich texture, an assertive materiality. As for the images – they are like a visit to the cathedral of his mind, a psychic spelunk. Sublime caverns open up to our view, populated by classical figures depicted at disconcerting scale. We are in the cave, here. This is what we find when we go back to the origins of history, or imagine how it all will end, from Lascaux to Plato’s Republic to the Fortress of Solitude, from womb to tomb. Our present hangs, crystalline, multi-faceted, and oh so fragile, somewhere along that ambit; one that Arsham alone seems to traverse, round and round on the track of time.
The exhibition’s most striking encounter is the one that Arsham stages between classical statuary and Pokémon, the latter of which marks the first major collaboration between a contemporary artist and the storied Pokémon company. Here, both are subjected to the artist’s signature decay. It’s as if he were enacting the half-life of these icons: trophies, meet entropy.
The classical works are drawn from Arsham’s collaboration with the august RMN-Grand Palais, in Paris (also featured in his exhibition “Moonraker” at the Musée Guimet), while Pokémon is Pokémon. Two different cultural universes, in a highlow, head-on crash. Or is it a crossroads? Two trajectories arriving to the same point: ancient sculpture is so venerated that it has become cliché, the stuff of museum gift shops, while the creatures of Pokémon, which seem to be influenced by Japanese mythology, have morphed into their own 21st century version of the sacred.
These objects, they slide on a timeline and they do that by appearing to be falling apart. But they’re made of crystal, which we associate with growth. So there is this ambiguity : Are they falling apart? Are they growing together?
Finally, Daniel Arsham’s new resin works, whose “constituent elements –a magazine, say, with a camera, a videotape, and a box of breakfast cereal – lap one another, each washed up on a different tide. The use of transparency and gradient color gives the works a distinctly digital tang. While entirely analogue (in fact, they were inspired by resin casting molds in Arsham’s studio), they commune with the virtual; they seem to have absorbed the evanescent qualities of the 21st-century commodity form. They are physical manifestations of hyper-reality.
Né en 1980 à Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Habite et travaille à New York, USA
Born in 1980 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Lives and works in New York, USA
Daniel Arsham’s uchronic aesthetic revolves around his concept of fictional archaeology. Working in sculpture, architecture, drawing and film, he creates and crystallizes ambiguous in-between spaces or situations, and further stages what he refers to as future relics of the present. They are eroded casts of modern artifacts and contemporary human figures, which he expertly makes out of some geological material such as sand, selenite or volcanic ash for them to appear as if they had just been unearthed after being buried for ages. Always iconic, most of the objects that he turns into stone refer to the late 20th century or millennial era, when technological obsolescence unprecedentedly accelerated along with the digital dematerialization of our world. While the present, the future and the past poetically collide in his haunted yet playful visions between romanticism and pop art, Daniel Arsham also experiments with the timelessness of certain symbols and gestures across cultures.