press release

THE LOUISE T BLOUIN INSTITUTE will open new solo exhibitions by Gary Hill and Gerry Judah in June 2007. There will also be an extensive programme of lectures, education work and public events to examine issues including conflict of interest and foreign policy, and to explore new solutions for the challenges of the 21st century. GARY HILL will exhibit two new works in the 10,000 sq ft space on the ground floor gallery.

Guilt (2006) is an intriguing installation of oversized rotating gold coins mounted on columns. Images of the artist’s brutalised face are depicted on the coins which are viewed through telescopes mounted on pyramid plinths. The work is set to a provocative voiceover by the artist.

Frustrum (2006) incorporates a gigantic virtual eagle ensnared in an electric pylon, projected in a darkened room across a ten-metre tank of oil. Despite the constraints of the tower, the eagle beats its huge wings to the sound of a cracking whip. The reflection of the bird ripples across the tank of oil in which a gold bar lies half-submerged. Inscribed into the gold bar is a maxim which reads: “FOR EVERYTHING WHICH IS VISIBLE IS A COPY OF THAT WHICH IS HIDDEN”.

GERRY JUDAH will exhibit a new body of work to include eight white on white panoramic landscapes that challenge the boundary between painting and sculpture. Judah's work is inspired by images of war zones and takes as its subject the horror of war and its devastating impact on the landscape of the Middle East and elsewhere. This new body of work is a direct response to the Iraq War and recent events in Lebanon, although Judah’s landscapes of decimated settlements are generic, and not geographically specific.

Judah creates delicate collages of desolated urban fabric. Scores of miniature buildings fixed onto the canvas are systematically destroyed by the artist to create a ‘presence of absence’. Immaculately constructed and lacquered in layers of white acrylic gesso, his paintings are both environmentally and politically charged.

Judah’s paintings have an emotional impact on the viewer that lingers long after viewing: they explore the visual, emotional and physical effects of conflict in epic miniature. Judah weaves an ephemeral quality into a brutal reality, and his work is full of contradictions both conceptually and visually.

Louise T Blouin MacBain, Chairman of the Foundation, comments:

‘This is a very timely exhibition. We are delighted to be exhibiting work by Gary Hill and Gerry Judah.

‘Art has the capacity to speak to the most fundamental part of all humans. Before we had languages and borders, we communicated through the arts. The paintings on the walls of La Grotte de Lascaux speak to one of the earliest inclinations of man: to express himself creatively.

‘In our increasingly sophisticated world, we have perhaps lost sight of this fundamental principle. The arts should not be considered “Bolt-Ons” to the 21st century. They should be at the heart of how we express ourselves, how we share our identities, how we understand others.’

Both Hill and Judah create a mille feuille of references through their work, whether art historical, political or environmental, which challenge the viewer to consider our relationships to each other globally, our future together and solutions. The Louise T Blouin Institute opened in October 2006 with a solo exhibition of Light by James Turrell and aims to generate and disseminate knowledge about the arts and the science of creativity. The Foundation provides 35,000 sq ft of exhibition space and lecture facilities, and creates a platform for contemporary art and affiliated events.

This second exhibition featuring work by internationally renowned US video artist Gary Hill and newly emerged UK artist Gerry Judah focuses attention on global political and environmental concerns. It is supported by an extensive lecture programme to include contributions from Michael Oreskes (Executive Editor of the International Herald Tribune), Theodore Zeldin (President of the Oxford Muse Foundation, philosopher, historian, writer and public speaker), The Rt Hon Lord Eatwell (President of Queen’s College Cambridge), and others.

Partnerships:

The Gary Hill exhibition has been commissioned, and was previously shown by the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris, in collaboration with IMAI, Düsseldorf. Special thanks to Arthus-Bertrand, Paris. Champagne Henriot is the Foundation’s Champagne Partner 2007 for all its activities across the world.

Artist Biographies:

GARY HILL, internationally renowned US video artist, was born in 1951, Santa Monica, California. He lives and works in Seattle, Washington. Originally a sculptor, he has been working with sound and video since the early 1970s and has produced a large body of video and mixed media installations. Hill's work combines equally strong elements of text, speech, image, video and sculpture, at times drawing material from the writings of Maurice Blanchot, Gregory Bateson, Martin Heidegger and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Hill explores ‘dialogue’ – the thresholds between language and image, silence and sound, light and darkness and the membrane of exchange between viewer and artist. Using a highly experimental approach, the artist plays with the physicality of language and speech. Inseparable from language, the body is a medium through which one comprehends reality and it is frequently present in Hill’s work. At times it is a broken, mistreated or even brutalized body.

GERRY JUDAH was born in Calcutta, and spent his early years in West Bengal before his family moved to London in the 1960s. He studied fine art at Goldsmiths College, and sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art. His work has been included in shows at the Whitechapel Gallery and Camden Arts Centre. In the last twenty years he has built a reputation for innovative designs for films, television, music, museums and spectacular installations for clients including Lord March at Goodwood, Ridley Scott and Andrei Tarkovsky, before returning to his fine art roots three years ago with ‘Frontiers’ in 2005. His new work has entered public and private collections including the Saatchi Gallery Collection, the Imperial War Museum and other international collections.

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Gary Hill & Gerry Judah