press release

The title of this exhibition refers to a 1981 text by Thomas Lawson advocating for the medium of painting within the emergence of "appropriationist" practices and amidst the questions of "re-presentation" that fuelled the cultural discussion of the times. More than 30 years after Douglas Crimp's seminal exhibition "Pictures" (Artists Space, New York 1977), the present manifestation offers a modest addition to Douglas Eklund's survey (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 2009) of what is now often called the "Pictures Generation."

Based on the Image Division's Collection (London), whose advisor is also the curator of this project, it intends to map out some of the problematics of representation between 1976 and 1989 and to reposition some of their articulations: The 1980s opposition between photography and painting within appropriation is thus simultaneously inversed by the respective importance given to each medium in the exhibition spaces, while it is blurred by the typology of many of the chosen works; the narrative of a single "generation" of artists involved in such "appropriationist" practices is contradicted by the visible continuity of these issues through works of older or younger artists; and the inclusion of some less-known figures adds up to the circulating "list" of "Pictures" practitioners.

What is at stake here, though, is neither historical nor medium-based: it is to circumscribe the redefinition of both role and nature that images undergo during this period. At the heart of this exhibition lies the interest to show "images" in all possible states (appropriated, displaced, painted, re-photographed, combined, etc.), to follow their migration from one support to the other, and to underline the centrality of a critical "iconology" that these artists share, despite their generational or esthetical differences, for a last time in our Western history. The 1990s and the 2000s will in fact show a completely other sensibility to images, their re-presentation and their modes of existence—within art as much as in our society. Lionel Bovier, February 2012

only in german

Last Exit: Pictures
Kurator: Lionel Bovier

Künstler: Troy Brauntuch, Jack Goldstein, Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, Robert Longo, Allan McCollum, John Miller, Steven Parrino, Richard Prince, David Robbins, David Salle, Laurie Simmons, Alan Vega, James Welling