Cosmologies

4 May - 30 August 2000
Sperone Westwater, New York

Press release

Sperone Westwater is pleased to announce “Cosmologies”, a group exhibition featuring paintings and sculptures by six international artists—Alighiero Boetti, Lucio Fontana, Peter Halley, Wolfgang Laib, Richard Tuttle and Not Vital—who share a fascination for the universe’s mysteries, and whose works probe questions of space, time, structure, origin and evolution.


Alighiero Boetti (1940-1994) and Lucio Fontana (1899-1968) were the dominant Italian cultural figures of their time, whose contributions to western art history have recently been reassessed through European retrospective exhibitions. Sperone Westwater presents two major works by Boetti; Mappa del Mondo, 1988, one of Boetti’s famous embroidered maps of the world executed by Afghani craftswomen, and Untitled, 1993-94, an enormous ink and gouache design on canvas for a carpet-weaving project, the artist's last work. Fontana's Concetto spaziale, 1961 is a startling pea green monochrome with a constellation of holes punctured through the canvas—a decisive gesture of both destruction and creation.  

 

The German artist Wolfgang Laib (born in 1950) uses such organic materials as pollen (which he collects himself), milk and beeswax. Untitled, 1999 is a sculpture consisting of architectonic beeswax forms elevated on three aged timber shelves.


Peter Halley (born in 1953) and Richard Tuttle (born in 1941) are both American although of different artistic generations. Peter Halley is a painter who through metaphor depicts new social spaces by way of a restrained vocabulary of geometric shapes and pure, often fluorescent color. Richard Tuttle seeks to blur the boundaries between painting and sculpture in order to create a new spatial dimension. His art is unassuming and subtle, forcing the viewer to engage himself completely in "the immediate experience of living". Five works are included in the show: Light Brown, Dark Brown, 1964, Canvas Dark blue, 1967, and three large wire sculptures from the early 70's.


Born in the Engadine, Switzerland in 1948, Not Vital's art "shifts and migrates in a dreamlike way between non-European artifacts and a contemporary form of Totemism."  Sled, 1997 is an elongated sculpture in hydrocal (plaster) of a ten-foot long luge. The sculpture, which leans against the wall, owes as much to a pure, white Swiss winter landscape as to the surrealistic wit of Giacometti's work of the twenties and thirties.