Exhibition - Victor Burgin: Young Oaks

Friday, Dec 4, 2020 at 10:00am

Cristin Tierney
540 West 28th Street
New York, NY 10001

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Cristin Tierney Gallery is pleased to present Young Oaks, a new work by Victor Burgin. It will be the artist's second solo exhibition with the gallery.

Young Oaks is the latest work from Victor Burgin's open project Afterlife. The book, also available in an online format,¹ consists of passages of images and texts describing a parallel world in which perfect digital copies are made of individual minds. According to Burgin, "The science fiction scenario serves as an allegory of ordinary everyday life understood as a continual work of transaction between material reality and the virtual realities of memory, fantasy and computer simulations."²

Young Oaks elaborates upon a passing invocation in Afterlife of the work of the Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi, known for his sparse and restrained representations of interiors, people and landscapes. During a visit to the Royal Academy of Arts in London, Burgin was so struck by Hammershøi's work that he later included an image representing his memory of the experience in Afterlife. Young Oaks, named after Hammershøi's 1907 painting Young Oak Trees, expands on this by presenting a succession of views of four interconnecting rooms based on the Danish painter's interiors. Burgin's installation of six diptychs is completed by a framed text citing a haiku by Richard Wright.

Burgin's recent imagery, including that in Young Oaks, is made using a game engine (3D modeling software typically employed by videogame designers). It is a fitting mode of creation given the artist's interest in "psychical space," or our collection of perceptions, projections, memories, fantasies and more that make up a reality no less "real" than the material. The prints in Young Oaks are subdued and slightly airless, similar enough to our physical surroundings to be recognizable, but also distant enough to leave space for the viewer's imagination.

Burgin's open project Afterlife is "transmedial" in that it presents a single story or "story world" across multiple platforms and formats-especially by means of digital technologies-and "intertextual" in its invocation of remembered fragments of other works (e.g., Hammershøi's paintings, Richard Wright's poetry). An annex to the space in which Young Oaks is shown will display Burgin's related books Afterlife and mandarin, together with Wright's Haiku: This Other World.

Victor Burgin first came to prominence in the late 1960s as one of the originators of Conceptual Art. His work appeared in such key exhibitions as Harald Szeemann's Live in Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form (1969) at the ICA London, and Kynaston McShine's Information (1970) at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Since then, he has had solo exhibitions at the Museum für Gegenwartkunst Siegen, Kunsthalle Bremerhaven, MAMCO Musée d'art moderne et contemporain, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Mücsarnok Museum, University at Buffalo Art Gallery, Musée d'art moderne Villeneuve d'Ascq, The List Visual Arts Center, Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, Musée de la Ville de Calais, The Museum of Modern Art in Oxford, and Stedelijk van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. His work appears in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York Public Library, Walker Art Center, Tate Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Museum Ludwig, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Musée national d'art moderne, Sammlung Falckenberg, and The Arts Council Collection in London.

Burgin graduated from the School of Painting at the Royal College of Art, London, in 1965, where his teachers included the philosopher and novelist Iris Murdoch, and then went on to study Philosophy and Fine Art at Yale University School of Art and Architecture, where his teachers included Robert Morris and Donald Judd. Burgin is Professor of Visual Culture at the University of Southampton, Professor Emeritus of History of Consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz and Emeritus Millard Chair of Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, London. In 2015 he was a Mellon Fellow and Visiting Professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. He lives and works in South West France and Paris.

Exhibition Date: November 13, 2020 - December 19, 2020

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