Simon Lee Gallery presents a solo exhibition of new works by Josephine Meckseper

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Simon Lee Gallery presents a solo exhibition of new works by Josephine Meckseper
Josephine Meckseper: Object Synthesis, installation view. Simon Lee Gallery, Hong Kong. Photo: Tai Ngai Lung.

HONG KONG.- Simon Lee Gallery is presenting a solo exhibition of new works by Josephine Meckseper. On view at the gallery’s Hong Kong space from 3 November 2022 – 7 January 2023, this exhibition comprises new paintings, a vitrine, and a film work informed by the evolution and surroundings of her work practice.

Throughout her career, Josephine Meckseper’s large-scale vitrine installations and films have melded the aesthetic language of early modernism with her own imagery of historical undercurrents. Her works, encompassing sculpture, painting, photography, and film, simultaneously expose and encase cultural signifiers and everyday objects to form an investigation into the collective unconscious of our time. The works for this exhibition, made between 2020 – 2022, come together to explore the concept of recycling, tracing, and capturing matter and memory as experienced by the artist during these unprecedented years.

Amongst the works on show is The Empire of Signs, a steel and glass vitrine titled after Roland Barthes’s eponymous book. In The Empire of Signs, Barthes describes a “novelistic object” that allows him to remotely isolate a certain number of features somewhere in the world, out of which a new system of signs emerge. Similarly, the vitrine encases a collection of objects between which a network of subtle correlations exists - connected loosely by their previous or current functions, location, and relation to other objects within the exhibition.

Spray-painted canvases continue the rhythm of the objects assembled in The Empire of Signs. These works chart the contours of the objects encased within the vitrine to form images reminiscent of abandoned dinner table settings and shelf displays. Their hand-painted textured surfaces evoke Roy Lichtenstein’s half-tone Ben-Day dots and Sigmar Polke’s “dot” paintings, as well as Robert Rauschenberg’s early blueprints and cyanotypes conceived in collaboration with Susan Weil. Meckseper’s new paintings, titled after chapters of Michel Foucault’s The Order of Things, from 1966, point to his thesis of an “archaeological” approach to the history of meaning and representation – suggesting that words are now entirely transparent and arbitrary counters. Consequently, to name things is to put them in a kind of necessary order.

Josephine Meckseper was born in 1964 in Lilienthal, Germany, and lives and works in New York, NY. She received her BFA from the Universität der Künste, Berlin, Germany, and her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA. In 2022 Meckseper received the Annual Guggenheim Fellowship and was appointed a Princeton University Visiting Fellow, and in 2021 she undertook the Elaine de Kooning House Residency, in East Hampton, NY. Meckseper’s work has been included in two Whitney Biennials (2006 and 2010); the Sharjah Biennial (2011); the Taipei Biennial (2014) amongst other biennials; and the National Gallery of Victoria Triennial (2017–18). Meckseper’s large-scale public project, Manhattan Oil Project, was commissioned by the Art Production Fund and installed in a lot adjacent to Times Square in New York, in 2012.

Notable solo exhibitions include Guild Hall, East Hampton, NY (online) (2021); Frac des Pays de la Loire, Carquefou, and Hab Galerie, Nantes, France (2019); MOSTYN Contemporary Art Gallery, Wales, UK (2018); Proyectos Monclova, Mexico City, Mexico (2017); Gagosian Gallery, Paris, France (2016); Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen, Germany (2014); Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NY (2013) and Migros Museum Für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, Switzerland (2009), a survey exhibition at Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Germany (2007). Her work has been included in major group exhibitions at the Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany (2020); The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, NY (2022, 2018); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY (2015); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2015); and Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA (2014). Her work is held in the permanent collections of numerous institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Migros Museum, Zurich; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Perez Museum of Art, Miami; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. In November 2022 the artist will have her first solo exhibition at Simon Lee Gallery, Hong Kong.

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