Spencer Finch 
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Spencer Finch, "Amabilis Insania"

Berlin, April 30th - June 05th, 2010
Image No. 1 of Spencer Finch

Installation view


Galerie Nordenhake has the great pleasure to present an exhibition by US-American artist Spencer Finch. The artist conceived new drawings, photographs and a light installation but also a sound installation and a sculpture.

Themes uniting the diverse works in the show are the complexities and pleasures of apprehending sensations. Most of the works deal with misperceptions or misapprehensions. They are treated not necessarily as failure but as pleasurable moments hinting at a seeing prior to recognition and rationalisation.

The seduction of misperception is suggested in a group of photographs: in reality representations of cherry blossoms in a pond, they appear as delicate images of clouds in the sky bringing to mind Alfred Stieglitz’ series of abstract photographs “Equivalence”. In another work, the white concrete sculpture sitting directly on the gallery floor recalls a pile of snow. A similar irritation of our perception evokes the sound installation.

The artist maps the limits of his own field of vision in a drawing that compares far peripheral and central vision, but it also contrasts linguistic and visual descriptions of colour. Spencer Finch recorded the colour of a car rushing by on a highway once it appeared in his field of vision and painted his colour impression with pigments on paper. Like a researcher, he adds a written account of the vehicle's actual colour and form. The central vision differs from the perception in peripheral areas of the eye in respect to colour and form and proves it as erroneous.

The uncertainty of perception — that there is more to reality than our bodily senses could register — is implied in the series of eight drawings after false-colour images. The colourful oil pastels look entirely abstract but are in fact truly representational as they render thermograms of the light falling through the window in the artist’s studio over the course of one day.

Spencer Finch is known for a multi-layered artistic practice in which he explores the mechanism and mysteries of perception. Many of his poetic and witty works aim at preserving the memory of a sensorial experience, be it a pile of snow or moonlight in Venice. He bases his unconventional and meticulous representations on extended research and rigorous measurement while his art acknowledges the difference and distance of all representation and reinforces the beauty of the fleeting nature of the observed world.

Spencer Finch was born in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1962, and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
He participated in Venice Biennial in 2009, the Turin Triennial in 2008 and the Whitney Biennial in 2004. A survey exhibition titled “What Time Is It on the Sun?” was on view at MASS MoCA, North Adams in 2007-2008. His solo presentation “Between the Moon and the Sea” is currently on view at FRAC Pays de la Loire, Carquefou. Other recent solo exhibitions include: Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane (2009), Dundee Centre for Contemporary Art, Scotland (2008), Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana (2005), Portikus, Frankfurt/Main and Artpace, San Antonio (both 2003). He has taken part in numerous group exhibitions, most recently “Earth: Art of a Changing World”, Royal Academy of Arts, London (2009), “Refract, Reflect, Project: Light Work from the Collection”, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C. (2007), “Light Art from Artificial Light”, ZKM Karlsruhe and “Colour After Klein”, Barbican Art Gallery, London (both 2005). Currently he is participating in the “Biennial for International Light Art. Ruhr 2010” and “Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance”, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. His large-scale window installation “The River that Flows Both Ways” is currently on view at the public park “The Highline” in New York.

Image No. 2 of Spencer Finch

False-Colour Images (studio window, infrared, April 12, 2010), 2010, oil pastel on paper, 8 drawings, each 76,2 x 76,2 cm

Image No. 3 of Spencer Finch

Exactly 4 o’clock in the Afternoon (studio freight elevator, 21/4/10), 2010, light projection, dimensions variable

Image No. 4 of Spencer Finch

Exactly 4 o’clock in the Afternoon (studio freight elevator, 21/4/10), installation view

Image No. 5 of Spencer Finch

Floating Cherry Blossoms (Clouds), 2010, archival inkjet print, 7 photographs, each 52,07 x 52,07 cm

Image No. 6 of Spencer Finch

Floating Cherry Blossoms (Clouds), detail

Image No. 7 of Spencer Finch

Floating Cherry Blossoms (Clouds), detail

Image No. 8 of Spencer Finch

Floating Cherry Blossoms (Clouds), detail

Image No. 9 of Spencer Finch

Lump (of concrete) Mistaken for a Pile (of dirty snow), 2010, concrete, marble dust, street dirt, 41 x 42 x 31 cm

Image No. 10 of Spencer Finch

Blind Spot (left and right eye, studio), 2010, watercolour on paper, 2 drawings, each 56,4 x 76,2 cm

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