Downtown LA…Hauser & Wirth (901 East 3rd Street, LA, 90013) celebrates three exhibitions – “Lucio Fontana. Walking the Space: Spatial Environments, 1948 – 1968,” “Sottobosco,” and “August Sander: New Women, New Men, and New Identities.” Read a review by one of our staff writers HERE.

“Lucio Fontana. Walking the Space: Spatial Environments, 1948 – 1968,” the US debut of the first comprehensive presentation of Lucio Fontana’s (1899 – 1968) groundbreaking ‘Ambienti spaziali’ (Spatial Environments).

Lucio Fontana at Hauser & Wirth. Photo courtesy of Hauser & Wirth

Fontana, a visionary whose revolutionary practice continues to influence contemporary movements worldwide, conceived of his first environmental work in 1948, predating the conceptual achievements of Robert Irwin, James Turrell, and Donald Judd by more than a decade.Arranged chronologically and beginning with Fontana’s first spatial work, the exhibition will feature 9 self-contained installations spanning from 1948 to 1968, revealing the artist’s revolutionary approach to artmaking in order to ‘open up space, create a new dimension, tie in the cosmos, as it endlessly expands beyond the confining plane of the picture.’ Through collaboration with the Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milan, this landmark exhibition, curated by Luca Massimo Barbero, will highlight Fontana’s critical contribution to the evolution of conceptual art and the confluence of art with science and technology as a means to explore aspects of human perceptual experience.

In conjunction with Frieze Los Angeles 2020, Hauser & Wirth will debut the first LA solo exhibition of critically admired NY-based Swiss artist Nicolas Party. The Neoclassical South Gallery will be transformed into a universe of brilliant hues and surreal personae in an enveloping, site-specific environment including a monumental installation, murals, and sculpture. This exhibition follows Party’s prior mural projects in Los Angeles at the Hammer Museum (2016) and in New York at The FLAG Art Foundation (2019).

Nicolas Party with his art

Party is best known for his bold and otherworldly landscapes, portraits, and still life scenes created in pastel, an idiosyncratic choice of medium that allows for a more direct material engagement and fluidity of production that have come to characterize his depictions of objects both natural and manmade. Party eschews direct influence from any established art movements, but instead borrows and reinterprets touchpoints as far-flung as Symbolism, Surrealism, and The New York School. He also draws from the compositional tactics of Rene Magritte and Giorgio Morandi, and the practices of self-taught artists Louis Eilshemius and Milton Avery. His childhood in Switzerland engendered a fascination with landscape and the natural world, and the influence of his native country places Party firmly within the trajectory of central European landscape painting, with points of reference in his work to celebrated 19th-century Swiss artists Félix Vallotton, Ferdinand Hodler, and to the figurative watercolor painter, Rudolf Stüssi. Through his unique culling and colorful reworking of disparate sources, Party transfigures quotidian objects and the natural world into abstracted, biomorphic shapes, suggesting deeper connections and meanings.

Beginning February 13, Hauser & Wirth will partner with the Los Angeles Philharmonic to present “August Sander: New Women, New Men, and New Identities,” an exhibition that brings together pathbreaking portraits by renowned German photographer August Sander (1876 – 1964) with original examples of the first gay and lesbian journals ever published. This presentation marks the first solo exhibition in Los Angeles in over a decade devoted to Sander’s pioneering work. Organized by Stephanie Barron, senior curator and head of modern art, LACMA, and independent curator Nana Bahlmann, the exhibition is a project of ‘Weimar Variations.’ The collection of public events is part of the LA Phil’s month-long, citywide festival ‘Weimar Republic: Germany 1918 – 1933,’ a wide-ranging and dramatic array of programs led by Conductor Laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen and exploring the musical culture of the politically-charged Weimar era (1918 – 1933) in Germany.

On view: February 15 – April 12, 2020

What: Opening reception
Where: Hauser and Wirth, 901 East 3rd Street, LA, 90013
When: February 15, 2020; 3-7pm