Where Monday is on Sunday
11-18 November 2011
Dan Rees, Cadium Yellow, Medium Hue, Flesh Tint, Dioxazine Purple, Bright Aqua Green, Red Vermillon, Payne’s Grey, Phtalocyanine Green and a Little Bit Of Black, 2010, acrylic on canvas and wall, 140x100, unique.
Courtesy the artisi and Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin
‘Keep your art soft and sweet. You might have to eat it.’ Inscribed in white cursive letters on a bright blue cake, the words from this 2005 piece encapsulate the spirit behind much of Dan Rees’s young, yet prolific, production. Filled with references to Conceptual art practices – Daniel Buren’s legendary stripes that sloppily spill over onto the wall behind badly painted copies (‘Two Stripey Paintings’, 2009) or analog media like slide and 16mm film projections and B&W documentary photography, as in the 2006 series, ‘Black and White Things in Black and White’ – his work is accessible to a public specialized in rooting out its numerous art historical references and citations. And yet the impulse behind such an exercise is a far more humbling (and ultimately ambitious) process of shifting through the muddle of what has been handed down to a young artist to eventually make something of one’s own: in this case, something funny, and gently irreverent, and earnest. For Villa Tokyo, Rees will present new works from his ongoing series - ‘A Good Idea Is A Good Idea’ (2009-present) – versions of his favorite paintings, painted on the cover of the Beatles’ ‘White’ album. The original album cover, designed by British pop artist Richard Hamilton, was understood as a piece of minimalist artwork that would enter directly into mainstream popular culture, thereby subverting the elitist and obscure connotations of much of conceptual and minimal art at the time. Rees plays with this idea of subversion by treating each record cover as a blank canvas from which he creates his own painting, copying paintings by artists such as Hockney, Bacon, Martin, as faithfully as his skill levels and acrylic paint allow.
Dan Rees (b. 1982), lives and works in Berlin.
Kurfurstenstrase 156, 10785 Berlin