Carolina Nitsch is pleased to announce an exhibition of recent sculpture and drawing by Philip Taaffe. On view will be the artist’s first sculptures; a series of hand painted and stamped, carved alabaster serpents as well as a monumental drawing with collage.
Philip Taaffe’s work involves a combination of process and techniques including silkscreen, stencil, collage, marbling, and staining, which are often overprinted or repeated, resulting in absorbing, complex works. His pieces contain a range of intertwined influences from the Middle East and India to North Africa and South America, which vibrate and become challenging to decipher. The spiral motif has been used as a symbol in many cultures and art for thousands of years and is the central imagery in this exhibition. The six sculptures on view are hand carved from Spanish Alabaster, titled Hodie Mihi, Cras Tibi (Today it's me, tomorrow it will be you). They are interpretations of Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent deity in Pre-Columbian culture, which represented fertility and Spring. Quetzalcoatl was sometimes symbolized by a conch shell cut at the cross-section and was likely worn as a necklace by shamans. The coiled serpents echo this spiral theme and are further layered with stamped patterns. The 10’ square collage, Study for Unit of Direction, 2003, is a variation of a Fraser spiral which is an optical illusion of overlapping black arc segments that appear to form a spiral; however, the arcs are actually a series of concentric circles.
Philip Taaffe was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey in 1955 and studied at the Cooper Union under Hans Haacke and Dore Ashton. His first solo exhibition was held in New York in 1982. He has traveled widely in the Middle East, India, South America, and Morocco. He has been included in numerous important museum exhibitions, including the Carnegie International, two Sydney Biennials, and three Whitney Biennials. His work has been the subject of several museum surveys, including IVAM Centre del Carme, Valencia (2000), the Galleria Civica, Trento (2001), the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (2008), and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2011). His work is in numerous public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Art; the Kemper Museum of Art, Kansas City; and the Reina Sofia, Madrid. Taaffe presently resides and works in New York City. He is represented by Luhring Augustine, New York. Rizzoli will publish a major monograph on Taaffe’s work in 2016.
For further information or images please contact the gallery at 212-645-2030 or email: [email protected]