Josée Bienvenu is pleased to present WALKING ARTIST, Hamish Fulton’s first exhibition with the gallery and his first solo show in New York in over a decade. While his drawings, sculpture diagrams, murals, and photographs have led to him be considered a practitioner of Land Art, instead, Fulton considers himself a “walking artist.” Through representations of walking itself, nature is neither conceived as a subliminal “other” existing to be conquered nor as an anthropocentric landscape. Nature exists rather to be lived, endured, and left to thrive. Fulton’s journeying through wilderness points to a palpable lack of adventure, unmediated experiences, and connectedness to nature in most people's lives.
In 1973, after walking over 1,000 miles in 47 days from Duncansby Head, Scotland to Land’s End, England, Fulton made the decision to “only make art resulting from the experience of individual walks.” Purposefully made of humble materials like paper, wooden rulers, and photographs, his recreations align with the belief that these walks should directly engage with the environment yet leave no traces upon it. Calls for political justice also recur in Fulton’s work, corresponding to his commitment to individual and artistic freedom.
In this exhibition, Fulton presents a body of work that exemplifies his ongoing commitment to art as a quiet protest against the alienation of people from the natural world. Included are two large scale vinyl works: the first refers to a guided and sherpa assisted climb of Mount Everest using bottled oxygen in 2009, the latter describes a pilgrim circuit of the Barkhor Kora and the Jokhang Temple in Tibet. These bold textual wall installations attest to Fulton’s passion for typography in tandem with his ongoing commitment as a walking artist. Several watercolors are included, evoking walking journeys from Switzerland to Bolivia. Unique black and white gelatin silver prints portray journeys through the Pyrenees from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. In the project space, there will be a selection of earlier works and small sculptures. For the past 20 years Fulton has devised many group walks, with more than 30 realized transnationally. He will invite the public to join him on one of these walks the day after the exhibition opening.
Born in 1946 in London, Hamish Fulton lives and works near Canterbury, UK. Fulton studied at the St. Martin’s School of Art, London and the Royal College of Art, London. Select solo exhibitions include Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK (2011); Museo Transfrontaliero del Monte Bianco, Courmayeur, IT (2010); Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo, Badajoz, ES (2009); Center for Contemporary Art, Kitakyshu, JP, and Museum of Modern Art, NY (2006); Museum for Modern and Contemporary Art, Bolzano, IT, and Museion Bolzano, Bozen, IT (2005); Haus Konstruktiv, Zuric, CH (2004); and Tate Britain, London (2002). Select group exhibitions include Ends of the Earth, MOCA, Los Angeles, CA which traveled to the Haus der Kunst, Munich, DE (2012) and the Royal Academy of Arts, London (2011).
Selected public collections include: Tate Gallery, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Brooklyn Museum, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Princeton Art Gallery, NJ; Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; Los Angeles County Museum, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; Eastman House, Rochester, NY; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Metropolitan Museum, Tokyo, JP; National Museum, Osaka, JP; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Biblioteque National, Paris; IVAM, Valencia, ES; Australian National Gallery, Canberra; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, NL; Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, NL; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, CA; National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, UK; British Council, London; Kunstmuseum, Basel, CH; Centro Cultural Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City, MX; Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva, CH; Musee de Grenoble, FR; Musee St. Pierre, Lyon, FR; FRAC, Rennes, FR; National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavík; Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama, JP; Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, AT; University of Lethbridge, CA.