PinchukArtCentre – Until 19th of Septembre
The issue of sexuality and transcendence touches on a fundamental conflict in art in general because, beyond mere appearance, behind it hides the general question of the relationship between reality (life) and imagination (image). And so the relationship between form and vision becomes a crucial issue for any artist dealing with sexuality and transcendence. Which direction is a particular work going for? Does it answer the challenge with a praise of distance (form/transcendence) or with a demonstration of intimacy (life/sexuality)? The answers to these questions are so varied because, in addition to the paradigms inherent in the theme, the concept of desire is of central importance here. The general idea is kept open, both in respect of a desire for an ideal mental clarity, intellectual penetration and clarified form, and in respect of a desire for an ideal of realism, emotional directness and dissolution of form. Something Janus-like clinging to desire means that the two poles of sexuality and transcendence can be reflected within each other. The desire for the two things, sexuality and transcendence, dominates our existence; it is the driving force behind our earthly performance and, especially for artists, the search for an appropriate form.

The exhibition presents nineteen work groups with a total of 150 individual works in twenty rooms on four floors of the PinchukArtCentre. The staircases of the building are used as art spaces for the first time with installations by Jenny Holzer; the central stairwell features an in-situ piece with her famous texts from the series Inflammatory Essays and a second staircase houses a work with LED. In addition, for the first time ever, the PinchukArtCentre utilised the historical Bessarabskiy market hall located opposite for an eighty-meter-long frieze by AES+F, a group of artists from Moscow. With its intense sociocultural flavour and distinctive architecture, this historical site, which is of great importancse for Kiev, provides an ideal public counterpoint to the artistic message propagating a new hybrid aesthetic of fusion.

Inspired by their great affinity for the exhibition theme and for the PinchukArtCentre as a leading institution in contemporary art, all of the artists decided to create some special pieces, partly in the form of new productions such as those by, amongst others, Anish Kapoor, AES+F, Cindy Sherman, Matthew Barney and Elmgreen & Dragset; of a special reappraisal of existing works by Paul McCarthy, Richard Prince, Boris Mikhailov and Takashi Murakami; or the selection of rare or recent work groups that have never been displayed as part of a major international exhibition before. These last include pieces by Louise Bourgeois, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Sarah Lucas, Annette Messager and Illia Chichkan. This allows the PinchukArtCentre exhibition to present arguments that are totally relevant to our own times.
AES+F
Matthew Barney
Louise Bourgeois
Maurizio Cattelan
Illya Chichkan
Elmgreen / Dragset
Jan Fabre
Jenny Holzer
Anish Kapoor
Jeff Koons
Sarah Lucas
Paul McCarthy
Annette Messager
Boris Mikhailov
Takashi Murakami
Richard Prince
Tino Sehgal
Cindy Sherman
Hiroshi Sugimoto
More to read