press release

Is it real? Lifelike invites a close examination of artworks based on commonplace objects and situations, which are star tlingly realistic, often play ful, and sometimes surreal. Considering a continued inter est in meticulously crafted realism in contemporary art from the 1960s to the pres ent, this international group exhibition features artists variously employing scale, the psychological potential of the uncanny, and sly contextual devices to reveal the manner in which their subjects' "au thenticity" is manufactured.

The several generations of art ists in Lifelike investigate the quieter side of the quo tidian, choosing potentially overlooked items or moments as subject matter and favor ing a handmade, labor-intensive practice. The resulting works transform the ordinary into something beguiling and loaded with narrative and metaphor. The exhibition features some 90 works by more than 50 art ists, including Vija Celmins, Keith Edmier, Fischli and Weiss, Robert Gober, Alex Hay, Kaz Oshiro, Charles Ray, and Ai Weiwei.

Lifelike examines a trajectory in art that began in the late 1960s, positioned between Pop and Photorealism, but aligned with neither. Avoiding Pop's brand-name flashiness and the slick urban scenes of the Photorealists, the artists in Lifelike investigate the quieter side of the quotidian, choosing potentially overlooked items or moments—a paper bag, an eraser, a waiting room, an afternoon nap—as subject matter. The works in the exhibition transform the ordinary into something beguiling, loaded with narrative and metaphor, and imbued with an arresting sense of humanity.

The exhibition explores the many ways artists have pursued handmade verisimilitude through a range of media, including painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, video, and three-dimensional environments. Some artists featured, such as Vija Celmins and Peter Rostovsky, paint from photographs, creating immersive surfaces that exhibit an astonishing degree of likeness and detail. Others work in sculpture, often fashioning their works from materials that belie the pedestrian nature of the subject—Ai Weiwei's jar of hundreds of sunflower seeds, made from hand-painted cast porcelain, or the work of Yoshihiro Suda, who creates weeds that "grow" from the gallery floor, carved by hand from magnolia wood. In video, artists including Thomas Demand and Jeon Joonho create moving images that at first seem familiar, but deceive us through sly use of animation. In photography, artists including James Casebere and Isaac Layman play with the hyperreal, through fabricated scenes or clever layering of images.

Conspicuously absent in most of the works in Lifelike is a reliance on technological intervention. Instead, in seemingly inverse proportion to the ease of producing goods for the marketplace, many artists are slowing and complicating their own working methods, remaking banal things into objects of fixation and desire: Catherine Murphy's details of textured fabric on the seat of a chair, or Ron Mueck's strikingly "real" sculpture—down to the last hair and pore—of human subjects. Frequently these artists work from photographs, but just as often, their inspiration is the observed world, and the notion that a tangible, perhaps ephemeral object or moment can somehow be brought back to life—reinterpreted through the artist's hand as re-made readymades.

Lifelike is organized by the Walker Art Center and curated by Siri Engberg, curator, visual arts. Lead sponsor: The Private Client Reserve, US Bank. Major support for the exhibition is provided by John L. Thomson and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional support is gener ously provided by Peggy and Ralph Burnet, Ellie and Tom Crosby, Jr., and Michael J. Peterman and David A. Wilson.

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Ort: Target and Friedman Galleries
Kuratorin: Siri Engberg

Künstler: Ai Weiwei, Akasegawa Genpei, Tauba Auerbach, Robert Bechtle, Dike Blair, James Casebere, Maurizio Cattelan, Vija Celmins, John Clem Clarke, Chuck Close, Susan Collis, Thomas Demand, Esteban Pastorino Diaz, Daniel Douke, Keith Edmier, Leandro Erlich, Dan Fischer, Fischli / Weiss, Tom Friedman, Robert Gober, Duane Hanson, Alex Hay, Jasper Johns, Matt Johnson, Jeon Joonho, Edward Kienholz, Isaac Layman, David Lefkowitz, Ron Mueck, Catherine Murphy, Jud Nelson, Ruben Nusz, Kaz Oshiro, Roxy Paine, Evan Penny, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Robert Rauschenberg, Charles Ray, Gerhard Richter, Ugo Rondinone, Peter Rostovsky, Ed Ruscha, Jonathan Seliger, Paul Sietsema, Rudolf Stingel, Yoshihiro Suda, Sam Taylor-Wood, Paul Thek, Robert Therrien, Mungo Thomson, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Gavin Turk, Andy Warhol, Paul Winstanley, Steve Wolfe

24.02.2012 - 26.05.2012 Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
25.02.2012 - 27.05.2012 Walker Art Center
23.06.2012 - 29.09.2012 Blanton Museum of Art
10.11.2012 - 27.01.2013 New Orleans Museum of Art