Passing Leap at Hauser & Wirth, NY

A ‘passing leap’ is a very complicated trapeze move that involves a lot of leg catching and precarious jumps (Elephant have looked this up and it made us feel dizzy). While in mid-air, the performer finds their perspective flipped and the laws of physics flung into question. New York’s Hauser & Wirth have just opened a group show that experiments with these ideas.

Looking at precision and the warping of space and time, these artworks are a mix of geometric painting, sculpture and photography. The ideas of cutting up space and the block colours on show give the exhibition quite a modernist feel, that is given a contemporary shake up with the inclusion of the photographic images and few erratic sculptures that are exhibited.

Berlin-based Claudia Wieser often works with geometric abstraction. Her pieces are satisfyingly precise, especially the teardrop of acrylic paint, basswood and ink — Untitled, as are all her others — that has been painted in perfect detail with matt blacks and pastel tones. Her use of gold leaf on other paintings is equally meticulous. Gold leaf is notoriously difficult to control and these clean lines give a sense of labour and attention.

Young painter Sebastian Black (b. 1985) uses a similar colour palette to Weiser, which consists of reds, pinks, purples and oranges that all look as though there is a slight white film over them. These works are also made up of careful, handcrafted edges, where blocks of paint meet elegantly with one another.

Haegue Yang, a South Korean artist who works between Berlin and Seoul is the one joker in the pack, her messy but comical Wild in Aspen: Celestial Martial Plan 2011 sculpture consisting of (among other things) a chrome clothing rack, frosted light bulbs, a cleaning sponge, pipe cleaners, sea shells and big lumps of driftwood. You get the impression that the surrounding work must feel horrified to be in the midst of such chaos.

Passing Leap is open at Hauser & Wirth, New York until 31 July.

Wild in Aspen: Celestial Martial Plan 2011 — Haegue Yang, 2011 Four-way straight-arm clothing rack (chrome) on casters with nine arms, light bulbs (frosted), electric cable, cleaning sponge, crystal bead necklace, pipe cleaners, sea shells, bungee cord, bells, safety pins, and driftwood 200 x 106.7 x 114.3 cm / 78 3/4 x 42 x 45 in
Ekphrasis galimatias 1 — Sebastian Black, 2015 Oil on canvas 45.72 x 60.96 cm / 18 x 24 in
Untitled — Claudia Wieser, 2015 Basswood, acrylic paint, ink 60 x 14 x 14 cm / 23 5/8 x 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 in
Untitled — Claudia Wieser, 2015 Gold leaf, colour pencil on colour paper 33 x 33 cm / 13 x 13 in
The Longest Drawing — Dave McDermott, 2015 Oil, linen, marine varnish, yarn on panel 190.5 x 160 cm / 75 x 63 in
Dress Vehicle – Square Hunter — Haegue Yang, 2011 Aluminum venetian blinds, powder-coated aluminum frame, casters, and magnets 136.5 x 108.9 x 108.9 cm / 53 3/4 x 42 7/8 x 42 7/8 in

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