Thursday, 24 November 2011


Pierre Leguillon presenting Ad Reinhardt's slides

Pierre Leguillon, Non-Happening after Ad Reinhardt, slide show, carrousel 1

Pierre Leguillon in conversation with Seth Sieglaub

one of the carrousels with Ad Reinhardt's slides

cabinets of curiosities with different kinds of Ad Reinhardt's work, black silkscreens, cartoons, etc...

Pierre Leguillon
Non-Happening after Ad Reindhart

Raven Row invites you to a special presentation by French artist Pierre Leguillon, with the participation of Seth Siegelaub. For his Non-happening after Ad Reinhardt, Leguillon will show 350 slides that were used in performance lectures by New York abstract painter Ad Reinhardt (1913–1967). Leguillon will then discuss Reinhardt with Conceptual Art pioneer Seth Siegelaub, who as an art dealer in New York in the 1960s knew Reinhardt and shared with him an interest in Islamic art.

Ad Reinhardt is best known for his black monochromes, or ‘ultimate paintings’, to which he devoted himself during the 1960s. Also well known are the satirical comic strips and illustrations he made for Art News magazine and the leftwing newspaper PM. However, little is documented about the artist’s archive of 10,000 photographic slides, now held by the Ad Reinhardt Foundation in New York.

From eyewitness accounts it has been established that Reinhardt’s slide shows consisted of a rapid succession of details of art, decorative art and architecture, photographed during his many travels abroad. Constructing a formal analysis of artistic creation over centuries, they seemed to follow George Kubler’s hypothesis in The Shape of Time: Remarks on the History of Things that there is no progress in art. By framing his shots so as to reveal hidden or overlooked aspects of cultural artefacts, Reinhardt also offered a global ‘reading’ of the history of art, anticipating today’s image search engines.

For the London chapter of this event, Leguillon has invited Seth Siegelaub, who in the mid-1960s let Reinhardt consult his collection of books on oriental rugs shortly before they joined the library of Asia House in New York. Their discussion will highlight the fact that Reinhardt’s slides, beyond their author’s acknowledged role as a leading proponent of Abstract Expressionism and a precursor of Minimal Art, can be seen as a missing link in a history that leads from Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas (1924–1929) to similar archival endeavours by Charles Eames, Sol LeWitt and Gerhard Richter.

Pierre Leguillon (b. 1969, France) lives and works in Paris. Leguillon has been working with slide shows since 1993, most recently in presentations at Artists’ Space in New York, Mudam in Luxembourg and the Louvre in Paris. His solo exhibition at Mamco, Geneva, in 2010 took the form of a large-scale installation exploring the notion of a personal archaeology of perception. Leguillon’s exhibition Diane Arbus : Rétrospective imprimée (1960-1971), which was first shown in 2008 at the Kadist Art Foundation in Paris, toured to Moderna Museet in Malmö, De Hallen in Haarlem and CCA in Vilnius.

Seth Siegelaub (b. 1941, USA) lives and works in Amsterdam. A prominent art dealer, independent exhibitions organiser, publisher, political researcher and textile bibliographer, he is best known for his pivotal role in the emergence of Conceptual Art in the 1960s through his projects with artists such as Robert Barry, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth, and Lawrence Weiner. As part of the manifold activities he undertook after leaving the art world in 1972, Siegelaub has been collecting woven and printed textiles, embroideries and costume from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas as well as bark cloth and headdresses from Oceania and Africa. A selection of works from his textile collection will be shown at Raven Row from 1 March to 6 May 2012 in an exhibition curated by Sara Martinetti, Alice Motard and Alex Sainsbury.

The next instalment of Pierre Leguillon’s ongoing series of Non-happenings after Ad Reinhardt will take place on 17 December 2011 at Murray Guy in New York and will feature guest speaker Ute Meta Bauer.

With the kind support of the Ad Reinhardt Foundation, New York.
Special thanks to Rita Reinhardt, Anna Reinhardt and Susan Sabiston.

Raven Row, 56 Artillery Lane, London E1 7LS
T +44 (0)20 7377 4300

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