Larry Sultan / Swimmers
May 26 – Aug 25, 2018

Larry Sultan

Galerie Thomas Zander is delighted to present an exhibition of Larry Sultan’s early painterly underwater photographs from the series Swimmers, which are shown in Europe for the first time.

Swimmers represents a stylistic counterpoint to Sultan’s conceptual works, created in collaboration with Mike Mandel and appropriating the flood of images of the Pictures Generation. Sultan turns toward a physical, sensual perception in Swimmers, photographing people learning to swim between 1978 and 1982. The palette and silhouettes of gesticulating arms and legs, of faces and bodies are slightly distorted by the water. In painterly opulence the series describes a space submerged under the surface of ubiquitous media images and messages. It is undefined, charged, and floating, anticipating the ambiguity in Sultan’s later presentations of space.

 

Larry Sultan

Larry Sultan

Larry Sultan

Larry Sultan

The collaborative projects of Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel, however, appropriate mass communication and deconstruct its various forms with ersatz messages and irony. How to Read Music in One Evening (1975) shifts the context and attention span for images from advertisements from a casual everyday perception to the reception of art. In a series of silk screen prints Sultan and Mandel arranged cheaply reproduced photographs from ads for household gadgets into short sequences, which generate curious, sexualized or ominous associations: the hand turning the switch, the knitted nose warmer, the gun pointed at a naked chest. The portfolio Trouble Spots (1990), including five dye transfer prints, grew out of the production of billboards, two of which were installed in public space at the time. From an illustrated bible, catchy lettering and random media images Sultan and Mandel mixed ideologies and iconographies to create vaguely disturbing hybrids.

 

Larry Sultan

Larry Sultan

Larry Sultan

Larry Sultan

Larry Sultan (1946-2009) received a Guggenheim Fellowship for his work and several National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two with Mandel. He was an influential teacher in San Francisco for three decades and was distinguished professor at the California College of the Arts. His work is accompanied by a number of seminal artist books and has been the subject of numerous international exhibitions. Sultan’s works are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Tate Modern, among others.

 

Larry Sultan / Swimmers
May 26 – August 25, 2018 / Galerie Thomas Zander
Please visit the exhibition page >

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