Detour, is an exhibition of works by Bruno Gironcoli, Eva Hesse and Tobias Pils, curated by Wills Baker.
Though his career spanned more than five decades, this will be the first exhibition of Austrian sculptor Bruno Gironcoli's work in the United States. In the 1950s, Gironcoli trained as a goldsmith in Innsbruck and then the Academy of Applied Arts in Vienna. Proceeding from a series of compulsive pencil drawings he completed of his wife Christine in 1964, Gironcoli would make his first attempts to three-dimensionally render the human form. This prompted his series of polyester objects; "I attribute great value to this struggle with the human figure, I try to grasp an image of man in paraphrases, in detours, in the psychologization of the environment since representation yields too little for me." His insistence on psychologically internalizing the body with an intent to have it inspire abstract, abbreviated forms, finds a parallel in the post-minimalist strides Eva Hesse was taking at the very same time.
In 1965, while Hesse took up residence in an abandoned textile factory in Kettwig an der Ruhr, Germany upon an invitation by the industrialist and collector Friedrich Arnhard Scheidt, she would create a number of drawings, paintings, and reliefs inevitably inspired by the defunct machinery which remained in her provisional studio. The series of mechanical drawings Hesse made during this time allude to an impending motion that withholds reference to its larger physical source; They become abstract excerpts of an out-of-reach whole. Like Gironcoli, Hesse's drawings would set the groundwork for her subsequent experimentation with material that characterizes her most well-known sculptural work.
Tobias Pils' paintings claim roots in Gironcoli's sculptures and complement the visual dissonance of Hesse. The activity contained in his gray-scale world diffuses into the viewer's purview and quietly incites mental disruption. Much like his predecessors, Pils' work favors neither gesture nor sign, but hybrid form. His compositions suggest automation but open outwardly into free expression.
In the way that a body is its own mechanical system composed of discrete but harmonically operating parts, each artist featured in the exhibition contributes meaning via their own idiosyncratic modes of expression, commonly utilizing human morphology as surrealist device. By merging man, psyche, and machine, a future is anticipated that envisions anatomy integrated holistically into the industrial. Together, the artists' internal worlds coalesce into a material one, and the present becomes concentrated in strange ways.