Visibility and visual recognition are intimately connected to our understanding of an object’s materiality. But how do we know what an object “is,” of what it is really made? Although this question is often posed as a struggle between content and form, Now You See It features work that forces us to reexamine our basic assumptions about how we interpret the essence of an artwork’s materials.
Bringing together a number of historically significant and emerging artists, Now You See It draws upon unconventional notions of transformation-like alchemy and magic-as a way of understanding this process as more than simply an elevation of base materials.
Of the exhibition AAM Director and Chief Curator Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson comments: “These artworks offer the chance to glimpse the instant at which we know a change has occurred, and allow us to look more closely at the moment when something stops being what it was before and becomes something else. Erwin Wurms uses dust; Fred Sandback, string; Robert Morris uses felt; Tom Friedman, the act of looking itself to make art. The process can be likened to the shift in perception when a problem is answered, or a stranger morphs into a friend-a fissure forms. Now You See It is about the magical moment of transformation and what happens to the viewer in the presence of such uncertainty.”
Now You See It includes works by Walead Beshty, Alexandra Bircken, Ceal Floyer, Tom Friedman, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Wade Guyton, Wolfgang Laib, Robert Morris, William O’Brien, Mitzi Pederson, Dieter Roth, Robert Ryman, Fred Sandback, Anna Sew Hoy, Gedi Sibony, Rudolf Stingel, Lawrence Weiner, Jennifer West, and Erwin Wurm.
Public programs scheduled during the exhibition include a January 8th poetry reading hosted at the AAM by poet/critic, Parkett magazine U.S. Associate Editor, and Now You See It catalogue contributor Jeremy Sigler, as well as a January 29th public talk with Massimiliano Gioni, critic, curator, Director of Special Exhibitions at the New Museum. Now You See It is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by the Aspen Art Press, and distributed by Distributed Art Publishers (D.A.P.), New York.
The AAM presentation of Now You See It is organized by the Aspen Art Museum, funded in part by the AAM National Council, with additional underwriting from Susan and Larry Marx. AAM Art Talks are part of the Questrom Lecture Series. Opening reception sponsored by Aspen Magazine.