John Gerrard

Endling

On View
Jun 29 – Aug 12, 2022
New York
 
Exhibition Details:

John Gerrard
Endling
Jun 29 – Aug 12, 2022

Galleries:

510 West 25th Street
New York

Press:

Press Release

Connect:

@johngerrard.inst
@pacegallery

Above: John Gerrard, Flare (Oceania), 2022 © John Gerrard / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Pace is pleased to present Endling, an exhibition of new annual simulations by John Gerrard, at its 510 West 25th Street space in New York.

Marking Gerrard’s first major solo show with Pace, the presentation will run from June 29 to August 12. The artworks on view in Endling are the result of 20 years of game engine development by the artist.

Gerrard creates virtual worlds in his game engine-based, politically resonant artworks that take the form of simulations. His custom-programmed, generative, digital works have examined issues related to energy production, food systems, information flows, and other timely subjects.

Endling, the title of Gerrard’s exhibition with Pace in New York, refers to the last individual member of a given species before its extinction. This title reflects Gerrard’s interest in the global impact of certain political conditions and behaviors. With these concerns at the core of the artist’s simulations, the exhibition examines the complex relationships between political power, nationhood, energy production, and environmental exploitation.

The exhibition will feature three new and recent large-scale simulations by Gerrard: Flare (Oceania) (2022), Endling (Martha) (2021), and washington.stream (2022). These virtual worlds will run on the local times of their respective subjects—Tonga, Cincinnati, and Los Angeles—during their presentations in New York. Throughout the exhibition’s run, the doors of 510 West 25th Street will remain open, inviting viewers to engage with the public-facing simulations as part of a communal experience. Extending the gallery into the street, Flare (Oceania) will be immediately visible to passersby.

Flare (Oceania) features a gas flare, burning in the form of a flag, in the South Pacific Ocean near Tonga. Based on photographs of the ocean captured by activist and artist Uili Lousi, Flare (Oceania) meditates on the existential threat heating oceans pose to low-lying lands as well as the economic and geopolitical factors contributing to the climate crisis. Functioning as the centerpiece of the exhibition, Flare (Oceania), which is commissioned by Bridgitt Evans, will be presented on an 18 by 18-foot high-resolution screen provided by ROE Visual, a leading LED display manufacturer with whom Gerrard has previously collaborated.

Endling (Martha) is a portrait of the last known American passenger pigeon, who was posthumously named Martha, after First Lady Martha Washington, following the bird’s death in 1914. Gerrard’s simulation draws from historic photographs and recent scans of the bird’s preserved body, showing Martha in her cage at the Cincinnati Zoo, where she spent the final years of her life. The simulation centers on the bird’s unwavering, intense eye contact with viewers, meditating on one of the most catastrophic population collapses in recorded history. Rendered in black- and-white, Endling (Martha), commissioned by Borusan Contemporary Art Collection, Istanbul, is Gerrard’s first monochromatic simulation.

washington.stream depicts the sprawling 405 freeway in Los Angeles, hugely congested with traffic. The 30,000- car simulation features the headlights and taillights of vehicles in both nighttime and daytime conditions. Grappling with the deleterious effects of mass consumption and energy use, washington.stream conveys deeply political messages through its semi-abstract composition. washington.stream is commissioned by Scott Hoffman.

Focusing on the intersections of energy, politics, and expressions of national identity, Endling is conceptually linked to Gerrard’s presentation of six wall-mounted simulations at Pace’s East Hampton gallery, on view from June 23 to 29. Coinciding with his show at Pace in New York, the artist’s East Hampton presentation features wall-mounted iterations of Flare (Oceania), Endling (Martha), and washington.stream. The show also includes Leaf Work (2020) and Corn Work (2020), both of which were commissioned by the Galway International Arts Festival, as well as the new Crystalline Work (2022), which features a robot arm arranging ice crystals as part of an examination of geo- engineering and climate change.

Gerrard’s work currently figures in the 2022 Biennale of Sydney, and the artist participated in the Gwangju Biennale and Thailand Biennial in 2021. In 2019, Gerrard’s work was exhibited in the Okayama Art Summit in Japan. He has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museo Nacional Thyssen- Bornemisza in Madrid; the Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art in Beijing; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.; and other international venues. His work can be found in the collections of major institutions around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, LACMA, Tate in London, the Pinault Collection in Paris, and elsewhere.

 
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About the Artist

John Gerrard's innovative practice explores the divisions between portrait, landscape, and history painting, generating moving images that no longer belong to ‘time-based media.’ Gerrard rethinks the monumentalism of Land art in the age of Google Earth and explores an expanded arena of choreography and performance, keeping pace with the subtle complexity of its subject matter.

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