Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Michael Duerr.


John Gerrard Joins Pace Gallery

We are pleased to announce our representation of Irish artist John Gerrard (b. 1974, North Tipperary). Widely regarded as a key figure in the development of simulation within contemporary art, Gerrard creates works that at first appear to be traditional films or videos but are actually virtual worlds. Made using real-time computer graphics, a technology developed by the military and now used extensively in the gaming industry, his works are created over the course of months and sometimes even years.  The nature of contemporary power in the broadest sense is central to Gerrard’s conceptual motivation, and frequently his work refers to structures of control and networks of energy that have made possible the expansion of humanity in the past century.

This week, we will inaugurate our presentation of Gerrard’s work at Frieze London with the debut of two digital simulations, which will be displayed on framed LED wall panels at the gallery’s booth. Gerrard’s work is also currently part of the Okayama Art Summit in Japan, which opened on September 27, 2019 and is being overseen by Pierre Huyghe, featuring Gerrard’s X.Laevis (Spacelab), 2017 alongside works by seventeen international artists.

“John’s simulated worlds have helped us understand where art can go in the 21st century. The weight and lightness of our contemporary experiences are focused and reimagined in his universe. His works reconnect us to the powerful realities we have become blind to in our post-internet world.”—Marc Glimcher, CEO and President of Pace Gallery.


Installation view, John Gerrard, Western Flag (Spindletop Texas), 2017, 2017 simulation, Edition of 4 + 2 APs © John Gerrard

Notable works by the artist include Western Flag (Spindletop, Texas) 2017, a depiction of the site of the 'Lucas Gusher'—the world's first major oil find in Spindletop, Texas in 1901—which is now barren and exhausted. The site, recreated as a digital simulation by the artist, depicts a flagpole erected on the cite that bears a “flag” of perpetually renewing pressurized black smoke. Originally commissioned by Channel 4, UK for broadcast, the work has been presented as a major LED simulation at Somerset House, London and was part of DesertX in 2019. John Gerrard’s installation Solar Reserve (Tonopah, Nevada) 2014, which debuted at the plaza of New York’s Lincoln Center in October 2014 and was recently on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2018. The work presents a life-like view of a remote solar-power installation in Tonopah, Nevada simulating the real-time movements of the sun, moon, and stars across the sky.

Other significant exhibitions include a newly commissioned work at Manifesta, Palermo, Italy (2018); Western Flag, Somerset House with Channel 4, London, (2018); Marching in Circles at Long March Space, Beijing (2017); Shanghai Biennial (2016); Power. Play at UCCA, Beijing (2016); Art in the Age of…Asymmetrical Warfare at Witte de With, Rotterdam (2015); Exercise at Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul (2014); Infinite Freedom Exercise at Manchester International Festival (2011); Royal Opera House, London (2011); and Directions at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (2009). In 2013, Gerrard unveiled Pulp Press (Kistefos) 2013, a permanent installation at Kistefos Museet, Norway.  Gerrard’s work is also in permanent collections including the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; M+, Hong Kong; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Fine Art; and Tate Collection, London, among many others.

Born in North Tipperary, Ireland, Gerrard received a BFA from The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford University. During this time, he made his first experiments with 3D scanning as a form of sculptural photography. He completed an MFA at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago (1998-2000) and an MSC at Trinity College, Dublin (2002). In June 2009 he began a six-month guest residency at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam. In 2012, he was a Legacy Fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford, working on a major commission for Modern Art Oxford and the London 2012 Festival.

  • News — John Gerrard Joins Pace Gallery, Sep 30, 2019