JR's first solo show in NYC features on two floors approximately 30 new works, including a series of mechanical sculptures and a video projection. With his electric trains and model container ship, JR evokes the spirit of childlike wonderment and play. Mechanical train cars move forward and backward on their rails, converging and diverging to produce the image of a face that vanishes as soon as the train cars move again. In his model cargo ship, mechanical arms load and unload containers, the building blocks of a gaze.
The gaze is an ongoing theme for JR, and Horizontal presents a new take on this as he introduces glass as a support for images of eyes. Some works isolate a single eye on a double floating pane, while works like Inside Out, Ramallah - Tel-Aviv combine the eyes of two individuals across border walls and political divides.
For this show, JR has staged an intervention on the gallery building’s historic facade, as a human figure installed on a steel armature, appears to peek into the interior of the building. This work is reminiscent of JR’s Kikito installation (2017), the image of a child peering over the Mexican border wall, similarly mounted on scaffolding.
New works by JR take up the four-color printing process of printed advertising posters. This harkens to many of JR’s in situ wheat paste installations, but re-introduces color and embraces the dotted, graphic sensibility of this particular technical process. Shown alongside these works are the four-color plates that are used for printing ‘billboards,’ affording the viewer a glimpse into JR’s process. “It is with these plates of bright colors that the images are printed. Even those who send us back to anxious situations are made up of bright, cheerful reds, yellows and blues. Each of these colors is essential for the constitution of an image,” explains JR.
JR explores new territories while remaining true to his approach of asking questions through artistic installations. The giant eye wheat-pasted on the roof of the gallery in Lower Manhattan is that of Mayra, a “Dreamer,” visible only from the sky of New York, city of dreams and possibilities. Despite the installation’s horizontal orientation, her gaze is cast upwards.
June 28 – August 17, 2018
PERROTIN 130 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002
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