Tony OURSLER

Tony OURSLER

Mother Board 2001

Blem 2004

Ooks 2004

Groft 2004

Untitled 2008

Mage 2019

Tony Oursler
New York, 1957. Dove vive e lavora. 

Non c'è dubbio che le opere di Tony Oursler suscitino forti emozioni nello spettatore. In parte spettacolo, in parte incubo, in parte home movie, i video di Oursler, sono una combinazione unica di umorismo gotico e stregoneria tecnologica che lo hanno reso un noto attore delle mostre di new media art a livello internazionale.

L'artista è noto soprattutto per le sue installazioni elettroniche, in cui proietta immagini in movimento su forme scultoree. Il lavoro di Oursler è inconfondibile pur spaziando in un ampio campo di tecniche che collega il video, la scultura, la performance e la pittura.

Grazie all’apporto di apposite mascherine applicate alle lenti del proiettore, l’artista scontorna immagini di volti disincarnati, occhi e bocche per umanizzare oggetti inerti: pupazzi, manichini, pietre, barattoli di vetro e vere e proprie strutture scultoree, ma anche alberi, nuvole di fumo e facciate di edifici. Così facendo, sottrae l'immagine filmica e televisiva alla sua bidimensionalità, riconducendola sul piano inedito della tridimensionalità, tipica della scultura.

A partire dalla fine degli anni Sessanta, Tony Oursler indagò sugli effetti della rivoluzione telematica sia sul piano sociopolitico sia su quello individuale, interessandosi alla destrutturazione e all'analisi del linguaggio del cinema, ma anche alle ambiguità del comportamento umano e al significato degli oggetti. Durante gli studi al California Institute of Arts frequentò i corsi di John Baldessari, dove conobbe Mike Kelley, John Miller e Jim Shaw. Il gruppo di artisti diventò noto per la loro reazione contro le restrizioni materiali a cui aderivano gli artisti concettuali degli anni Settanta.

Iniziò più volte come pittore, e dagli anni '70 realizzò centinaia di disegni. Ian Berry sottolineò che i disegni realizzati negli anni '80 mettono l'accento su temi particolarmente introspettivi come la morte, i sogni, la religione, i fantasmi, le allucinazioni e le esperienze psichiche, tematiche che poi si ritrovano nelle sue opere video e nelle prime installazioni.

Nel 1992 scoprì, utilizzando uno dei nuovissimi modelli, il videoproiettore a cristalli liquidi (LCD) ed iniziò a produrre le prime video sculture; alcune di queste, immediatamente presentate a Kassel in occasione di Documenta XI, riscossero un clamoroso successo proiettando l’artista alla ribalta internazionale.

Da qui si spostò presto sul fronte dell'immagine in movimento proiettando su supporti diversi dal video tradizionale, perciò la definizione " video scultura" fu troppo stretta. Sin da allora Oursler esplorò vari modi per incorporare la tecnologia, strumenti digitali e la realtà virtuale, dando vita a un popolo di creature con occhi, bocche e palpebre capaci di raggiungere il sistema nervoso dell’osservatore.

Il lavoro di Oursler non può lasciare lo spettatore indifferente. Infatti, i temi ricorrenti che collegano tutte le sue opere sono la memoria e l'incoscienza degli esseri umani, per cui le fonti di ispirazione sono varie: nella cronaca attuale e del passato, nelle leggende e nella mitologia. Ad esempio, i volti ibridi che creò dal 2014 con stampe a getto d'inchiostro, legno e media richiamarono la tecnologia di riconoscimento facciale. Nella sua video installazione Le Volcan, esposta alla Dep Art Gallery nel 2019, Oursler ricostruì l'eruzione vulcanica sull'isola di Martinica, partendo dalle immagini fotografiche che il pseudoscienziato Commader Louis Dargèt cercava di impressionare con la sola forza del pensiero. Nell'installazione site-specific Eclipse, ideata e creata nel 2019 per la mostra collettiva Trees alla Fondation Cartier di Parigi, trasformò gli alberi in creature mitiche ispirate alla trasformazione di Dafne in un albero di alloro nella mitologia greca. 

Oltre a ricevere un BFA dal California Institute of the Arts nel 1979, vinse anche il premio ICA New Media Award della U.S. Art Critics Association nel 2000. Le sue opere sono state esposte in prestigiose istituzioni, tra cui: il Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Documenta VIII, IX, Kassel, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Centre Georges Pompidou e la Fondation Cartier, Parigi, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Skulptur Projekte, Münster, Museum Ludwig, Colonia, Hirschhorn Museum, Washington, Tate Gallery, Londra, Pac (Padiglione D’arte Contemporanea), Milano.

Tony Oursler
New York, 1957. Where he lives and works. 

There is no mistaking that the work of Tony Oursler arouses deep feelings in the beholder. Part circus, part nightmare, part home movie, Oursler’s videos, are a unique blend of dark humor and techno-wizardry, which made him a noted participant at new media art exhibitions internationally.

The artist is best known for his electronic effigies, installations where he projects moving images onto sculptural forms. His work has an unmistakable individual form, even if it spans over a wide array of media that bridges video, sculpture, performances, and painting.

By blocking out the image with special masks applied to the projector lens, with disembodied faces, eyes, and mouths, he humanizes inert objects: puppets, dummies, stones, glass jars and authentic sculptural structures, but also trees, clouds, and the facades of buildings. By doing so, he releases the cinematic and television image from its two-dimensionality, which is typical of sculpture.

As from the late Sixties, Tony Oursler started to investigate the effects of the telecommunications revolution at both the socio-political and individual levels. He was interested in destructuring, and in the analysis of the language of cinema, but also in the ambiguities of human behavior and the significance of objects.

During his studies at Cal Arts, he frequented the courses of John Baldessari and befriended Mike Kelley, John Miller and Jim Shaw. The group became known for their reaction against the material restrictions adhered to by the conceptual artists of the 70s.

On several occasions, he started out as a painter and since the Seventies, he has made hundreds of drawings. Ian Berry has pointed out that the drawings he made in the Eighties put the stress on particularly introspective themes such as: death, dreams, religion, phantoms, hallucinations, and psychic experiences, which later came together in his video works and initial installations.

In 1992, he discovered the newest model of the LCD projector for displaying video and started to produce the first video sculptures; some of these were presented at Documenta XI in Kassel, with a tremendous success, raising the artist to international acclaim.

Afterwards, he turned to the moving image and projected on all different sort of media other than traditional video, so that the definition "video sculpture" was too short-sighted. Oursler always explored different ways to incorporate new technologies, digital media and virtual reality, giving life to a species of asynchronous creatures with eyes, eyelids and mouths capable of reaching the nervous system of the viewer.

Oursler’s work hardly leaves the spectator untouched. In fact, the recurrent topics that connect all his work are the memory and the unconsciousness of human beings, so the sources of inspiration are varied: present-day and past news, legends and mythology. For example, the hybrid faces that he created since 2014 out of inkjet prints, wood and media recall technology of face recognition. In his video installation Le Volcan, on display at Dep Art Gallery in 2019, Oursler reenacted the volcanic eruption on the island of Martinqiue, starting from the photographic images that the pseudo-scientist Commader Louis Dargèt attempted to create by using the sole power of the mind. In the site-specific installation Eclipse, conceived and produced in 2019 for the group exhibition Trees at Fondation Cartier in Paris, he transformed trees in mythical creatures inspired by Daphne’s transformation into a laurel tree in Greek mythology. 

Oursler received a BFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 1979, and in 2000, he was awarded the U.S. Art Critics Association ICA New Media Award. His work has been exhibited in prestigious institutions including: the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Documenta VIII, IX, Kassel, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Fondation Cartier, Paris, the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Skulptur Projekte, Münster, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, the Hirschhorn Museum, Washington, Tate Gallery, London, Pac (Padiglione D’arte Contemporanea), Milan.

Mostre personali / Solo exhibitions
 

2022

Madrid, Galeria MPA, Pareidolia (and other problems)

2021
Taiwan, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Tony Oursler: Black Box
Austria, Dornbirn, Kunstraum Dornbirn, Specular
Hong Kong, China, K11 Musea, Lock 2, 4, 6

2020
Nantes, Musée d’arts de Nantes, State_Nonstate (Hypnose)
Ljubljana, Match Gallery, Experimentum Cruscis
Online, Lehmann Maupin Gallery, Magical Variations

2019
Nanjing, Nanjing Eye Pedestrian Bridge​
Paris, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Eclipse
Hobart, Beaumaris Zoo, 6th
New York, Guild Hall, East Hampton, Water Memory
Milan, Dep Art Gallery, Tony Oursler. The volcano and poetics tattoo

2018
Hong Kong, Art Basel Hong Kong, Flow
New York, Lisson Gallery, TC: the most interesting man alive
New York, Riverside Park South, Tear of the Cloud
Aspen, Baldwin Gallery, predictive empath

2017
New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Tony Oursler: Imponderable
Barcelona, Caixa Forum, Imponderable with L7-L5
Paris, Galerie Mitterrand, Sound Digressions: Spectrum
Turin, Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, Paranormal: Tony Oursler vs Gustavo Rol
Los Angeles, Redling Fine Art, Unidentified

2016
Edinburgh, University of Edinburgh, George Square Gardens, The Influence Machine
Madrid, Galería Moisés Pérez De Albéniz,  A*gR_3
Magazine III Collection, M*r>0r
New York, MOMA, CCS Bard Galleries, The Imponderable Archive
Dusseldorf, Hans Mayer Gallery,  >>pU#\*c<<
Virginia, Chrysler Museum, TC: The Most Interesting Man Alive
Hong Kong, Lehmann Maupin,  PriV%te

2015
Athens, Bernier Eliades
Arles, LUMA Foundation, Imponderable: the Archives of Tony Oursler
New York, Lehmann Maupin
London, Lisson Gallery,  template/variant/friend/stranger
Adelaide, Pink Flats, Blinc Festival Adelaide, Influence Machine

2014
Amsterdam, The Stedelijk Museum, X ERGO Y
Amsterdam, Oude Kerk, I/O underflow
Dusseldorf, Galerie Hans Mayer, Obscura
Aspen, Baldwin Gallery, Passe-Partout

2013
Hornu, Grand-Hornu MAC’s, Phantasmagoria
Brussels, A Baronian Gallery, Glare Schematics
New York, Nyack, Edward Hopper House, hopped (popped)
Sao Paulo, Galeria Leme
Oslo, Ekeberg Sculpture Park
Melbourne, John Buckley Gallery
Paris, JGM Galerie & Campoli Presti, Phobic / White Trash
Venice, Espace Louis Vuitton, Strawberry ecstasy green
New York, Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery, Tony Oursler: UFOs and Effigies
Honolulu, Honolulu Museum of Art, Little Worlds
Kiev, PinchukArtCentre, Agentic iced etcetera
London, Tate Modern, The Influence Machine
Sao Paulo, Museu de Arte Moderna, Norte Sul Leste Oeste

2012
Seoul, 313 Art Project, Oxt Variations
Verona, FaMa Gallery, Denouement
Sydney, Jensen Gallery, Sculpture
Auckland, Jensen/Fox, Sculpture
Hong Kong, Contemporary by Angela Li, Super Pop (and Not)
San Francisco, Gallery Paule Anglim, top–down–bottom–up
Düsseldorf, Galerie Hans Mayer, Lapsed Fantasist
Madrid, Galeria Soledad Lorenzo, False-Color Actions
Copenhagen, Avlskarl Gallery, Scribble, Adumbrations
Aarhus, ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Face to Face

2011
Online, Adobe Museum of Digital Media
Helsinki, Galerie Forsblom, As Above, So Below
Milan, PAC- Padiglione d’arte Contemporanea, Open Obscura
Paris, JMG Galerie

2010
Rio de Janeiro, Oi Futuro
Adobe Museum of Digital Media, Valley
New York, Lehmann Maupin, Peak
New Zealand, Jensen Gallery, ON / OFF
Aspen, Baldwin Gallery, Vertical Loop Task
Beijing, Faurschou Gallery, Number Seven, Plus or Minus 2

2009
Bregenz, Kunsthaus Bregenz, LOCK 2,4,6
Vienna, Galerie Steinek, 50 Schilling
Brussels, Baronian – Francey
Toronto, Luminato Festival, Void or everything ever wanted
New York, Clocktower, Five Take Radius
Turin, Galleria In Arco, Gaze Heuristic (With Drool)
New York, Metro pictures, Cellphones Diagrams Cigarettes Searches and Scratch Cards
San Francisco, Paule Anglim Gallery
New York, Frank Sinatra High School, Splatter Project #1

2008
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Espacio Cultural El Tanque, Mirada Pensante
London, Lisson Gallery, High
Madrid, Galería Soledad Lorenzo, Trunk Mask Bomb Frame Hatchet Crutch Queen
Moscow,  House of Photography, NixAlienClimaxCloudAxe
New Orleans, KK Projects, St. Roch
London, Chelsea Physic Gardens, Project for Physic Garden
New York, AWGTHTGTWTA
Paris, Gare du Nord, Horizon Scander Jeu
Auckland, Jensen Gallery, Spectar

2007
New York, Lehmann Maupin, Ooze
Athens, Bernier/Eliades, Phobos
Milan, Galleria Emi Fontana, Dum-Dum, Metalbreath, Wadcutter
Helsinki, Galerie Forsblom
San Francisco, Gallery Paule Anglim
Phoenix, Million Colors

2006
Los Angeles, Margo Levin Gallery, Spaced
Geneva, Simon Studer Art
New York, Nyehaus, Sound Digressions in Seven Colors
Turin, Galleria In Arco
Copenhagen, Kunstforeningen GL Strand, Disposifs
Montclair, Collaboration with Phil Morrison and Kim Gordon, Perfect Partner
New York, Metro Pictures, Thought Forms

2005
Sydney, Blue Invasion
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Studio: Seven Months of My Aesthetic Education (Plus Some), Climaxed
Helsinki, Helsinki City Art Museum, Dispositifs
Salamanca, Domus Atrium 2002, Dispositifs
Paris, Jeu de Paume, Dispositifs
London, Barbican, Collaboration with Phil Morrison and Kim Gordon, Perfect Partner

2004
New York, Lehmann Maupin
Aarhus, Aarhus Kunsthaus, Unk
Barcelona, Barcelona Civic Plaza,  Sexta de cifra
Madrid, Galeria Soledad Lorenzo, Blob
Paris, Musee D’Orsay, Studio: Seven Months of My Aesthetic Education (Plus Some)
Seattle, Seattle Public Library, Braincast
Athens, Bernier Eliades, PHOBOS
Los Angeles, Margo Leavin Gallery

2003
New York, Metro Pictures
Athens, Bernier / Eliades
Auckland, Jensen Gallery
London, Lisson Gallery
San Francisco, Gallery Paule Anglim

2002
Travai, Studio d’Arte Raffaelli, Parallel Lines
Torino, Galleria In Arco, Parallel Lines
Roma, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea
Stockholm, Stockholm Konsthall, Magasin 3, Station and The Influence Machine (Swedish version)
New York, Lehmann Maupin, Tony Oursler
Vienna, Galeria Steinek
Dusseldorf, Galerie Hans Meyer, Luftmetall
Bad Driburg, Shock-Rock
Savannah College of Art and Design, Pei Ling Chan Gallery and Garden for the Arts, Tony Oursler: Drawings, CD-ROM, Installation, Videotapes

2001
New York, Metro Pictures, Antennae Pods transmissions
Valencia, Institute Valencià D’Art Modern
New Orleans, Tulane University, Newcomb Gallery
Bregenz, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Flucht
San Sebastian, Koldo Mitxelena Kulturunea
Paris, Galerie Ghislaine Hussenot
Barcelona, Galerie Joan Prats

2000
Milan, 1000 Eventi, Sulfer, Glass, Silicon
London, Lisson Gallery, The Empty Cabinet
San Diego, University of California, University Art Gallery, The Empty Cabinet
Seattle, University of Washington, Henry Art Gallery, The Empty Cabinet
London, Lisson Gallery, The Empty Cabinet
Athens, Bernier / Eliades, Tony Oursler
Vienna, Galerie Steinek
Los Angeles, Margo Leavin Gallery
New York, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Tony Oursler: The Darkest Color Infinitely Amplified
New York, The Influence Machine
Munich, Sammlung Goetz, EVOL

1999
Tel Aviv, Museum of Art
Massachusetts , MASS MoCA, N. Adams, Introjection: Tony Oursler mid-career survey, 1976-1999
Williamstown, Williams College, Introjection: Tony Oursler mid-career survey, 1976-1999
Houston, Contemporary Arts Museum, Introjection: Tony Oursler mid-career survey, 1976-1999
Los Angeles, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Introjection: Tony Oursler mid-career survey, 1976-1999
Des Moines, Des Moines Art Center,  Introjection: Tony Oursler mid-career survey, 1976-1999
München, Galerie Biedermann, Introjection: Tony Oursler mid-career survey, 1976-1999
Warsaw, Ujazdowski Castle

1998
New York, Metro Pictures
Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institute, Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Directions-Tony Oursler: Video Dolls with Tracey Liepold
Malmö, Konsthall, Videotapes, Dummies, Drawings, Photographs, Viruses, Heads, Eyes, & CD-ROM
Hannover, Kunstverein Hannover, Videotapes, Dummies, Drawings, Photographs, Viruses, Heads, Eyes, & CD-ROM
Madrid, Soledad Lorenzo
The Poetics Project: 1977-1997, in collaboration with Mike Kelley

1997
Philadelphia, Institute of Contemporary Art, Judy
Los Angeles, Margo Leavin Gallery
Aspen, Aspen Art Museum
Bilboa, Salade Exposiciones Rekalde
Bordeaux, Musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux
San Francisco, Paule Anglim
The Poetics Project: 1977-1997, in collaboration with Mike Kelley
Munich, Galerie Biedermann
Tokyo, Gallery Koyanagi
Dusseldorf, Kunsthandel Achenbach, Der menschliche Faktor—Das individuum im Spiegel der zeitgenosslschen Kunst
New York, White Columns, The Video Room
Berlin, Galerie Franck & Schulte, Videoskulpturen

1996
London, Lisson Gallery
Athens, Jean Bernier Gallery
New York, Metro Pictures
San Diego, Museum of Contemporary Art
Kassel, Kasseler Kunstverein, My Drawings 1976-1996

1995
Eindhoven, Stedlijk Van Abbemuseum, System for Dramatic Feedback
Frankfurt, Portikus, System for Dramatic Feedback
Strasbourg, Les Musées de la Ville de Strasbourg, System for Dramatic Feedback
Geneva, Centre d'Art Contemporain, System for Dramatic Feedback
Strasbourg, Musée des Arts Modernes et Contemporains, Tony Oursler: Video Installations, Objects, Watercolors
Paris, Galerie Ghislaine Hussenot
Vienna, Wiener Secession
Madrid, Soledad Lorenzo, Tony Oursler- Ouvres Récentes

1994
London, Lisson Gallery
Athens, Bernier/Eliades
Santa Monica, Linda Chathcart Gallery
New York, Metro Pictures, Dummies, Flowers, Alters, Clouds, and Organs
Honolulu, The contemporary Museum, Tony Oursler—Recent Video Works

1993
Berlin, Kunstwerke, White Trash and Phobic
Geneva, Centre d'Art Contemporain, White Trash and Phobic
New York, Andrea Rosen Gallery
San Francisco, The living room
Liverpool, Bluecoat Gallery, Dummies, Dolls, and Posion Candy
Birmingham, IKON Gallery, Dummies, Dolls, and Posion Candy

1992
The Hague, Kijkhuis, F/X Plotter, 2 Way
Boston, The Space
New York, The knitting factory

1991
New York, Diane Brown Gallery
San Francisco, The Living Room, Dummies, Hex Signs, Watercolours
San Francisco, The Pacific Film Archives
San Francisco, The Cinématèque

1990
New York, Diane Brown Gallery
San Francisco, The Living Room, Dummies, Hex Signs, Watercolours
San Francisco, The Pacific Film Archives
San Francisco, The Cinématèque

1989
Essen, Folkwang Museum
Basel, Museum fur Gegenwartskunst
New York, Collective for Living Cinema
San Francisco, Bobo Gallery

1988
Quebec City, Le Lieu, Tony Oursler’s Works
New York, Diane Brown Gallery, Constellation: Intermission
Vancouver, Western Front
Los Angeles, Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies/EZTV

1987
New York, The Kitchen

1986
Paris, Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Spheres of Influence
San Francisco, New Langton Arts
Boston, Boston Film/Video Foundation

1985
Paris, The American Center
Den Haag, Kijkhuis
Delft, Kunst Delft
Lyon, Espace Lyonnais d’Art Contemporain, ELAC
Basel, Schule fur Gestaltung

1984
New York, Anthology Film Archives
New York, The Kitchen, L-7, L-5
New York, Mo David Gallery
New York, The Kitchen

1983
San Francisco, La Mamelle
Buffalo, Media Study, My Sets
Toronto, A Space, Son Of Oil
Los Angeles, Panic House/Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions

1982
Minneapolis, The Walker Art Center
Boston, Boston Film/Video Foundation
New York, P.S.1, A Scene
New York, The Kitchen, Complete Works
New York, Soho TV M/T Channel 10

1981
New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Video Viewpoints
Berkeley, University of California, University Art Museum, Video Viewpoints

Mostra Tony OURSLER Le Volcan, Poetics Tattoo & UFO

Tony OURSLER

6 aprile - 1 giugno 2019

Le Volcan, Poetics Tattoo & UFO