until 14.04. | #3374ARTatBerlin | Esther Schipper shows from 12th March 2022 the exhibition Us Horizon by the artist Jac Leirner. It is her first solo exhibition with the gallery. Us Horizon will include a new work from Leirner’s acclaimed series constructed from ensembles of plastic shopping bags, and a new installation made of found numbered markers.
Jac Leirner, who joined the gallery in 2019, is best known for her series of works employing specific everyday materials, such as bank notes, cigarette packaging, airline paraphernalia, business cards, and more recently items purchased in hardware stores. Her conceptually rigorous and formally beautiful works draw on a wide array of art historical and formal influences, as well as embracing the transgressive legacies of Dada, Constructivism, Pop and Conceptual Art, Arte Povera, and Punk, among others.
The exhibition’s central large-scale work, Us Horizon, consists of over 200 vintage shopping bags installed in a double row at eye-level across three walls in the main gallery space. Leirner began collecting the material for this body of work in 1985 and first presented collections of plastic shopping bags at the 1989 São Paulo Biennial and the following year at the 44. Biennale di Venezia. Initially exhibited as vast quilted surfaces covering walls and at times also the floor, or as sculptures made from smaller groups sewn-together, later configurations were exhibited as large orderly grids, most recently at the Museum Ludwig, on the occasion of the artist’s receiving the 2019 Wolfgang Hahn Award. The double line of bags seen in Us Horizon constitutes a new and final format of this body of work. Assembled from individual shopping bags that date from the 1980s to today, Us Horizon’s linear sequence is organized according to their formal properties such as shape, color, and fonts. The bags attest to Leirner’s love of music, of books, refer to exhibitions she took part in or visited, to museums in which she exhibited, or which hold her works in their collections. Others were given to her by family and friends. In this format, as the title suggests, the work forms a horizon, both formally and symbolically: it represents the things that make us.
A new work, Prisms, is composed of small numbered geometric pouches made from multicolored sewn synthetic fabric that are commonly used by São Paolo’s valet parking attendants to identify the cars in their custody. The new collection creates a jumble of numbers, recalling Leirner’s often professed interest in mathematics and the artist’s obvious penchant for creating systems.
Suspended on steel cords in progressive sequences—by shape, color, size—My Unstable Way, 2022, and Expressive Line, 2020, create elegant yet enigmatic ensembles of objects. With its large variety of pens, some with brand names and logos, My Unstable Way draws on Leirner’s history of using found and absconded items. The second ensemble, entitled Expressive Line, assembles a multitude of miniature tires made from rubber or plastic.
Jac Leirner was born in 1961 in São Paulo, where she lives and works. In 1984, she received her BFA in Fine Arts from the Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado, in Sao Paulo.
Selected solo exhibitions include: 2019 Wolfgang Hahn Prize, Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2019); Jac Leirner: Add It Up, The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2017); Institutional Ghost, IMMA Dublin (2017); Borders are Drawn by Hand, MoCa Pavilion, Shanghai (2016); Jac Leirner. Functions of a variable, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2014); Jac Leirner: Pesos y Medidas, Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas de Gran Canária (2014), Jac Leirner, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Sao Paulo (2011); Adhesive 44, Miami Art Museum, Miami (2004); Projeto Parede, Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, Sao Paulo (1999); Directions, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. (1992); Currents, ICA, Boston, (1991), and Viewpoints, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (1991).
Jac Leirner’s work is held in the following collections: Art Gallery of Ontario, Ontario; Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin, Austin; Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Culturgest, Lisbon; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Centro Galego de Arte Contemporaneo, Santiago de Compostela; Coleção Cisneros, Caracas; Colorado University Art Museum, Boulder; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; Instituto Itaú Cultural, Sao Paulo; MOCA | The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museu de Arte da Pampulha, Belo Horizonte; Museo Tamayo, Mexico City; MAM–Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, Sao Paulo; Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Ghent; The National Museum of Art, Osaka; Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix; Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Sao Paulo; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Städtische Galerie Villa Zanders, Bergisch Gladbach; Tate, London; The Bohen Foundation, New York; University of Essex Collection of Latin American Art, Essex; Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.
Vernissage: Saturday, 12 March 2022, 2:00 – 8:00 pm
Exhibition dates: Saturday, 12 March – Thursday, 14 April 2022To the Gallery
Image caption: Jac Leirner, Us Horizon, 1985 – 2022 (Detail) Foto: Edouard Fraipont
Exhibition Jac Leirner – Esther Schipper | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibitions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin