Liam Gillick: There Should be Fresh Springs...

19 October - 23 November 2018
Installation Views
Press release

Gallery Baton is delighted to announce a solo exhibition of new works by Liam Gillick (b. 1964), <There Should Be Fresh Springs...>, will take place at Hannam-dong in Seoul from 19th October to 23rd November. Liam Gillick is an important and influential figure in the contemporary art world. His work extends beyond his multi-faceted art practice to include critical writing, curating and frequent collaborations. This exhibition will focus on new wall based abstract works combined with a series of speculative wall texts.


Since the beginning of 1990’s, Liam Gillick has explored structural notions of the built world and the dynamics of spaces. Especially, when the neo-liberal consensus drew keen attention as a practical form of globalization, Gillick started having an interest in a phenomenon in which a modern aesthetic system collides and coexists with a new political and social agenda. Producing artworks, public installations, journals and critiques about a series of issues derived from the phenomenon and its influence upon members of society, he made significant contributions to establish the term Relational Aesthetic, one of the central theories of contemporary art.


Through analysis on social phenomena and often contradictory aesthetic approaches, he redefines ‘relation’ among human, circumstance, life and art. In addition, he visualizes his own theory and ideas in various shapes by researching multiple systems which divide social reality and life. For instance, his public installations built at Kristallen in Lund, Sweden (2014) and The Home Office in London, UK (2003-2005) caused a great sensation as they successfully embodied Gillick’s ideas acquired from functional features of governmental institutions in symbolic objects and texts.


In < There Should Be Fresh Springs...>, the first exhibition of this Autumn in 2018 at Gallery Baton, Gillick closely juxtaposes large scale texts with installations of sculptural reliefs on the wall. The texts, including the title of the exhibition, are directly quoted descriptions of ideal conditions for a hypothetic school that he developed with graduates of Columbia University in New York. These poetic and metaphorical manifestos seem to reveal ambiguous meanings at first glance, however they rather show a critical attitude towards the current social conditions by emphasizing a necessity for new systems to emerge.


In this exhibition, the sentences deployed along with structures made of colorful supplementary architectural materials such as plexiglass and aluminium create dramatic tension and a sleek and moderate sense of aesthetics. They also encourage spectators to interact with the work by intervening in the flow of the audience’s traffic as though they were a part of the space. As a collective outcome of themes that he has consistently investigated, abstract narratives, paradoxes and dynamics occurred in Gillick’s ‘aesthetic hybridization’ will leave a profound impression through this solo exhibition.


Liam Gillick’s solo exhibitions have taken place at numerous leading international museums including Tate in London (2001), MoMA in New York (2003), Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (2009), Le Magasin in Grenoble (2014), Kunsthalle in Zürich (2008) and Centro de Arte Contemporáneo in Málaga (2005). Gillick has participated in major art exhibitions such as Documenta 10 in Kassel and the Venice Biennale; he was selected to represent Germany at The Venice Biennale in 2009; nominated for Turner Prize in 2002 and the Vincent Award in 2009. His works are included in the collection of Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, MoMA in New York, Tate London and Samsung Museum of Art among many other museums and public collections.