Installation view, Oscar Tuazon, See Through, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Löwenbräu Areal, Zurich, 2017
Galerie Eva Presenhuber is pleased to present “See Through,” the gallery’s third solo exhibition featuring new works by the Los Angeles-based artist Oscar Tuazon.
Oscar Tuazon‘s sculptural oeuvre is situated at the border of art, architecture, and technology. His large-scale works – shown in exhibition spaces as well as public space and nature – often seem like functional do-it-yourself structures which were once inhabited or will be made inhabitable soon. In terms of form, Tuazon is close to artists of Minimalism and Land Art, such as Donald Judd or Carl Andre. He goes so far as to copy single works of artists like Richard Serra, but without the ironical distance that characterizes appropriation. The process of copying is rather to be understood as a re-building that reduces the work to its sheer material and potential. Furthermore, Tuazon doesn’t focus on the relation between work and architectural space, but on material, the process of building, and the physical agency of the work itself. Often, the collective process of constructing his large-scale sculptures could be seen as a performance that naturally takes place before the actual work is realized.
In „See Through,“ Tuazon borrows a form that condenses various concepts explored in his previous work: the window. He installs massive wooden frames made of spruce, cedar, and plywood, that stand in the middle of the gallery space or directly against the wall. At first glance, the sculptures seem minimalistic: geometrical frames that define and order space, and at the same time evoke, like Fred Sandback's sculptures, larger structures. However, Tuazon transcends minimalism: his windows consist of two parts. One part is transparent with a pane of glass built into it, while the other part is crossed by three wooden bars which belong to the wall of a house. These objects, quite clearly, have a certain function. They are windows that separate inside from outside and, at the same time, are transparent. The title gives account to this main feature of windows. But contrary to minimalist sculptures, which put the focus on the surrounding architecture, Tuazon‘s windows exist as architectural elements themselves– constructed by the artist in the studio.
In the exhibition space, the windows are fundamentally alienated in several ways. First, they are not part of a house. Second, their layout creates doubt about their ability to separate inside and outside – to be tight. Furthermore, they don’t allow to look outside anyway: They are positioned either in the middle of the gallery or on the wall. In their quasi-functionality, they go beyond the way of perceiving space expressed by minimalist artists.
Tuazon’s sculptures are easy to grasp, but it’s difficut to spell out their complexity. As windows, their basic function is to disappear. They should be transparent. At the same time, they are displaced, don’t quite work the way they are supposed to, and so are alienated from their usual function. Ultimately, Tuazon’s objects create their own space, which is not equivalent with the surrounding gallery space. What happens within this new space expands the space itself: What happens between the objects and their perception is left to the exhibition visitors – and even that can’t always be controlled individually.
Oscar Tuazon was born in 1975 in Seattle, USA. He lives and works in Los Angeles. His first solo-exhibition at Galerie Eva Presenhuber took place in 2012. Between 2006 and 2013 he lived in Paris where he co-founded the collective-run artist’s gallery castillo/corrales. In 2011, he designed one of the four para-pavilions at the 54th Venice Biennal. Solo-exhibitions in major museums include: Oscar Tuazon, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA (2016); Break the Glass, Castro, Antiparos, Griechenland (2015); Studio, Le Consortium, Dijon, Frankreich (2015); Alone in an Empty Room, Museum Ludwig, Köln, Deutschland (2014). Group-shows in major museums include: Beaufort beyond borders, Het Zwin, Belgium (2015); The Promise, Arnolfini, Bristol, UK (2014); Not Yet Titled, Museum Ludwig, Köln, Deutschland (2013).