MANIC / LOVE / TRUTH / LOVE | Jordan Wolfson | Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Holland, Europe


Jordan Wolfson, Colored sculpture, 2016. Mixed media, overall dimensions vary with each installation. Collection LUMA Foundation. Courtesy the artist, Sadie Coles HQ, London and David Zwirner, New York, Photo: Dan Bradica.

November 25, 2016
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Jordan Wolfson
November 27, 2016–April 23, 2017

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Museumplein 10
The Netherlands

The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam presents American artist Jordan Wolfson's first Dutch solo exhibition MANIC / LOVE / TRUTH / LOVE. Wolfson's inaugural show in the Netherlands unfolds in two parts, both of which focus on his spectacular animatronic sculptures.

Beatrix Ruf, director of the Stedelijk Museum, says "Jordan Wolfson is one of the most outspoken minds and impressive artists of his generation. He has contrary attitudes about humanity in the current, fervent visual culture, and he conveys these ideas in striking images. At the Stedelijk, we enjoy working with young artists who reflect on contemporary life, something at which Wolfson excels. You don't just casually walk past his work; it seeks direct contact with the spectator. The exhibition will be a spectacular experience, one that everyone really must see."

The first part of Wolfson's show opens during Amsterdam Art Weekend, the annual, four-day event that spotlights contemporary art throughout the Dutch capital, and features Colored sculpture (2016), a discomfiting artwork laden with paradox. It is both a computer-controlled machine and animated "human" sculpture: intensely physical yet coolly abstract, endearing yet grisly. In this way Wolfson creates an alien, intuitive space for interaction between viewer and art object.

Also included are Wolfson's animated videos, which combine layers of traditionally shot and computer-generated footage that glide over each other. But before any coherent narrative forms, the layers separate, leaving us with a space beyond the reach of familiar interpretations. It appears as if Wolfson is less interested in the depicted themes, and more in the formal dynamic of animation as medium.

These works are enriched with Wolfson's wall-mounted digital objects—pristinely fabricated montages that are an integral element of Wolfson's artistic process. These artworks represent snap shots into Wolfson's mind's eye thinking wherein they directly harness and focus the language, transgressions and intention that occurs within the elaborate video animations and large scale figurative sculptures.

The first part of the exhibition is on view from November 27, 2016 until January 29, 2017. The second part of the exhibition opens on February 18, 2017 and features a video installation and Wolfson's first animatronic: Female figure (2014). This computer-controlled, hyper-sexualized blonde robotic woman flaunts the kind of outfit ordinarily worn by pop stars in music videos—a see-through miniskirt, high-heeled thigh boots, and long gloves. A device loaded with motion tracking software, concealed beneath a green, bird-like mask, enables her to lock eyes with viewers. While the woman speaks to them—accompanied by a soundtrack of pop songs—she performs a sophisticated choreography before the mirror, seductive yet grotesque, in an endless ballet of looking and being looked at.

Over the past decade the New York-born Wolfson (1980) has become known for his work in a variety of media, including video, sculpture, installation, photography, and performance. He borrows intuitively from the world of advertising, the Internet, and the technology industry, producing ambitious, enigmatic narratives. As a member of the post-internet generation of artists reflecting upon the increasing digitalization of society and developments in genetics, robotics, and cybernetics, Wolfson creates idiosyncratic content often featuring a series of fictitious animated characters. Wolfson's show is part of the Stedelijk Contemporary series, and builds on recent Stedelijk exhibitions by artists such as Ed Atkins, Avery Singer, and Jon Rafman, whose work explores new technologies and how they define us.

Jordan Wolfson: MANIC / LOVE / TRUTH / LOVE is curated by Beatrix Ruf, director Stedelijk Museum, and Martijn van Nieuwenhuyzen, curator.

The exhibition is made possible in part with generous financial support from LUMA Foundation, Fonds 21, VSBfonds, Fundación Almine Y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso Para El Arte, Sadie Coles HQ, and David Zwirner.

With special thanks to the members of the Jordan Wolfson Exhibition Circle: ProWinko Nederland B.V., Ringier Collection, and donors who wish to remain unnamed. The catalogue has been made possible by Joe and Marie Donnelly.

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