18 Wooster Street
In June 1999, Vanessa Beecroft presented her first project with the US Navy, VB39 US Navy SEALs, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. The following year, she brought this collaboration to New York. VB42 Intrepid: The Silent Service featured thirty-five sailors standing in ceremonial formation in service dress blues. It took place on the flight deck of the legendary aircraft carrier Intrepid, with New York’s glowing skyline as a dramatic backdrop. The Navy selected some of its finest sailors to be part of this event. The live portrait represented an intersection of military rules and aesthetics with those of the world of art.
Vanessa Beecroft works in the gap between art and life. The work is neither performance nor documentary, but something in between. Her live events are recorded through photography and film, but her conceptual approach is actually closer to painting. Beecroft is making contemporary versions of the complex figurative compositions that have challenged painters from the Renaissance onwards. She sets up a structure for the participants in her live events to create their own composition, presenting themselves according to their own internalized aesthetic system. The Naval personnel position themselves in their traditional geometric formation, wearing uniforms that communicate a precise structure of rank and achievement. The live composition represents an abstract portrait of Naval values as well as a literal portrait of the sailors themselves.
March 8 - 11, 2018
We will present a special solo project by the artist JR.
Image: JR, Migrants, Walking New York City, 2015
April - May 2018
18 Wooster Street
76 Grand Street
New York, NY 10013
Monday – Friday
10 AM – 6 PM
Tuesday – Saturday
Noon – 6 PM
The gallery reopens with People in April 2018.
+1 (212) 343-7300
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