18 Wooster Street
Vinyl Smash Up, 1999-2007, an exhibition of Jim Isermann’s decal works, opened on June 28, 2007 at Deitch Projects. Six different vinyl pieces, made between 1999-2007 and executed in Los Angeles, Grenoble, Paris, and Frankfurt, covered the interior walls of the gallery’s 18 Wooster Street space from floor to ceiling.
Working with the subtle variations in shape and light of the gallery walls as well as its various levels, Isermann adapted his vinyl designs to create a dynamic choreography of space. His vinyl wall decals gave form to surfaces by means of colors, patterns, reflections, and various other haptic and optic qualities. A bright pop palette of deceptively simple forms repeated rigorously over the walls and were reflected in the large Mylar adhesive on the north wall. This illusion seemed to free the patterns from the walls optically and protrude them into space.
The loft wall featured Untitled (P.S. I love you) (1999), the first vinyl decal Isermann executed. It was designed to accompany a survey exhibition of his work and was intended to have artwork hung on top of it. The sixteen-inch square size referred to the standard decorative concrete block. Vega (0699) (1999), which ran along the large platform, was designed for an enormous 10,000 square-foot space and was based on two competing and overlapped patterns. Although both patterns repeated, the shape of the six decals and the color assignments never lined up the same way twice. Their 23.5 x 23.5” size pragmatically took full advantage of the 24 x 24” vinyl size.
Untitled (0300) (2000), which ran from the ceiling of the gallery to its lowest level, was created for a very tall gallery space and could repeat endlessly in width. Untitled (0700), behind the front desk area, was designed originally for a domestic height wall and came in three different colors. The large Mylar piece, Untitled (0900) (2000), was created for the Portikus in Frankfurt and the proportions and width of the repeat was based on its dimensions, which were in turn based on that of the standard shipping container. The mirrored vinyl both reflected the room and took on the texture of a given space, often showing the history of previous exhibitions in its topography. Finally, Untitled (0107) (2007) was designed for this exhibition to be installed alongside a small staircase.
Isermann’s twenty-five years of art practice have fixated on the exchange of visual information between high art and postwar industrial design. While his influences certainly include Op Art, “supergraphics,” and mid-century interior design, Isermann is an artist more in the tradition of a Renaissance architect--using simplicity, elegance, industry, and economy to chase utopian ideals of harmonious form and mathematical proportion.
Informed by these ideals, Isermann straightforwardly approached this exhibition with a strong pop palette of industrial colors and the most economical and efficient materials. Thus without mystification or waste, Isermann adapted the formal language of fine artists like Donald Judd or Bridget Riley to the utilitarian prescriptions of contemporary design. Here, Isermann selected self-adhesive die-cut vinyl as the simplest way to cover sprawling walls with vibrant, even color.
Though many contemporary artists are mining the reservoirs of American design history for direction in their fine art practice, Jim Isermann has long been at the forefront of these concerns. Through wall hangings, hand-woven rugs, fabric-covered sculptural cubes and vinyl-patterned murals he embraces the possibility of utopia in all its aesthetic and functional forms.
Born in 1955 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Jim Isermann lives and works in Palm Springs, California. Recent solo exhibitions included Corvi-Mora, London (2005); Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles (2006); Feature, New York (2001); RISD Museum, Providence (2000); Portikus, Frankfurt 2000); and Camden Art Centre, London (1999). In 1998, David Pagel organized the survey Fifteen: Jim Isermann for the Institute of Visual Arts, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Isermann also collaborated with Adam Kalkin for Suburban House Kit at Deitch Projects in Winter 2004. His most recent exhibition at Deitch Projects was presented in September 2006 and featured a 2,700-piece vacuum-formed plastic mural. The entire work was acquired by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. He is currently a professor of art at University of California, Riverside.
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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