Press release


Faurschou is pleased to announce the opening of three major exhibitions this fall, featuring works by Zachary Armstrong, Curtis Barnes Sr., and Robert Rauschenberg. The shows will be on view from September 9, 2022 through January 29, 2023. 

This time we set out to explore flickers of American art, which continues to inspire us. Three different artistic viewpoints across culture and generations, each of them inviting us into their rich and moving practices, unique stories and place in American culture and history,” said Jens Faurschou, Founder of Faurschou.

The upcoming shows mark the third round of exhibitions in Faurschou’s Greenpoint space, which opened in 2019. In placing these artistic practices in dialogue, the Fall 2022 program furthers Faurschou’s mission to explore intergenerational and cross-cultural connections in contemporary art, and to provide viewers with meaningful and inspired experiences. 

On view in the Greenpoint galleries are three solo exhibitions: Robert Rauschenberg’s exhibition features iconic paintings and a sculpture spanning the artist’s lifelong practice; Zachary Armstrong presents large-scale encaustic paintings, the largest the artist has created to date; and the late Dayton, Ohio-based painter Curtis Barnes Sr. is showing for the first time in New York, with a selection of portraits and self-studies spanning over 40 years.

Since 1986, Faurschou has grown its exhibition spaces from Copenhagen to Beijing to New York, and sometimes Venice. Today, Faurschou presents intimate and ambitious exhibitions, ranging from solo exhibitions to thematic group shows, which often explores their evolving collection, that counts works from emerging and established artists from around the world, such as Ed and Nancy Kienholz, Paul McCarthy, Cai Guo-Qiang, Tiffany Chung, Ai Weiwei, Louise Bourgeois, and Robert Rauschenberg, among others.

To celebrate the opening of the fall shows, Faurschou New York will host a VIP reception from 5-8pm on September 9, 2022. If you are interested in attending, please email Ali Rigo (ali@culturalcounsel.com). 

Zachary Armstrong: Twelve Animals
Twelve Animals presents a new series of large-scale wax paintings of animals by Dayton, Ohio-based artist Zachary Armstrong (b. 1984). In the series, Armstrong emphasizes the universal, iconic quality of animals as well as their individual personalities and idiosyncrasies. Sometimes picturesque like a postcard or iconic like an advertisement, at other times the paintings self-consciously contend with the weight of symbolic representation. The method of layering encaustics and adjoining canvases together for extra fields of depth allows Armstrong to build up a textured surface where figures seem to float free from other elements of the paintings. 

Armstrong started work on Twelve Animals during the first Covid-19 lockdowns in America, attempting to experiment freely in his studio during a time of unprecedented limitations and restrictions. After years producing paintings, sculptures, and installations that vary in visual language but often riff on childhood memories, appropriated images, Americana, and reimagined compositions, Armstrong’s exploration of animal figuration relates to his previous work but is also somewhat unexpected in its singular focus. The group of paintings is the largest the artist has created to date and explores scale, nostalgia, and animal portraiture through the depictions of twelve different animal characters.

Merging imagery across high and low culture as well as time and place, Armstrong’s Twelve Animals are both playful and weighty. The animal portraits look at us as we look at them, expanding how visual cultures can be reworked to form an encompassing experience with emotional fluctuations. Together, they offer new perspectives on iconic animal forms while paying homage to the meanings that have accumulated over centuries.

Curtis Barnes Sr.: We Wear the Mask
We Wear the Mask presents paintings by Curtis Barnes Sr. in New York for the first time. Barnes (1935-2019) spent most of his life as a key figure in the artistic community of Dayton, Ohio, producing a rich body of work that drew on the liberatory frameworks of post-colonial thinkers, free improvisation of jazz music, and enduring friendships and mentorships.

Taking its title from an 1895 poem of the same name by Paul Lawrence Dunbar, We Wear the Mask explores the interplay between face and mask in Barnes’ works. For Barnes, the mask as ritual object, image, and emblem of African culture became an effective expression of the African American spirit. By painting African masks into his portraits, Barnes reconnected the masks with the cultural history of Black faces, reclaiming control over representations of his culture and experience. As the artist expressed it, with the mask he could “hold on to the Africanness of the image.”

Comprising a selection of Barnes’ portraits and self-studies, We Wear the Mask introduces Barnes as an experimental colorist admired by his students for limited yet powerful palettes. The yellows, blues, and reds in his subjects’ faces speak to the lyricism and freewheeling embrace of abstraction found in Barnes’ work. His mask-like portraits reveal subjects close to the artist who he represented vulnerably and honestly. In these paintings, Barnes opens our eyes to the structures that we find ourselves in, freeing ourselves from the masks behind which we dream, cry and smile.


Robert Rauschenberg: A Subjective View
This exhibition brings together a range of works by the American artist, Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008), spanning from the artist’s early Combines to later silkscreen paintings, works on metal, and sculpture. Drawn exclusively from Faurschou Collection, Rauschenberg: A Subjective View showcases the grand cadence of Rauschenberg’s art, paying tribute to the life and work of the artist who worked freely, openly, and generously with various media, images, history, and material throughout his lifelong and ever-innovative practice.

Rauschenberg looked for beauty in the small details of everyday life; he had an excellent feeling for composing picture surfaces with a strong visual rhythm using elements that are repeated or juxtaposed, and objects that take on a symbolic character. Together, the works in the exhibition evoke charged sensations from disparate points in Rauschenberg’s practice.  

Robert Rauschenberg holds a special place in our collection,” said Faurschou Foundation founder Jens Faurschou. “Having collected his works for over 30 years, his art continues to intrigue us with its timeless relevance and beauty. We had the pleasure to meet with Rauschenberg several times over the years and presented his art to the Chinese audience when we opened Faurschou Beijing in 2007 with the exhibition Three Decades. To exhibit Rauschenberg at Faurschou New York is an utmost privilege. I hope that our audiences will leave the exhibition with admiration for this fantastic artist.” 

ABOUT FAURSCHOU
Faurschou is a private museum, headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. Since its inception in 1986, Faurschou has transformed and expanded, with a mission to assemble artworks of exceptional quality and to build ambitious exhibitions across our permanent and pop-up sites from Copenhagen to Beijing, New York and Venice, which offer visitors unique experiences and opportunities.

The program ranges from solo exhibitions to thematic group shows and often explores Faurschou’s evolving collection of contemporary art, and featuring special commissions, showcasing artists such as: Ai Weiwei, Tracey Emin, Louise Bourgeois, Anselm Kiefer, Shirin Neshat, Georg Baselitz, Liu Xiaodong, Yoko Ono, and Robert Rauschenberg.
 

ABOUT ZACHARY ARMSTRONG
Zachary Armstrong (b. 1984) lives and works in Dayton, Ohio. He is known for spending very long sessions in his studio, building all of his canvases and stretchers himself. Armstrong often uses his personal storytelling in his works, which are deeply rooted in his childhood and family, but also American culture, folk art, natural history, art history, and literature. His works reference both popular culture and the use of children’s drawings of the artist’s own, his friends’ or his family’s making. These images are transformed into large-scale works, with a variety of motives being repeated throughout several series of paintings and sculptures. Armstrong’s hands-on approach and traditional methods for crafting his works stand in contrast to the pop-cultural references to American life and consumerist culture in the works, exploring and exposing how private space and our everyday lives are shaped by modern capitalism and culture.

Zachary Armstrong’s solo exhibitions include: “Bag of Candles”, Faurschou Beijing (2020), “Zachary Armstrong: Fish and Chicken”, Carl Kostyál, London (2019); “White Lines”, GNYP Gallery, Berlin (2019); “Zachary Armstrong: George”, Tilton Gallery, New York (2018); “Zachary Armstrong: Copenhagen”, Sabsay Gallery, Copenhagen (2018); “Zachary Armstrong”, GNYP Gallery, Berlin (2017); “Keith Paintings”, China Art Objects, Los Angeles, California (2017); “NOAH”, Ever Gold Projects, San Francisco, (2017); “Zachary Armstrong”, Tilton Gallery, New York (2017); “Hills & Dales”, Mesler/Feuer, New York (2017); “Goodnight Bojangles”, Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2015); “Dinos”, Blumenthal, East Hampton, New York (2014); “Elder-Beerman”, Dayton Visual Arts Center, Dayton, Ohio (2014). 


ABOUT CURTIS BARNES SR.
Curtis Barnes Sr. was born in Wilson, North Carolina in 1935 and died in Dayton, Ohio in 2019. In his childhood, he experienced the bleak years of the Great Depression as well as the era of Jim Crow. As a teenager, Barnes worked in cotton and tobacco fields alongside his sharecropper parents. In 1953, at the age of eighteen, Barnes joined the military and left the South. In 1962, he settled with his wife in Dayton, Ohio where he started general educational studies at the University of Dayton. Barnes worked as an art educator in Dayton Public Schools from 1972-1977, and later taught as an arts education professor at Sinclair Community College from 1977-1994. He was appointed Professor Emeritus at Sinclair in 1995.

Barnes was committed to forming a network of collaboration and support to help promote the work of all black artists in Dayton. This led to him founding Genesis III, and African-American art coalition in 1975, and cofounding the African-American Visual Arts Guild in 1992 with fellow artist Bing Davis.

Barnes received the Paul Laurence Dunbar Humanitarian Award in 1994, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ohio Arts Council in 2008. His works can be found in private collections throughout Ohio, North Carolina, New York, California and more. Significant retrospective exhibitions include “To Abstraction” European and African Influences in the paintings of Curtis Barnes, 2007, and Masks, Musings, and Music: A retrospective exhibition and symposium on the art of Curtis Barnes Sr., 2009, both at the University of Dayton, Ohio, and Love & Peace, The Contemporary Dayton, Ohio, in 2021.

ABOUT ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG
Rauschenberg was born in Texas 1925, and died in 2008 in Captiva Island, Florida. He is well known for his Combines of the 1950s, in which non-traditional materials and objects were employed in innovative combinations. Rauschenberg was both a painter and a sculptor and the Combines are a combination of both. He also worked with photography, printmaking, papermaking, and performance.  

Robert Rauschenberg was a defining force in contemporary art for nearly sixty years, creating a wealth of art: painting, photography, sculpture, performance, and printmaking – working more varied than other artists of his time. For him, painting entailed not only using a brush, but also silkscreening, collaging, transferring, and imprinting, and he did so on the widest array of materials from canvas, board, and fabric to sheet metal, perspex, plaster, and paper. He has been called a forerunner of virtually every postwar American art movement since Abstract Expressionism, however, he remained fiercely independent from any particular affiliation throughout his protean life. 

Faurschou’s long-term commitment to the work of Rauschenberg has resulted in several publications and exhibitions of the artist’s works in Copenhagen, Venice, and Beijing through the years. Having previously focused on exhibitions of different periods of Rauschenberg’s work from the early sixties to his late Scenarios series, Faurschou inaugurated Faurschou Beijing in 2007 with the Rauschenberg exhibition Three Decades before the artist’s passing in 2008. The exhibition, A Subjective View at Faurschou New York demonstrates Faurschou’s continued excursion into Rauschenberg’s work, as he tirelessly challenged the prevailing beliefs and techniques of the artworld.


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