Gaylen Gerber at Galerie Emanuel Layr

42 Gaylen Gerber exhibition Galerie Emanuel Layr Wien 2016 IMG_8539

Artist: Gaylen Gerber

Venue: Galerie Emanuel Layr, Vienna, Austria

Date: November 9, 2016 – January 14, 2017

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Galerie Emanuel Layr, Vienna

Galerie Emanuel Layr is pleased to present an exhibition by Gaylen Gerber. In this exhibition Gerber presents a number of recent Supports that press the relationship between the loss of traditional orientations and the oscillating sense of joie de vivre that unexpectedly remains.

Gerber’s work relies on other artworks or artifacts and our sense of the history associated with them for much of its meaning. His work has long focused on the normative aspects of visual language: the way we, as part of a shared culture, accept certain forms, colors and situations as institutional, or we take them for granted as impartial common ground. These visual norms act as grounds for all other forms of expression and we use them to register difference and create meaning. In many instances Gerber’s work has literally functioned as the ground for other artists’ expression. In this exhibition, he exclusively uses other artists’ work as a normative ground against which his, and our own expressions are recognized.

Gerber’s exhibition directly acknowledges the process of art coming from art, with the artist’s own expression often being as much action as object. While Gerber’s work is attentive to the qualities of each object as well as the gesture of representing them as art, his attitude towards existing objects differs from most artistic uses of readymades. Gerber’s Supports are not simply repurposed or copied objects; rather they make themselves understood as fundamentally normative works of art. In this way, Gerber’s practice embraces deviation as part of life rather than an adversity, emphasizing the objects’ continued presence and perceptual and embodied engagement.

The Supports belong to the realist tradition in art that is inclined towards accepting the world as it is. While they might even be seen as part of the tradition of trompe-l’oeil, Gerber’s literal imposition of the ground onto the object dramatically amends our understanding of the original object so that his Supports reflect a multiplicity of perceptions, playing on our understanding of history and how it frames ideas of difference and shapes the way reality is perceived, while at the same time probing the ways in which we ascribe value. For example, the surfaces that helped to define the iconic Coca-Cola contour bottle and the 10th century Persian bowl with a Kufic inscribed moral proverb, as well as the piece of 2337 West Monroe Street in Chicago, have been replaced by an alternate surface. In all of the Supports the original representation has been replaced with a homogeneous value. The associations of this are explicit in the history of the monochrome and alternate aspects of the Supports readily become apparent. The implications are existential and paradoxical: the everyday is reaffirmed, yet given its transitory quality, the significance of pursuing that repetition seems tenuous.

Gerber has exhibited widely including recent projects at Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York; and The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, Support, n. d., oil paint on Lipico (helmet mask), Makonde people, Tansania, wood, pigment, 20th century, 21.5 x 25.5 x 17.5 cm (8.5 x 10 x 7”)

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, Support, n.d., oil paint on Lokapala (figure of a guardian), China, earthenware, pigment, Tang Dynasty ca. 618 – 800 C. E., 51 x 25.5 x 10 cm (20 x 10 x 4“)

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Gaylen Gerber, Support, n.d., oil paint on anthropomorphic top of conical urn, Bura culture, Niger and Burkina Faso, terracotta, based mount, 3 – 11th century, 16.5 x 9 x 6.5 cm (6 ½ x 3 ½ x 2 ½”)

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Gaylen Gerber, Support, n.d., oil paint on Coca-Cola contour bottle (Rome, GA), United States, glass, 20th century, 20 x 6.5 cm (7 ¾ “ x 2 ½”)

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, Support, n.d., oil paint on Deangle mask, Dan people, Cote d’Ivoire, wood, cowry shells, bells, raffia fibers, cotton cloth, pigment, wall mount, 20th century, 23 x 30.5 x 15 cm (9 x 12 x 6”)

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Gaylen Gerber, Support, n.d., oil paint on Deangle mask, Dan people, Cote d’Ivoire, wood, cowry shells, bells, raffia fibers, cotton cloth, pigment, wall mount, 20th century, 23 x 30.5 x 15 cm (9 x 12 x 6”)

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Gaylen Gerber, Support, n.d., oil paint on Konga or Boloko, (Ingot currency), Nkutshu, Basongo Meno, Democratic Republic of Congo, copper ingot, 20th Century, various dimensions

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, Support, n.d., oil paint on mirror, unmarked, United States, mirrored glass, gilt frame, 20th century, 58.5 x 47.5 x 4 cm (23 x 18.75 x 1.5“)

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

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Gaylen Gerber, exhibition view, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2016

42 Gaylen Gerber exhibition Galerie Emanuel Layr Wien 2016 IMG_8539

Gaylen Gerber, Support, n.d., oil paint on fragment of a Luohan figure, China, sandstone, based mount, indeterminate age (18th century or earlier), 25.5 x 12.5 x 12.5 cm (10 x 5 x 5”)

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Gaylen Gerber, Support, n.d., oil paint on Cultural Revolution teapot with portrait of Mao Zedong, unmarked, China, Yixing ware, 1960’s, 15.8 x 17.7 x 12.7 cm (6.5 x 7 x 5”)

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