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Practitioner’s Delight
Gary Kuehn [see all titles]
Mousse [see all titles] Mousse Publishing (books) [see all titles]
Gary Kuehn Practitioner’s Delight
Texts by Alex Bacon, Lorenzo Giusti, David Komary, interview with Gary Kuehn by Sara Fumagalli.
published in September 2018
bilingual edition (English / Italian)
16 x 22 cm (softcover)
156 pages (color & b/w ill.) + poster
€28.00
ISBN: 978-88-6749-349-4
EAN: 9788867493494
in stock
 
This catalogue pays homage to the American artist, whose radical language played a significant role in the birth of a new conception of sculpture. Spanning almost six decades of works, The richly-illustrated publication collects several essays and a full-length interview with Kuehn.
Practitioner's Delight is one of the few evocative titles used by Gary Kuehn in over fifty years of work. It suggests the idea of deviation from current practice and the pleasure of divertissement. It implies skill but nods to amusement. The work is a white parallelepiped cut with precision on one end, out of which flows a pink substance spilling onto the ground. The rigor of the geometric figure dialogues with the indefinite semi-liquid matter, left free to collapse onto itself. Realized in 1966, the work reveals the artist's perturbing intent, the impulse to 'subvert the strength of pure form,' to 'humiliate it' and elude 'the absolute.'”— Lorenzo Giusti

Abundantly illustrated and collecting several essays and a long conversation with the artist the book Practitioner's Delight has been published on the occasion of Gary Kuehn's (Plainfield, New Jersey, 1939) first solo exhibition in Italy, at GAMeC – Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo, which presents a significant core of about seventy works, including sculptures, drawings, paintings, and installations, among the most important in the artist's corpus, dating from the early 1960s to the most recent pieces. Both the exhibition and the publication pay homage to the American artist, whose radical language developed from an initial reflection on the physicality of materials and played a significant role in the birth of a new conception of sculpture, equidistant from the subjectivism of Expressionist abstraction and the objectivity and geometric rigor of minimalism. Kuehn participated in watershed exhibitions like the famous 1966 “Eccentric Abstraction”, curated by Lucy Lippard, and the 1969 “When Attitude Becomes Form”, curated by Harald Szeemann, and spent over five decades exploring the tension between change and deformation, his intent being to refute “the dogma of the cube,” as he has repeatedly declared, and “to subvert the force of pure forms.”
Published on the occasion of the exhibition “Gary Kuehn – Il diletto del praticante”, GAMeC – Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo, from June 8 to August 26, 2018.
Gary Kuehn was born in Plainfield, New Jersey in 1939 to a working class family. His experience as an iron worker and a roofer in the 1950's and 60's was formative in the development of his sculpture and shaped his relationship to the physicality of raw materials. He received his MFA in 1964 from Rutgers University where he went onto become a tenured faculty member in Fine Arts.
Although his work is often categorized as Post-Minimal or Process Art, having participated in such groundbreaking exhibitions as Lucy Lippard's 1966 “Eccentric Abstraction”, and Harald Szeemann's 1969 “When Attitude Becomes Form”, Kuehn's work defies the boundaries and limitations of a singular art movement. In 1992 when he received the Francis J. Greenburger Foundation Award, George Segal wrote about the “rule-breaking” in Kuehn's work and said, “Artists [like Kuehn] who don't fit comfortably into art historical categories have a terrible time.” Working not only across mediums, but also in varied modes of abstraction and representation, what unifies his work is the sensual attention to material and the authority of geometry. Kuehn is known to have said, “After all, it's still just a matter of sex and geometry.”
Gary Kuehn lives in New York City and Wellfleet, Massachusetts with his wife, the writer Suzanne McConnell. Recently his work has been exhibited at the Fondazione Prada, Venice; the Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, Middlesbrough; Museum Gegenstandsfreier Kunst, Ottendorf; and the Kunstmusuem Liechtenstein.