Avery Singer: Words on Pictures - Pun and Punishment

23.11.2014, 11:00
Avery Singer: Words on Pictures - Pun and Punishment
Freier Eintritt

Kunsthalle Zürich
Limmatstrasse 270
CH-8005 Zürich

Tel: +41 (0) 44 272 15 15
Fax: +41 (0) 44 272 18 88


“A joke is never fair to its subject. It bears it no niceties, it punishes it!” says Avery Singer, responding to the use of humor in her paintings. Hence, the symposium, developed together with the artist, invites a group of critics and fellow artists that share Singer’s interest in self-reflexive painting and its irritations: paintings that may excite the viewer precisely because their production process is not veiled by conceptual statements, but instead by the introduction of new techniques and image-production mechanisms unfamiliar to the practice of painting. Departing from such questions of medium specificity, contributors will elaborate on several “attitudes” of painting as a multi-layered practice of (self-)punishment by way of the pun.

Isabelle Graw (*1962) is a German art historian and critic and a Professor for Art Theory at Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. Graw lives in Berlin. Together with Stefan Germer she founded the magazine Texte zur Kunst in 1990 and is ist publisher since the death of Germer in 1998. Her publications include: "Silberblick. Texte zu Kunst und Politik" (1999),

"Die bessere Hälfte. Künstlerinnen des 20. und 21. Jahrhunderts“ (2003), "Der große Preis. Kunst zwischen Markt und Celebrity Kultur" (2008), "Texte zur Kunst. Essays, Rezensionen, Gespräche" (2010).

Dana Schutz (*1976 Livonia, Michigan) received her BFA at the Cleveland Institute Art and her MFA at Columbia University in New York City in 2002. She first came to attention with her debut exhibition Frank from Observation (2002) based on the conceit of Schutz as the last painter, representing the last subject “Frank”. Since then her fictive subjects have ranged from people who can eat themselves, a gravity fanatic, imaginary births and deaths, and public/private performers.  Dana Schutz’ paintings and works on paper can be seen in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Solomon R. Guggenheim, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Contemporary Arts, Los Angeles; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas; Tel Aviv Museum; Israel, among many others.  She is represented by Petzel, New York and Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin.

Calla Henkel (born 1988, USA) and Max Pitegoff (born 1987, USA) live and work in Berlin, Germany, where they run the performance space New Theater. They have been working collaboratively since 2009 and graduated from Cooper Union School of Art in 2010. Henkel and Pitegoff have exhibited their work at Badischer Kunstverein (2014); Kunstverein Düsseldorf (2013); Artists Space (2013); Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (2013); and Kunsthalle Bern (2012). From 2011-2012 they ran the bar Times in Berlin with Lindsay Lawson.

Paolo Thorsen-Nagel (*1985, Chicago) is a German-American guitarist, sound artist, and occasional filmmaker. Recent projects include various location-specific solo concerts tied to visual art exhibitions. These include the Robert Ashley tribute “6-4-2,” with Quinn Latimer, LiveInYourHead, Geneva (2014); the residency and performance program “Pleasure Principles,” Fondation Lafayette, Paris (2014); “Learning From Warsaw,” Kunstverein Zürich in Warsaw (2013); “S.S.O.R.,” with Adriana Lara, Kunsthalle Basel (2012); “The State Of Making Things”, with Annette Amberg, La Rada, Locarno (2013); and a featured performance in Alexandra Bachzetsis’s “Etude,” dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel (2012). In addition, Thorsen-Nagel created a new collaborative performance with Calla Henkel, Max Pitegoff, and Tobias Spichtig for New Theater, Berlin, and the LISTE Performance Project, Basel (2014). Studio activities include recent releases with the experimental rock band Aie ca Gicle (Speak Easy, A Tree in a Field Records, 2013) and the Paolo Thorsen-Nagel Projekt (And On, Material Records, 2013).

Biographically speaking, James Brittingham was born in San Francisco. He grew up in Phoenix, and moved to New York, attended Cooper Union where he graduated in 2007. He has lived in New York ever since except for two year that he spent in New Jersey where he earned an MFA at Rutgers University in 2012. He lectures at both Rutgers and the Bruce High Quality Foundation University, and is a painter who has shown exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, Lisbon, and some other places.


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