December 10, 2016 – March 31, 2017
MIER GALLERY is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new works by Basel-based artist Kilian Rüthemann. The exhibition will open Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 1107 Greenacre Ave. in West Hollywood, and will be on view through March 31, 2017. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, December 10, 2016 from 11:00am – 3:00pm.
Resting peacefully just off Figueroa Ave. in Exposition Park, a thick old fan palm rises up into the sky as seemingly ancient as Trajan’s Column in Rome or the Palmiform Columns of ancient Egypt. Subject of three replantings over its 150+ year lifespan, this LA monument sprouted as a desert sapling in the 1850s. It was first transported from its native spot to San Pedro Street in present-day Little Tokyo, to Central and Fifth in front of once was a train station, to its current resting place at Exposition Park. This ever-adaptable monolithic palm, now at over 100 feet tall, has stood strong throughout Los Angeles history as a movable monument of the city. It outlives us all, but its history is not stationary.
Inspired by his recent residency in Rome, Italy, Rüthemann mines ideas of architectural intervention, movable monuments, ready-mades, and permanence. Upon entering the gallery, the viewer is presented with a freestanding monumental brick wall that fell back as a whole and is therefore curving softly through its broken midsection, its feet planted firmly on the concrete floor and its head resting softly on the white wall behind. It feels equally weighty, sturdy, pliable and soft. Crooked, almost floating on the surface of the gallery wall, each brick laid one by one can easily adapt to surrounding surfaces and the ground from the moment they are cemented until long after they are dry (not unlike the almost mythical palm tree that grows with each relocation but remains itself as an object).
There is a palpable contrast between the mobile and immobile, weight and weightlessness, a fluidity in permanence: the solid becomes adaptable, with a distinct ability to grow despite its weight and rigidity. Further in the space are (floating) wall-mounted brick “canvases,” These wall pieces hang like canvases, just slightly askew on their screws, are immovable in their implied uneven weight distribution.
Building on the architectural history of the Ancient Greeks and Romans, and the architectural interventions of Gordon Matta-Clark, he employs materials quotidian in curious formats. Rüthemann, not taking architecture too seriously, plays with it as a fluctuating force while taking cues from the existing environment and structure. Part destructive, part creative gestures, he combines the existing with the new to reflect on these spatial relationships and the viewer’s participation within them.
Kilian Rüthemann (b. 1979, Bütschwil, St. Gallen, Switzerland) has had solo exhibitions “RUN, Part one / Part two,” an annual outdoor project at the Kunsthaus Baselland, Muttenz, Switzerland (2015); “hatch up your troubles” at RaebervonStenglin, Zürich, Switzerland (2014); “Room for milk – Visionary Collection Vol. 20,” Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich, Switzerland (2012); “North to the Future,” CLEARING, New York NY, USA (2012); “Target as Frontside,” RaebervonStenglin, Zürich, Switzerland (2011); “Valentine,” Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof, Hamburg, Germany (2011); “Walking Distance,” Künstlerhaus Bremen, Bremen, Germany (2010); “Attacca, Manor Kunstpreis Basel 2010,” Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel, Switzerland (2010); “Double Rich,” Istituto Svizzero di Roma, Rome, Italy (2010); “Flatland,” Kunsthaus Baselland, Muttenz, Switzerland (2007). His work has been included in group exhibtions “Conversation Piece Part II,” Fondazione Memmo, Rome, Italy (2016); “Heimspiel 15,” Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Kunstmuseum St.Gallen, Projektraum Nextex St.Gallen, Kunstmuseum (2015); “Jahresausstellung Kunstkredit Basel-Stadt,” Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland (2015); “Post / Postminimal,” Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland (2014); “Flex-Sil – Eine Hommage an Roman Signer,” Kunsthalle St. Gallen, Switzerland (2013); “Heimspiel,” Kunstmuseum & Kunsthalle St. Gallen, Switzerland (2013); “Minimal Myth,” curated by Francesco Stocchi, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, the Netherlands (2013); “Das Unerwartete erwarten,” curated by Stefanie Böttcher Künstlerhaus Bremen, Bremen, Germany (2013); “AI WEI WEI IS IN CHINA,” curated by Cédric Aurelle, Louis Scoufaras & Xavier (2011); “Die phantastischen Vier – Zürich konkret,” Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich, Switzerland (2011); “When Things Cast No Shadow,” 5th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany (2008); He lives and works in Basel, Switzerland.