How can art continue to be made after the great examples in Modern Art? How can artistic ideas be developed further beyond duplication? The exhibition Overtake , curated by René Zechlin and Matt Packer, presents international contemporary artists that reconstruct and reinterpret existing artworks and practices of a former generation in order to produce and instruct new works.
Appropriation Art of the 1970s and 1980s and artists such as Sherrie Levine, Elaine Sturtevant or Richard Prince used means of duplication to raise questions on authorship and authenticity. Although often using comparable means, there are different interests at stake for a later generation of artists presented in Overtake. The featured artists use the visual and conceptual opportunities of recent art histories, employing strategies of appropriation in order to position themselves in relation to their artistic forebears. This ‘self-positioning' is often a subjective and yet critical reverence to the artwork in question.
The reinterpretation of art that features in Overtake is often founded on personal encounters with objects and the sites of important artistic actions. In other cases, it is artistic concepts, legacies and reputations that are under review, reconstituted toward a new set of attitudes and contexts. It is the search to locate the significance of specific artists and artworks that discloses a new position . In this sense Overtake is an artistic reconnaissance of Modern Art, presenting various artistic means of negotiating the over-whelming influence of art's histories.
The exhibition leads furthermore to questions of the construction and continuation of art history. The exhibits reject any idea of linear development in history and suggest a continuous re-working of past histories. The re-configuration of histories becomes relevant, especially against the background of the ever-increasing output of information available on the internet, or via the increasingly-busy traffic of monographs or written texts. The result, someway anticipated by cultural theorists such as Walter Benjamin in the early 20th century, is that images and their histories are more mobile and less-fixed to their original constructions. Art and history is not seen as a series of end-points or resolutions, but as something still active, that can be undermined, over-worked, reconstituted, or updated.
Overtake has been developed in response to a survey of works by Gerhard Richter, which will exhibited simultaneously at the Lewis Glucksman Gallery. Richter has himself been associated with strategies of appropriation, but more typically approaching newspaper, archival and private sources. In this sense Overtake takes Richter's artistic practice as a starting point and links it with current trends in contemporary art practice. The two exhibitions will be presented in order to share and respond to one another, and to encourage a discourse on the way in which art continues to function in relation to itself, but also opening a vital and urgent question of the way in which art-making and history-making counteract.
Bernd Behr, Andrea Büttner, Kerstin Cmelka , Annelise Coste, Tacita Dean, Carsten Fock, Iain Forsyth/Jane Pollard, Wade Guyton, Bertrand Lavier, Mark Leckey, Sean Lynch, Simon Dybbroe Møller, Jonathan Monk, Falke Pisano, Tilo Schulz, Mario Garcia Torres