WORKS FROM THE 70s - Michael Gitlin

Michael Gitlin: Works from the 1970’s


Whether made of wood or paper, the works in this exhibition explore a common theme: division and displacement, materiality and liminal movement. The artist began by taking a whole unit and dividing it: one became two, three or four. The components of each work were then reconfigured and the new, separate arrangements, resulted in the works on paper and sculptures featured in this show. Our eyes and brain are quick to recreate the shape of the original object, making it easier for us to understand the dynamics of the artist’s intentions and process. A new window is opened to us, a beautiful new order, so aptly demonstrated in the 1976 works on paper from the “Drawing of a Tear Series”.


Early on, except for rare exceptions, Gitlin renounced the modern idea of free-standing sculpture. Instead, his pieces interact with the architecture rather than invade the space. Thus it is not possible to speak in his case of reliefs that are applied to the wall, but of sculptures, such as “Three Part Corner”, that are an integral part of the architecture.


The contemporary discourse on sculpture and drawing has made Gitlin’s practice extremely relevant and prescient, and is one of the compelling reasons why the gallery is showing his work.


Gitlin studied at the Hebrew University and the Bezalel Academy of Art in Jerusalem and Pratt Institute in New York where he currently lives and works. The artist’s sculptures were featured at Documenta 6 in 1977. Works by Gitlin from this period are part of the permanent collections of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, among others.


This is the first time the gallery has exhibited a non Latin American artist. Gitlin’s work resonates with and greatly complements the gallery’s stable of artists such as Horacio Zabala, Leandro Katz, Margarita Paksa and Osvaldo Romberg, whose conceptual works from the 70’s are now being reexamined and actively acquired by private and institutional collections.