An exhibition of new work by British artist Victor Burgin. Although widely exhibited in Europe, Burgin has received little exposure in the United States, and this will be the first one-man show of the artist in the Midwest.
Burgin’s work first came to public attention in the late 60’s as part of the inaugural wave of Conceptual art. Trained as a painter, he abandoned this medium in favor of photography and writing, primarily to establish a “continuity of languages” between his work in the gallery and the “mass media” environment beyond the gallery walls. In the early 1970’s his series of blown-up fragments of advertisements incorporated “ad-speak” texts-preceding by a decade the trend toward appropriated image work.
In recent years Burgin increasingly has been concerned with the heterogeneous nature of our daily encounters with images, for example we may now find a single work (consisting of multiple panels), a photograph Burgin has taken in the street, an image snatched from a cinema screen, a fragment of a painting photographed in a museum, or a elaborately constructed tableau he has shot in his studio. The collision of these images provides a vehicle for examining the ways in which psychological viewpoints are affected by the viewer’s position within society and culture. The significance of Burgin’s work lies in its continuing attempt since conceptualism to ground the visual arts in contemporary culture theory, rather than in traditional art historical aesthetics.
The Renaissance Society’s exhibition of Victor Burgin will comprise one work composed of seven panels of photographs and text. Concurrent with the exhibition we will be making available a substantial new text by Victor Burgin, reproducing his work of the past 10 years.