Major Exhibition Exploring Impact of Experimental Gallery Signals London (1964-66) Opens at kurimanzutto new york This Fall
Featuring over 80 historic works created during the 1960’s by leading avant-garde artists, such as David Medalla, Mira Schendel, Alejandro Otero, Jesús Rafael Soto, Sergio de Camargo, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Lygia Clark and Liliane Lijn
Opening on November 13, 2018, kurimanzutto new york will present a historic exhibition that celebrates the innovative spirit of pioneering art gallery, Signals London (1964-1966) at their recently opened project space. An institutional model for kurimanzutto, Signals London existed as a cross-disciplinary space that transcended the boundaries of fixed location and served as a platform for a number of emerging Latin American and European artists of the time. In doing so, the gallery and meeting space brought these artists into the spotlight for the first time in London, forging a global legacy for these now celebrated artists that evolved from the gallery’s short but prolific lifetime. Signals: If You Like I Shall Grow (Part II) will bring together and examine more than 80 works from public and private collections by a wide-range of artists that exhibited at Signals.
Conceived by kurimanzutto co-founder José Kuri, and curated by art historian Dr. Isobel Whitelegg, who has published widely on Signals and the international circulation of Latin American art, the exhibition will feature artists including: Antonio Asis, Michael Broido, Sergio de Camargo, Malcolm Carder, Lygia Clark, Gianni Colombo, José Maria Cruxent, Ivor Davies, Mathias Goeritz, Lily Greenham, Edwina Leapman, Liliane Lijn, Kenneth Martin, Mary Martin, David Medalla, Gustav Metzger, Alejandro Otero, Henk Peeters, Otto Piene, Jesús Rafael Soto, Mira Schendel, Dom Sylvester Houédard, Gerhard von Graeventiz, and Li Yuan-Chia.
Driven by possibility more than plan, Signals London was originally conceived as The Centre for Advanced Creative Study by the artists David Medalla, Gustav Metzger, and Marcello Salvadori. To describe a group exhibition as a “pilot” was characteristic of the gallery’s interdisciplinary approach. Continuing from the London iteration of the exhibition, presented at Thomas Dane Gallery in June 2018, Signals: If You Like I Shall Grow (Part II) will extend the dialogue around the potential that the Signals collaborative model holds for galleries today. The presentation of a new series of works not previously on view in London, including rarely-seen pieces, further explores the gallery's use of “pilot” exhibitions as a generative device.
The New York iteration of Signals: If You Like I Shall Grow intensifies its focus and scholarship on Latin American artists who, following their involvement with Signals, grew in global reputation and went on to show at major New York institutions. Two of the Signals artists included in the New York presentation, Lily Greenham and Gerhard von Graeventiz, were concurrently featured in The Responsive Eye at MoMA in 1965, which proved to be a seminal exhibition of Kinetic and Op Art. The exhibition will also feature the work of David Medalla, a key figure from Signals London, who remains an inspirational figure to kurimanzutto and its artists, and is particularly meaningful to artist Gabriel Kuri, whom Medalla befriended when Kuri attended Goldsmiths in London in the ‘90s.
“The spirit of kurimanzutto draws from the radical, spontaneous, and collaborative energy of Signals London, then a center for interdisciplinary experimentation and collaboration from 1964-1966. To present works by its artists at our New York project space is at once an honor and the purest expression of Signals’ ethos, impact, and legacy,” said Jose Kuri, co-founder of kurimanzutto. “Beyond this sentimental importance to our founding, Signals: If You Like I Shall Grow (Part II) contributes new scholarship on the lineage and influences of the international avantgarde working today.”
Highlights from the New York iteration of the exhibition include:
- The oldest existing edition of David Medalla’s Cloud Canyons (1942);
- A set of 9 early drawings from 1964 by iconic Brazilian artist Mira Schendel from the collection of Medalla that has not been exhibited since the gallery closed in 1966. The series represents the artist’s experimentation with oil on rice paper for the first time—a technique that would come to distinguish her practice later on;
- Several important works from the mid-‘60s by Jesus Rafael Soto and Carlos Cruz-Diez, key players in the Kinetic and Op Art movements, who are additions to the New York iteration of the exhibition;
- Two sculptural installations by Mathias Goeritz, a renowned painter and architect of German origin, who helped spearhead the development of conceptual art in Mexico; and
- Three works by influential women artists Edwina Leapman, Lily Greenham, and Liliane Lijn—one of the first woman artists to work with kinetic text.
To coincide with the exhibition in New York, kurimanzutto will also produce a publication which pays homage to the original format and concept of Signals London’s Newsbulletin, which documented its exhibitions, and included critical essays, images, poetry, and reports on new art and science from home and abroad. kurimanzutto artist and exhibition collaborator Gabriel Kuri shares that “the Signals London Newsbulletins, published decades before today’s instant-connectivity, are the embodiment of internationalism and cross-pollination. Their spirit of experimentation was genuinely independent of the legitimation of institutions or the incentive of the art market.”
In December, concurrent with the run of Signals: If You Like I Shall Grow (Part II), kurimanzutto will host a corollary panel discussion at The Americas Society, featuring two Signals artists, associated practitioners, and historians.