Haim Steinbach, zerubbabel, Magasin III Jaffa
Magasin III Museum & Foundation for Contemporary Art in Stockholm, is pleased to present zerubbabel by Haim Steinbach, the inaugural exhibition in its new satellite space in Jaffa, greater Tel Aviv. zerubbabel is the Israeli-born American artist’s first solo show in his home country, and it marks the launch of a diverse program at Magasin III Jaffa that will feature both international and local artists.
Since the late 1970s, Steinbach’s practice has focused on selecting and arranging everyday objects from a spectrum of social and cultural contexts. Engaging them in the play of ‘display’, the objects are staged in their own right, emphasizing their identities, inherent meanings and associations.
zerubbabel, curated by David Neuman, includes ten works by Steinbach from the last 5 years, ranging from recent wall paintings, which focus on the essence of text, imagery and color, to objects presented in his architecturally defined boxes.
On entering the gallery from Olei Zion, visitors will be greeted by Steinbach’s large-scale pantonecoolgray10 (2016) and smaller tuttifrutti (2016), both wall paintings designed in vinyl decal and acrylic paint. Pantone is a company best known for its innovative system for identifying, matching and communicating colors, while “Tutti Frutti” may refer to the Israeli popsicle or the Little Richard song. The context of a work is important to Steinbach, and in his wall paintings he uses the architecture to duplicate the space, heightening our perception of it spatially.
Beside pantonecoolgray10, four handcrafted wood and glass boxes are shown alongside one other, each displaying a different tin container produced by Pantone. In these works, Steinbach explores our understanding of colors, through structures and framing devices for their presentation. His Untitled (bocce ball), (2013), a wooden bocce ball presented within a box on an adjacent wall, is an object of a game.
On another wall of the gallery is thelionking (2016), an extensive vinyl decal superimposed on an expanse of yellow ochre acrylic paint that depicts the silhouette of a lion’s head from the popular musical of the same name.
Steinbach’s work with language proposes that reading is an act of seeing, and even if this is not always, strictly speaking the case, the graphic codes which proliferate in our current media culture accustom us to word, object and image arriving in the same package. Steinbach is interested in the vernacular “saying,” the sort of speech that strikes us as both direct and shared, both common and readily understood. The promise of vernacular—in color, catch phrases, ad copy, figures of speech—makes communication seem effortless. Words, objects and images become memorable, easy to repeat. If language here hits its target, it is because the vernacular “saying” is an expression of readerly consensus or fluency on matters of social relations as well as about particular cultural meanings. By turning vernacular coloration into wall texts, wall paintings or objects, Steinbach subverts the original context of the language he has found and moves the objects toward new identifications and associations.
“Haim Steinbach belongs to the most quintessential group of Contemporary artists—those that so importantly have pushed the boundaries of visual expression. The upcoming exhibition will clearly establish a benchmark for future presentations at Magasin III Jaffa. It is our utmost pleasure to present Haim Steinbach’s art to local and international audiences”, says David Neuman.
Magasin III Jaffa spans 180 square meters (2000 square feet). The space has been carefully planned so that exhibitions can be viewed at any time of the day or night, curated with a special emphasis on also being viewed from the outside. The site for Magasin III Jaffa was chosen for its location as well as architectural qualities, and is located on 34 Olei Zion, a residential neighborhood that borders with Jaffa’s famous flea market at the epicenter of the Christian, Jewish and Muslim populations of Jaffa.
The General Manager of Magasin III Jaffa, Karmit Galili, says: “This is a truly exciting addition to our city. The satellite defines Magasin III’s longstanding involvement with the cultural scene here. The area where Magasin III Jaffa is located has a rich and mixed history and we are very much looking forward to contributing to it and engaging with new audiences.”
About Magasin III Museum & Foundation for Contemporary Art
Founded 30 years ago by Robert Weil, chairman of The Robert Weil Family Foundation and Proventus AB together with David Neuman, chairman and formerly director of Magasin III Museum & Foundation for Contemporary Art. The museum is one of Europe’s leading institutions for contemporary art. Magasin III believes in the ability of art to challenge and inspire people and society.
Since 1987, Magasin III has presented world-class exhibitions and continues to fortify its permanent collection, which holds works by leading artists. Recent highlight exhibitions in Stockholm include Tom Friedman, Katarina Grosse, Tony Oursler, Mika Rottenberg, Ai Weiwei, Andrea Zittel and Gunnel Wåhlstrand.
The Director of Magasin III Museum & Foundation for Contemporary Art, Tessa Praun, says: “The public program at Magasin III in Stockholm is currently closed. Over the next two years, the Museum will examine alternative ways to engage with visitors and take the opportunity to fully evaluate how it can best continue to support art and artists both nationally and internationally. Further details of future programing in Stockholm will be announced in 2018. The Stockholm team is of course also engaged in supporting the satellite space.”
About Haim Steinbach
Born in Rehovot, Israel in 1944, Haim Steinbach has lived in the United States since 1957. Steinbach received a BFA from Pratt Institute in 1968, followed by an MFA from Yale University in 1973.
Throughout his career, Steinbach has exhibited his work at major museums worldwide. In 2013, the Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College in New York presented a solo exhibition of the artist’s work since the early 1970’s, entitled once again the world is flat, which traveled to Kunsthalle Zurich and Serpentine Gallery, London. Other notable solo presentations include The Menil Collection, Houston (2014); Statens Museum fur Kunst, Copenhagen (2013-14); Berkeley Art Museum, UC Berkeley (2005); Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna (1997); Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Turin (1995); Guggenheim Museum, New York (with Ettore Spalletti) (1995); Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (1992); and CAPC musée d’art contemporain, Bordeaux (1988). His work has been included in group exhibitions in La Triennale, Paris (2012); the Biennale de Lyon (2000); the Venice Biennale (1997); Documenta IX and the Sydney Biennial (1992).
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MAGASIN III JAFFA
34 Olei Zion
6813131 Tel Aviv -Yafo
Museum & Foundation for Contemporary Art
115 56 Stockholm