Miguel Abreu Gallery is pleased to announce Sequence 9: one work, one or two weeks…, an exhibition wherein, over the course of six weeks, a single artwork will be on view at our 36 Orchard Street space for the duration of one or two weeks. This sequencing of objects by various artists articulated over time constitutes a break from the traditional group show in which works are relationally installed in space rather than time.
This ninth iteration of the exhibition began with a suite of drawings from 2008 by Raha Raissnia. The second and current work in the show is a painting on plaster panel by Florian Pumhösl. The next artist’s work will be announced on the day preceding its unveiling.
Pumhösl’s painting is derived from a 19th-century rabbinical map (“Eretz Israel,” from Boundaries of the Land by Rabbi Joshua Feiwel ben Israel, Grodno, 1813). The austere motifs, carefully stamped on ceramic plaster panels in oil paint, were produced using a separate rubber cliché for each line in the composition.
The artist’s work can be characterized as an unfolding constellation of references encoded within a visual language that is purely formal. His paintings, films, and installations address the exhibition space as a medium. The mode of production of the series of twelve paintings to which this painting belongs, delicately situated between the proto-mechanical and the precise hand gesture, suggests early 20th-century avant-garde experiments in typography and graphic design. The geometricity of the rabbinical map—an abstracted representation of the imaginary migration routes followed by the twelve Jewish tribes to the promised land—may recall the aesthetic idioms of Russian Futurism and Constructivism. Print publications are further evoked through Pumhösl’s manipulation and exhibition of the map. The diagram was initially divided into twelve equal fragments that were organized in a horizontal array in his show at 88 Eldridge Street, as if pages in a book. This method of display, which the artist considers an interruption of the architectural space, brings to the fore the contradiction between continuity and discontinuity that constitutes the book form and language in general.
The historical significance of Manhattan’s Lower East Side as a prominent first destination for Jewish people settling in the United States adds resonance to exhibiting this work on Orchard Street.
Florian Pumhösl (b. 1971, Vienna) lives and works in Vienna. Institutional solo exhibitions of his work have been staged at Kunsthaus Bregenz (2012); Mumok (Vienna, 2011); Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen (Düsseldorf, 2010); Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (Luxembourg, 2009), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam, 2008); Neue Kunsthalle St. Gallen (2005); Centre d’édition contemporaine (Geneva, 2004); Kölnischer Kunstverein (Cologne, 2003); Secession (Vienna, 2000); and Salzburger Kunstverein (1998), among others. His work was featured in major international exhibitions, such as Documenta 12, Kassel (2007), São Paulo Biennial (2006) and the 50th Venice Biennale (2003). Recently, Pumhösl’s work appeared in group exhibitions at Kestner Gesellschaft (Hanover), the V-A-C Foundation (Venice), Pinault Collection (Venice), Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Haus Der Kunst (Munich), City Gallery Prague, Museum Abteiberg (Mönchengladbach), Generali Foundation (Vienna), MACBA (Barcelona), Raven Row (London), Künstlerhaus Vienna, and Museum of Modern Art (Warsaw). He has had solo exhibitions at Miguel Abreu Gallery, Galerie Buchholz, Berlin and Cologne, Lisson Gallery, London, and Galerie Meyer Kainer, Vienna. His work is in the permanent collections of Tate Modern (London), Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), MUMOK (Vienna), Generali Foundation (Vienna), Kunsthaus Bregenz, Pinault Collection, V–A–C Foundation (Moscow), BSI Collection (Lugano), and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid), among others. Several monographs are dedicated to Pumhösl’s work: Florian Pumhösl: Works in Exhibitions 1993-2012 (Kunsthaus Bregenz, 2012), Florian Pumhösl: 678 (Buchhandlung Walther König, 2012), and Florian Pumhösl (Lisson Gallery/Galerie Buchholz, 2008).
A two-person exhibition with Vincent Fecteau, I hear the ancient music of words and words, yes, that’s it., was on view at the MAK Center Schindler House, West Hollywood in 2021–22, accompanied by a publication of the same title. An iteration of the exhibition traveled to Galerie Buchholz, Berlin in late 2022, opening in tandem with his solo exhibition, Florian Pumhösl, also at Galerie Buchholz.
WORK 1: RAHA RAISSNIA
Raha Raissnia’s films, drawings, and paintings are closely imbricated: paintings are contrapuntal compositions catalyzed by film stills, transferred faintly onto the surface of the panel and elaborated upon with oil and gesso. Her films echo this archaeological process, constructed from fragments of earlier work and structured as overlapping pairs of 35mm slide and 16mm film projections. Raissnia’s drawings and collages, likewise comprised of image transfers, with Sumi ink and graphite, examine this relationship of mutual influence. All are guided by the materiality of their media.
While Raissnia’s film works extend time, her drawings on paper seem to define and encapsulate it. Her densely textured work draws in equal measure on the gestural and photographic, the figurative and abstract. As her films render these boundaries ambiguous through layers of manipulation and reference, so too does her two-dimensional work present a world that contains aspects of both but belongs properly to neither. It features passageways to indeterminate locations and irrational architectures. “My paintings brought abstraction to the vision I captured from the world on film, and now the films are bringing elements of reality into my paintings,” Raissnia says. Her viewer is left with the (impossible) task of excavating the two.
Raha Raissnia (b. 1968, Tehran, Iran) lives and works in New York City. She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1992 and her MFA from Pratt Institute in 2002. Solo institutional exhibitions of her work were held at the Drawing Center, New York (2018), and The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2016). In 2015, she was included in the 13th Bienal de Cuenca, Ecuador, and the 56th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale, curated by Okwui Enwezor. Notable group exhibitions include Greater New York, MoMA PS1, New York (2021-22); Long Live Modern Movement, CSS Bard Hessel Museum, New York (2020); The Foundation of the Museum: MOCA’s Collection, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2019); Looking Back – The 8th White Columns Annual, White Columns, New York (2014); Cosmography, The Kitchen, New York (2011) and Engaging the False Mirror, Museum of Contemporary Art St. Louis (2010), among others. Raissnia’s sixth one-person exhibition at Miguel Abreu Gallery was held in the winter of 2019. In 2022, she had her first solo exhibition in East Asia, نور (Nour) , at Empty Gallery, Hong Kong. She also had her third solo exhibition at Galerie Xippas, Paris, Folie is currently on view at Galerie Khoshbakt, Cologne.
Raissnia’s film and slide projection performances, often undertaken in collaboration with Aki Onda, Panagiotis Mavridis, and Charles Curtis have been held at AB-ANBAR (London), Empty Gallery (Hong Kong), Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), REDCAT (Los Angeles), Kunsthal Rotterdam, Arnolfini – Center for Contemporary Arts (Bristol, UK), the Drawing Center (New York), ISSUE Project Room (New York), and OK LÀ (Montreal), among others. Her work is held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), the Pejman Foundation (Tehran), Colección INELCOM (Madrid), the Pinault Collection, and The Museum of Old and New Art (Tasmania).