Jan Dibbets: Representations of Reality

Jan Dibbets: Representations of Reality_001Image courtesy of Peter Freeman, Inc

Jan Dibbets: Representations of Reality
Peter Freeman, Inc.
From 5 January 2017 to 18 February 2017

 

Peter Freeman, Inc. is pleased to present Jan Dibbets: Representations of Reality, the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery in New York, featuring recent works from his important Colorstudies series (ongoing since 1976), many of which have never before been shown outside of Europe.

 

Jan Dibbets: Representations of Reality_002Image courtesy of Peter Freeman, Inc.

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The Amsterdam-based artist – a pioneering figure of conceptual art since the 1960s – was among the first artists to challenge the camera as a documentary tool. He continues to navigate a relationship between the conceptual and the pictorial through that medium, creating images that are abstractions of reality.

 

Jan Dibbets: Representations of Reality_003Image courtesy of Peter Freeman, Inc.

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The recent Colorstudies (made between 2010 and 2014) come from negatives shot in the 1970s of closely-cropped details of car hoods, but have now been printed on a very large scale that was not achievable at the time the negatives were taken. Dibbets left the found industrial color of the cars, reproduced with the equally industrial color of film chemistry, unaltered when he made the first prints in the 70s; but in this new series he has often manipulated the color, creating almost painterly monochrome works that underscore the questions of representation and reality that are at the core of Dibbets’s work.

 

Jan Dibbets: Representations of Reality_004Image courtesy of Peter Freeman, Inc.

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As art historian Erik Verhagen discusses in a new text about this series, Dibbets has always investigated a transition between two realities: that of the photographed subject to that of its representation, or its photographic reality. In their articulation of that, the Colorstudies hold a particularly important place in Dibbets’s oeuvre: through them the artist has succeeded in depicting color in the literal world, without referencing an immediately apparent subject.

 

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