Jimmie Durham and Jone Kvie

Paired Weight: Jimmie Durham and Jone Kvie

Opening 03.03.2022, 19.00 - 21.00

OSL contemporary is proud to present a duo exhibition of Jone Kvie and the late Jimmie Durham entitled 'Paired Weight: Jimmie Durham and Jone Kvie'.

Text by Magnus af Petersens

Durham and Kvie first met in 2001, both working with a gallery in Stavanger where they soon formed a friendship that also resulted in artistic collaborations. They have exhibited together several times through the years. Among their latest cooperations was the exhibition "Glass" at Galerie Michel Rein in Paris, where they displayed glass sculptures developed during a three-week stay at a glass workshop in Marseille. Kvie was involved from the very beginning when the design collective Labinac was formed by Durham and Maria Thereza Alvarez, launching with an exhibition of handmade furniture in Berlin, 2018. Durham and Kvie were drawn together by their passion for materials and craft, both in the physical as well as the conceptual creative practices.

“We just talked about stones and wood or things we’d seen and read,” Jone Kvie says about the collaboration between the two artists. Both artists also studied and discussed each other´s work as well as considering various artistic problems such as the plinth, for example, as something relevant and at times problematic for contemporary artists working with sculpture. Durham´s work rarely contain plinths, however some sculptures have displayed blocks of stone which resemble them - but these have been exhibited as objects in their own right. So, when Durham now uses plinths, it means these really are sculptures with Plinths. And the black-stained plinths in oak veneer are significantly larger than the sculptures they carry.

Durham’s sculpture Paint on Would is a painted debarked tree trunk with a couple of recessed brass brackets for screws or bolts. The spelling of the title is a deliberate play on words that produces different meanings depending on how you pronounce or read it. Playful and open to interpretation, this is typical of Durham, who was also a poet before he became a visual artist—and who often used text and language as part of his artworks. Apparatus for Red Glass is reminiscent of an ancient optical instrument with a protruding extension containing a red shard of glass. The over dimensioned plinth for this “apparatus” is formed almost like a podium. Paired Wait, however, has no plinth. A petrified tree trunk and an oak trunk sawed into a block with straight edges, it is bound together with three packing straps, as if prepared for transportation.

Kvie’s Here, here-series consists of a group of works inspired by simple steel pipes or wooden constructions previously observed by the artist and whose functions are hard to guess; handmade; seemingly temporary solutions. They could be poles delineating a border or put in place to anchor something. This is done with a sort of economy that deviates from a lot of the mass-produced goods we are surrounded by today. The long poles are set into a concrete block, which looks as if it has been torn out of the ground. The precursor to Here here IV is a wood construction held together by metal and wires that Kvie witnessed by the sea in Marseille. Durham gave him the branches he needed to make his own version, for which he later cast in bronze.

These works contain layers of translation, from a found object to a new interpretation formed in similar materials, subsequently cast in bronze in such a way that the original materials still can be perceived. This lends the sculptures a mysterious air, as if they are monuments from a lost culture. And the installation in the white gallery room creates a Verfremdungseffekt that adds yet another layer of meaning.

Jimmie Durham passed away November 2021.

Jimmie Durham (1940 - 2021)

Jimmie Durham was an artist, poet, writer and activist.

Durham has taken part in numerous international exhibitions such as Documenta (1992, 2012), Whitney Biennial of New York (1993, 2003, 2014), the Venice Biennial (1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2013, 2019), the Istanbul Biennial (1997, 2013) and many other group shows.

Besides multiple solo exhibitions at different museums like ICA in London, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels (1993) and Madre Museum in Naples (2008, 2012), Portikus in Frankfurt (2010), Serpentine Gallery in London (2015), Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) (2015), Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice (2015), MAXXI Rome (2016), Migros Museum Zurich, retrospectives of his works were shown at MuHKA in Antwerp (2012), Musee d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris (2009) and MAC in Marseille and Gemeentemuseum in The Hague (2003).

In 2017-2018 a traveling retrospective was exhibited in the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and the Remai Modern, Saskatoon.­

Jimmie Durham will posthumously participate 2022 in documenta fifteen.

Jimmie Durham received 2016 the emperor's ring of the city of Goslar (Goslarer Kaiserring) (2016) and the Robert Rauschenberg Award (2017).

Jimmie Durham was awarded The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement of the 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia 2019.

Jone Kvie (b. 1971, Stavanger) Lives and works in Naples and Berlin. His practice as a sculptor is characterized by a fascination with existential questions, and by an intention to extend the notion of art towards contemplation over the world’s being, and what it means to be human in it. Our will to know and interpret the “natural world” is reflected in Kvie’s attention to cultural interpretations, archetypes and myths, and finally in his choices of themes, form, materi-als and titles. Often taking on the unfathomable and unknown as his subject matter, his sculptures may be read both as reflections over our attempts to understand, and as physical manifestations of the ideas that are created in these attempts. Mental and abstract concep-tions become objects with independent existence, often appearing surprisingly recognizable in their firm presence.

Kvie has exhibited widely in Scandinavian galleries and museums, including ARoS Art Museum in Aarhus, Kunstnernes His (Oslo), Bergen Art Museum, The National Museum of Art (Oslo), Malmö Art Museum and Göteborg Museum of Art. He has produced a number of public and private commissions, and is repre- sented in key public and private collections including those of Corcoran Museum (Washington DC), AROS (Aarhus); The National Museum of Art (Oslo), The National Public Arts Council (Stockholm), the Art Museums in Malmö, Bergen and Stavanger, as well as with a permanent installation at Göteborg Museum of Art. Highlights include his solo exhibitions Vessels at the Vigeland Museum in Oslo (2017), Metamorfos at Göteborgs konstmuseum, Gothenburg, Sweden (2018), and Here here at Stavanger Kunstmuseum (2019). In 2022 Kvie will be participating at documenta fifteen in Kassel, Germany, and will be part of a group show in Kunsten Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg, Denmark. He will also have a solo exhibition at Örebro konsthall (Sweden) in September.

Main image:
Left – Jone Kvie, Here Here IV (2020) – photo credit: Malle Madsen
Right – Jimmie Durham, Like an Element for an Operatic Set (2016) – works and images courtesy of the artist and kurimanzutto, Mexico City / New York