Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys: Fine Arts

May 3–August 31, 2015

Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys show fifteen steel sculptures, eighty-five watercolors, and a few videos.

These artists make tragic, comic, and silent portraits of the human condition. They are drawn to all that society can’t digest or domesticate, and they create a perverse caricature that is populated by amateur actors, faces, dolls, animals, and other speechless objects. Their work is deadpan, in all senses of the word: funny and blank at the same time. It tastes like cardboard.

Standing at nine-feet tall but eight millimeters thick, the sculptures resemble cut-out figures or pixelated bodies. Watercolored faces, traced from anonymous images found online, are pinned to each one. Appearing throughout a series of eight carpeted galleries, the sculptures will be the visitors to an exhibition of watercolors.

Jos de Gruyter (b. 1965) and Harald Thys (b. 1966) have collaborated since the late 1980s. They have had numerous solo exhibitions at institutions including Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; M HKA, Antwerp; Kunsthalle Basel; Culturgest, Lisbon; and were included in the Venice Biennale (2013) and the Berlin Biennial (2008). Raven Row, in London, will present a solo show in September 2015. De Gruyter and Thys live and work in Brussels.

 


  • Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys. Installation view of Tram 3, 2015, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts. Photo by Johnna Arnold.

  • Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys. Installation view of Tram 3, 2015, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts. Photo by Johnna Arnold.

  • Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys. Installation view of Tram 3, 2015, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts. Photo by Johnna Arnold.

 

Jos de Guyter & Harald Thys: Fine Arts is curated by Anthony Huberman, Director and Chief Curator, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco. The exhibition at MoMA PS1 expands on the one presented at the Wattis Institute and is co-organized with Peter Eleey, Curator and Associate Director of Exhibitions and Programs, MoMA PS1.

The exhibition is supported by The General Representation of the Government of Flanders, through Flanders House New York. Additional funding is provided by the MoMA PS1 Annual Exhibition Fund.