VI, VII is pleased to present a new exhibition by Tobias Kaspar, a liberal re-staging of his 2021 exhibition at the gallery. The first presentation in our current space in a newly realized harbor district of the city, “The Complete Interview Magazine, Issue 529, Winter 19” took a look at the last issue of Interview Magazine published before the pandemic.
The press text for the 2021 exhibition read as follows:
"VI, VII is pleased to present ‘The Complete Interview Magazine, Issue 529, Winter 19’ a series of fifty-two works on paper that translate the fashion and many celebrities featured in the magazine Andy Warhol founded into fragile, elegant individual works. Characters are carved out from the dark in ink and acrylic paint, like Seurat’s charcoal portraits and drawings from the 1880s.
To some viewers Kaspar’s ink drawings may feel like the portrait of a now closed decade, things that never can be again: a Seth Price Bomber jacket work, Grimes dressed in Dior, dancers from the New York City Ballet, a chef from Noma, Copenhagen’s renowned restaurant draped in Lanvin. Finn Wolfhard, the actor, and more make cameo appearances."
Can they really never be again? Or did the world perhaps not change as much as we hoped for? Did we hope? Did we change? Are we continuing on as if nothing happened? Is the world spinning ever faster?
Following the pandemic the art world and the turbo capitalistic society that it embodies is an endlessly hungry vampire, always seeking out the new. As in the fashion industry artists are forced and force themselves to hammer out new artworks—season by season, fair by fair. Repetition, rehashing and re-staging are common strategies to escape these forces, if only for a moment. So here the drawings are presented once again in edited form.
Tobias Kaspar investigates how consumptive desires and societal values are created and altered through a diverse range of media that includes painting, photography, video, publishing, and installation. Kaspar is interested in utilizing the fashion industry as a mirror to reflect on personal practice and as a tool for production; to explore questions of authorship and authenticity, and for its impact on the formation of individual identity and the behavioral patterns of our time.
In the early 2010’s Kaspar’s work was first recognized within an institutional framework in the context of a discourse around post-appropriation art. Two exhibitions are worth highlighting in this regard: the 2011 exhibition ‘That’s the way we do it. The Techniques and Aesthetics of Appropriation. From Ei Arakawa to Andy Warhol’ at Kunsthaus Bregenz by Yilmaz Dziewor and Stefan Kalmar’s group exhibition “Frozen Lakes” in 2013 at Artists Space in New York.
Adolescence, the question and struggle of how to fit into a society and systems are recurring topics in the artist’s body of work.
Solo exhibitions by the artist have taken place at Kunsthalle Bern; Kunsthalle, St. Gallen; Kunsthalle, Sao Paulo; Cinecittà Studios, The Swiss Institute, Rome; KIM? Contemporary art Center, Riga, Latvia; Midway Contemporary Art Center, Minneapolis and Foundry Seoul.
The artist’s work has been the focus of a solo exhibition at MAMCO museum in Geneva and was part of the touring exhibition “Information Today” curated by Elena Filipovic, which traveled from the Kunsthalle Basel to the Astrup Fearnly Museum in 2022.
The artist’s work has also appeared in group exhibitions at Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Kunsthalle Zürich; Hamburger Bahnhof Museum, Berlin; The Artist’s Institute, New York; Artists Space, New York; Swiss Art Awards, Bundesamt für Kultur, Basel; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; Galerie Francesca Pia, Zurich; Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing and Galerie Neu, Berlin.
Born in Basel in 1984 the artist is now based in Riga and Zurich.