Regen Projects
633 N. Almont Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90069
Tel. (310) 276-5424
Fax. (310) 276-7430

At Regen Projects II

April 11 – May 16, 2009
9016 Santa Monica Boulevard (at Almont Drive)
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 11, 6 – 8 pm
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm

The mixed media can be just a mess if the narrative doesn't make sense. Does the single work benefit from the disconnection? I´m looking for a specific quality of the single work related (or not) to other works. The viewer is the "activator" of the complex and becomes a part of it for the moment. - Manfred Pernice, Berlin, 2009

Regen Projects is pleased to announce an exhibition of new works by German artist Manfred Pernice. This will be the artist's third solo show at the gallery. Pernice creates sculptures and installations from conventional building materials such as particle board, concrete, plywood and masonite. His architecture driven works explore design, installation and the relationship between interior and exterior spaces. For this exhibition Pernice will display a selection of photographs, drawings, ceramic works, and sculptures with integrated architectural elements.

This does not mean, however, that Pernice is making an argument for a new, autonomous objecthood of sculpture, either with regard to the 'cans' and 'containers' which dominated his oeuvre up to a few years ago or to his recent prismatic, polyhedral cylindrical forms. When, for example, the anthropomorphic sculptures he showed in the exhibition "Neue Arbeiten" (New Works, his exhibition at Galerie Neu in Berlin, May, 2008) reference Anthony Caro's abstract steel sculptures from the 1970s, this is because they have gone down paths forged through concrete contemporary history – borne out, for example, by the fragmented applications of coloured paint which on the one hand recall lines of painterly tradition such as those of chromatically idiosyncratic monochrome painting or the garish palettes of Pop art, and on the other are reminiscent of the pastel-hued local colour of products produced in the German Democratic Republic. In syntheses like these, site-specifically authenticated contemporaneity suddenly comes across as a construct that has been shaken by socio-geographical non-contemporaneity, whereby the distinguishing marks of 'autonomous' sculpture overlap with those of a commodity culture that has long since been withdrawn from circulation, raising questions as to the chances of survival which a socialist popular culture might have provided for the East German tradition of figurative commemorative sculpture.

The simultaneously strong reminders of an emblematic Abstract Expressionist artist who, disregarding the signs of the times, sought to uphold a concept of material and form for whose 'universalism' there was literally no longer any 'place' when post-classical sculpture turned towards site-specific forms in the 1970s, are brought together here with a view of a figurative formal language that was displaced by 'western' (post-)modernism as a perspective which is in turn capable of indicating the universalism of 'site-specificity'.

If, therefore, the tradition of the three-dimensional, autonomous sculpture is referenced in the context of "Neue Arbeiten," then this is clearly not an attempt to mobilize the distinctive melodies of enraptured nostalgias, but rather to consider distinctive aesthetic features of a GDR which has come to its end but which assigned socially relevant and recognized functions to representative sculpture by the likes of Fritz Wotruba – a functional quality that is invoked, albeit with a different rationale, by site-specific practices to this day.

In this sense, diffuse constellations of objects can deliberately be subsumed under the heading of 'Gebilde' – objects which, the more they resemble art, the more they are self-related as relics of themselves and which, the more they look like no-longer-fashionable utilitarian objects, the bolder they are in their legitimization of product recycling.

(Buchmann, Sabeth, "Alles was die Arbeit betrifft, ist in ihr enthalten (Everything pertaining to the work is contained within it)," in Manfred Pernice: Que-Sah, trans. Jaqueline Todd, Nürnberg, Germany: Neues Museum in Nürnberg, Verlag für modern Kunst Nürnberg, 2009.)

Manfred Pernice lives and works in Berlin. He attended Studium Grafik / Malerei in Braunschweig, as well as the Hochschule der Kunste in Berlin. Recently Pernice was included in "Skulptur Projeckte Münster 07"; "Unmonumental: The Object in the 21st Century," at the New Museum, New York; and "Life on Mars: 55th Carnegie International," Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA. Pernice has previously participated in the 2003 and 2001 Venice Biennials; Documenta XI in Kassel, Germany; Manifesta, Frankfurt am Main; and the 1st Berlin Biennale. Solo exhibitions have been organized by the Witte de With in Rotterdam; Portikus in Frankfurt; Kunsthalle Zurich; and Museum Ludwig in Cologne. Most recently a comprehensive exhibition was presented at the Neues Museum in Nürnberg, for which a catalog was published and will be released this summer.

An opening reception will take place at the gallery on Saturday, April 11th from 6 – 8 pm. For further information please contact Jennifer Loh, Heather Harmon or Stacy Bengtson at 310-276-5424.