International exhibitions

International 2009 Archives

John Gerrard, Directions
Hirschhorn Museum, Washington (USA)

05.11.2009 - 31.05.2010

07.09 - 25.11.2012

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Press release

The Hirschhorn Museum's Directions series features recent work by Vienna-based Irish artist John Gerrard, who uses digital technology to re-imagine landscape art. The exhibition, organized by associate curator Kelly Gorden, opens November 5 and is on view through May 31, 2010.

Gerrard uses Realtime 3-D, a customized game-design software, in conjunction with on-site photography, animating the stills into a seamless cinematic panning shot to capture a 360-degree view of his subjects. The result is imagery that hovers between fact and fiction. Each work tracks around a scene and unflods in real time so that patient viewers can experience the day's progression from morning until night. What looks like a live shot is, in fact, a fabricated, digitaly manipulated image.

"Realtime 3-D is typically devoted to narrative and to the fantastical (the stereotype of violence or beauty), and I have, in some ways, worked out an alternate application," says Gerrard. His work also recall the quiek, stark illumination and precision associated with American 20th-century paintings by artists such as Charles Sheeler, Charles Demuth and Edward Hopper.”


Exhibition November 5, 2009 - May 31, 2010. Museum and Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue at Seventh Street - Washington (USA).

John Gerrard, Directions, Hirschhorn Museum, Washington

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2012. All Rights Reserved

John Gerrard, Dust Storm (Dalhart, Texas), 2007. Projection Reatime 3D. Courtesy the artist

The artist draws inspiration from the expansive sweep of desolate spots he discovered while touring the American Dust Bowl region. His scenes of farms and oil fields raise questions about the impact of human consumption of the environment. Sentry (Kit Carson, Colorado), 2008 (2008) features a hyper-real oil derrick and serves as a haunting suggestion about the depletion of natural resources. The work is displayed on a plasma screen encased in a white Corian frame that sits atop a Corian console table. The same format whith an LCD screen is used for Grow Finish Unit (Eva, Oklahoma), 2008 (2008), a recent acquisition into the Hirschhorn's permanent collection. This work focuses on the bleak visual elegance of a pig-processsing plant, the luminous refections on buildings within the wide landscape presenting a contrast with the function of these structures in the cultivation of animals and their delivery to market.

Dust Storm (Dalhart, Texas, 2007 (2007) is shown as a large projection. In this work the artist merges archival photographs from a dust storm in the 1930s with footage he discovered online of a dust storm in Iraq shot by an American soldier. Gerrard's replicated cloud enguifs an actual landscape he photographed near Dalhart, Texas.

John Gerrard, Oil Fields, 2007. Animated scene