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KASPER BOSMANS | "Decorations" at Witte de With

08/08/2016 - 10/31/2016

An intuitive researcher and playful gatherer of material, Kasper Bosmans (1990, BE) collects and transposes into his work formal elements and anthropological principles intrinsic to the studied phenomena, thus opening up a realm of meaning that both surpasses and celebrates them. Each strand of investigation is incorporated into Bosman’s unique visual language and translated into paintings and sculptural ensembles.

With Decorations, Kasper Bosmans reimagines past projects through a series of new works, including an artist publication, painterly interventions in select archival boxes, sculptures and large-scale murals. Bosmans engages with recurrent themes distilled from the archive, including migration, domesticity, sexuality, urban development, and ecology.

Prompted by the absence of folk art in Witte de With’s exhibition history, Decorations also features documents taken from artist Asger Jorn’s photographic archive 10,000 Years of Nordic Folk Art, a project part of his Scandinavian Institute for Comparative Vandalism, founded in 1961 as an interdisciplinary institute aimed at ‘vandalizing’ art history.

As a permanent yet discrete intervention into Witte de With’s archive, Bosmans selected a number of archival boxes containing the documentation of projects he closely relates to on a formal, anecdotal, or conceptual level. Using the inside of the lids of these boxes as his canvas, Bosmans paints a visual encryption in which he symbolically translates the content of these archive boxes and the stories surrounding the project it houses. These small paintings are inserted in the very material structure of the archive as a silent presence, only to be revealed to future researchers.

Kasper Bosmans began his investigation of Witte de With’s history with a close reading of 20+ Years Witte de With, an anthology published by the institution in 2012 that lists all exhibitions and other projects at Witte de With between 1990 and 2011. Bosmans made numerous annotations and footnotes, scribbles and sketches in the margins across the 357 pages. Adding his own remarks and critical notes, and inserting photographs from Asger Jorn’s 10,000 Years of Nordic Folk Art collection, he opens up this well-edited historiography to new interpretations.