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Crash: Homage to JG Ballard

Author: • Feb 12th, 2010 •

Category: Ballardosphere, visual art

Ballardian: Gagosian Gallery

Ed Ruscha. Fountain of Crystal, 2009. Acrylic on canvas. 30 1/8 x 36 1/8 inches (76.5 x 91.8 cm).


Press Release
Gagosian Gallery

6-24 Britannia St London WC1X 9JD
t. 020.7841.9960 f. 020.7841.9961

Gallery hours: Tue – Sat: 10:00am– 6:00pm

Thursday, 11 February – Thursday, 1 April 2010

Opening reception: Thursday, February 11th from 6 to 8pm

I have used the car not only as a sexual image, but as a total metaphor for man’s life in today’s society.

JG Ballard

Gagosian Gallery London will present “Crash,” a major group exhibition opening on 11 February 2010, which takes its title from the famous novel by JG Ballard.

Ballard’s novels stand among the most visionary, provocative literature of the twentieth century, with his ominous predictions regarding the fate of Western culture and his insights into the dark psychopathology of the human race. This exhibition is a response to the enormous impact and enduring cultural significance of his work, following his death in spring 2009. Highlighting Ballard’s great passion for the surreal and his engagement with the artists of his own generation, “Crash” includes examples of his specific inspirations as well as works by contemporary artists who have, in turn, been inspired by his vision.

Ballard’s first published short story “Prima Belladonna” appeared in 1956, the same year as the celebrated Independent Group’s exhibition “This is Tomorrow” at the Whitechapel Gallery, which marked the birth of Pop Art in Britain. It was here, and in the work of Surrealists such as Salvador Dali and Paul Delvaux, that Ballard found the seeds of what he called a “fiction for the present day”. With its dystopian depictions of the present and future, its bleak, man-made landscapes and the recounting of the psychological effects of technological, social and environmental developments on humans, his work has resonated strongly among other writers, filmmakers and visual artists. The exhibition “Crash” brings together works by artists tuned to the Ballardian universe, from his contemporaries such as Ed Ruscha, Richard Hamilton, Andy Warhol and Helmut Newton, to younger artists such as Tacita Dean, Jenny Saville, Glenn Brown and Mike Nelson.

The exhibition is organised in association with the Estate of JG Ballard.

List of artists: Richard Artschwager, Francis Bacon, JG Ballard, Hans Bellmer, Glenn Brown, Chris Burden, Jake & Dinos Chapman, John Currin, Salvador Dalí, Giorgio de Chirico, Tacita Dean, Jeremy Deller, Paul Delvaux, Cyprien Gaillard, Douglas Gordon, Loris Gréaud, Richard Hamilton, John Hilliard and Jemima Stehli, Roger Hiorns, Damien Hirst, Dan Holdsworth, Carsten Höller, Edward Hopper, Allen Jones, Mike Kelley, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Vera Lutter, Florian Maier-Aichen, Paul McCarthy, Adam McEwen, Dan Mitchell, Malcolm Morley, Mike Nelson, Helmut Newton, Cady Noland, Claes Oldenburg, Eduardo Paolozzi, Steven Parrino, Richard Prince, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, Jenny Saville, George Shaw, Cindy Sherman, Piotr Uklański, Andy Warhol, Rachel Whiteread, Christopher Williams, Jane and Louise Wilson, Christopher Wool and Cerith Wyn Evans.

For further inquiries please contact the gallery at london@gagosian.com or at +44.207.841.9960.

More information here.

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5 Responses »

  1. I will be going to this at some point this week. Looking forward to it.

  2. I went to the exhibition the other day. I thought that it was very good. A well thought out exhibition that was interestingly themed. Good catalogue as well (although at £65 a bit pricey). Certainly a much better exhibition than the recent Tate Modern’s Pop Life, which featured many of the same artists, but had no narrative or rational structure.

  3. The other thing I enjoyed was the guide, who was taking a group of American women around the exhibition. As he gradually explained the themes of Ballard’s books, and the film adaptations, you could gradually see them recoiling in mild disgust. He was like a performance artist and should count as one of the exhibits.

  4. ha ha, that’s hilarious duncan! thanks for the insight… wish i could have been there.

  5. I pretty much agree with Duncan, minus the Tour Guide as he was not there when I went recently. Great exhibit, I may even go again. One of the highlights for me was the Mike Nelson installation. Having seen a huge installation of his in the Statens Museum for Kunst in København I was very happy to walk around another of his spaces.
    I am working my way through the Chapman Brothers reinterpretation of Crash now (After “aquiring” a copy), though it seems to have some keyboard mashing, like Meatphysics and The Marriage of Reason & Squalor before it, it doesnt seem too much at the moment. I live in hope.

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