Marlborough is pleased to present Landscape Painting the first U.S. exhibition of German artist Julius von Bismarck. Featuring a two-channel video, a pair of large- scale photographs and a stone sculpture, the show is a concise distillation of the artist’s multivalent and globalized practice.
For this exhibition, von Bismarck engages the tradition of landscape painting by, quite literally, painting the landscape. In the remote Mexican desert, the artist and a crew of local workers first covered a vista of rocks, earth and cacti in white paint, and then proceeded to realistically repaint it in its actual colors. The process becomes fodder for a poetic documentary-style video and the resulting “painting” the subject of a large-scale digital photograph. This action was repeated in the jungle, in collaboration with Maya painters, and makes up the other half of the video projection.
Additionally, the artist has used a sophisticated digital milling machine to hollow out a boulder, rendering it wafer-thin and impossibly light, with only its surface remaining. This sculpture is reinforced and made permanent by way of an elaborately engineered fiberglass and steel girding system. This allows the stone to be easily moved and even suspended in air, lending the work a brand of matter-of-fact magic that nicely encapsulates von Bismarck’s artistic agenda.