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February 23 – April 1, 2017
Sikkema Jenkins & Co.
530 W 22nd St, New York, NY 10011
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 23, 6-8PM
Sikkema Jenkins & Co. is pleased to present Epistemes, a solo show of new work by Vik Muniz. The exhibition – which premieres the artist’s new series Handmade in the United States – will be on view at the gallery from February 23 through April 1, 2017.
Best known for his re-creations of iconic images from visual culture made using nontraditional materials and recorded with a camera, Muniz here strips the work of representational imagery, in a direct exploration of the illusionist strategies and material processes that he has developed over the course of his career. As Muniz explains, “It’s like a menu of the ideas that I’ve drawn on, a compendium of strategies exposed in a very simple way.”
These new works combine the material object and photographic trompe l’oeil into a unified abstract composition. Commenting on the confounding image-object relationship probed within these works, Muniz observes, “It always goes both ways. What you expect to be a photo isn’t, and what you expect to be an object is a photographic image.” Extending this idea more broadly, Muniz adds, “In a time when everything’s reproducible, the difference between the artwork and its image is all but nonexistent.”
While not referencing specific artistic antecedents in Handmade, Muniz’s vocabulary draws connections to abstract art movements including concrete art, constructivism, and op art.
The exhibition’s title is taken from the philosophical term épistème, which Michel Foucault introduced in his book The Order of Things and refers to the implicit structures that set the conditions for the production of scientific knowledge in a given time and place.