Night (1947-2015)

Guest Curated by Jordan Stein

Isa Genzken, World Receiver, 2015
September 1 – November 30, 2015

Isa Genzken made her first cement and metal World Receiver in 1987. Since then, a growing collection of roughly 200 beyond-the-dial radios has been steadily searching signal the world over. This one, presented here for the first time, sits inflexibly hopeful as the final installment of the Night (1947–2015) exhibition series.

Across four decades of diverse yet distinctive production, Genzken has routinely explored the ruinous, mnemonic, unmonumental, assembled, poetic, and detectable. Coming of age in post-war Germany, where construction and reconstruction were daily operations writ large, the artist primarily engages in postmodern critique of modern architecture. Her association with Philip Johnson, in fact, is nothing new: among other things, Genzken’s love affair with New York led to a never-realized proposal (2000) for a giant antennae extending from the architect’s famous AT&T building in midtown Manhattan.

Inspired by the story of Night (1947), an Alberto Giacometti sculpture gone missing from the Glass House in the mid-1960s, this series began three years ago as an appraisal of the opaque. Genzken’s work reminds us that this inquiry draws on the language and frequency of materials, asserting sculpture’s capacity to hold a charge, even in its absence.