nov 20 - feb 14, 2015
via a. stradella 1
Raffaella Cortese is proud to present the third solo show by American artist T.J. Wilcox.
Wilcoxs work is characterized by a fascination with personal narrative and the ways in which history is always under construction, woven from fact, myth, memory, associations, and the bombardment of information we all receive on a moment-to-moment basis.
T.J. Wilcox is mainly known for his super 8 films transferred to video, 16 mm film projections, collages and installations of famous people and their glamorous - sometimes harrowing and dramatic - stories. Fact meets fiction (at times the artist's own fantasy or history) in beautifully haunting portraits of the famous Marie Antoinette, Marlene Dietrich, Czar Nicholas of Russia, or the Marchesa Luisa Casati. These portraits continue in his work with the not so famous, such as his close friends, the superintendent of his studio building and his beloved French Bulldog. The collaged films are often romantic and decadent in their subjects and subject matter, and their stunningly beautiful vignettes often blur biography and autobiography and embrace the romantic history and escapism of cinema.
For the first time, for his exhibition at Raffaella Cortese Wilcox will show his film The Tales of Hoffmann, which features the music and voices of New York's Metropolitan Opera. The Metropolitan Opera will include this work as part of their international theatrical simulcasts of the company's upcoming performances of The Tales of Hoffmann in early 2015. Additionally, the installation will feature new works created especially for the Milan exhibition, which relate to and derive from Wilcox's new film work, notably a series of light boxes and mixed media collage works on paper.
T.J. Wilcox's most recent film was inspired, in part, by his love of the Jacques Offenbach opera The Tales of Hoffmann (1881), the stories of E.T.A. Hoffmann (which inspired the opera), the famous discourse around these stories (notably by Freud in his essay of 1919 The Uncanny) and the 1951 film (The Tales of Hoffmann) by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. Long an admirer of their films, this new project gave Wilcox an opportunity to attempt to put into his own practice Powell and Pressburger's concept of "composed film" whereby not only are all of the elements that comprise the film given detailed attention, but so, too, is the combination of those elements into a harmonious whole.
Animation has often played a part in Wilcox's films but with this new project the artist has made his first entirely animated work using a variety of animation techniques and featuring a cast of anthropomorphized characters.
T.J. Wilcox (1965, Seattle Washington) lives and works in New York. He studied at the School of Visual Arts of New York and at the Art Center College of Design of Pasaneda. He recently had an important solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art (2013-2014). He has exhibited in numerous museums such as the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2007), the Ludwig Museum, Cologne (2006), and again the Whitney Museum of American Art (2000, 2004).