Spotlight: Angela Bulloch Taps Into the Pythagorean Theorem’s Unexpected Aesthetic Applications in a New Seoul Exhibition
"Slapping Pythagoras" is on view with Esther Schipper, Seoul, the gallery that presented her first solo show in 1990.
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What You Need to Know: Celebrated artist Angela Bulloch joined Esther Schipper gallery in 1989. This week the artist opens her most recent collaboration with the gallery. On view through October 28, 2023, “Slapping Pythagoras” is a solo exhibition Bulloch’s work, comprising several new series created specifically for the show, as well as significant works from her most well-known, historical series. Continuations of her “Rules” series, begun in 1993, as well as recently initiated series like “Target,” allow visitors to explore the artist’s interest in systems and patterns as well as history and the sites of human experience. Together, the works on view illustrate Bulloch’s evolving style and expanding practice. The presentation is running concurrently with Bulloch’s work being on view at the Cheongju Museum of Art, as well as with the gallery at Frieze Seoul.
About the Artist: Multidisciplinary artist Angela Bulloch (b. 1966) has a practice recognized for its engagement with the spaces between mathematics and systems and aesthetics. Associated with the Young British Artists (or YBAs), and included in the legendary 1988 Freeze exhibition, organized by Damien Hirst, much of Bulloch’s work deals with contemporary dichotomies, such as between digital and analog, virtuality and reality, animate and inanimate. Originally from Ontario, Canada, she studied at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and today lives and works between London and Berlin. Her work can be found in numerous important public and private collections worldwide, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Tate Gallery, London; and Collection Ringier, Zurich. Last year, she was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Musée d’Arts de Nantes, “Perpendicular Paradigm,” where she created a multimedia, site-specific installation greatly inspired by 1960s conceptual art along with contemporary technologies.
Why We Like It: Despite engaging with seemingly straightforward and monotonous subject matter—such as the Pythagorean theorem, Euclidean geometry, and more generally systems of rules and patterns—Bulloch manages to translate these ideas through artistic means to create playful, experiential works that question the boundary between mathematics and aesthetics. The title of the exhibition itself, “Slapping Pythagoras,” invites viewers to let their guard down and explore a more accessible, experiential facet of reality and the systems that rule it. From Pythagoras Theorem (2023), a new work and continuation of Bulloch’s “Rules” series begun in 1993, and “Target,” a recently initiated series, to examples from a new series Abacus Tablet (2023) and famous “Drawing Machine” examples, the show, on the whole, exemplifies the artist’s wide-ranging investigations into the spaces between art and math and science. For both long-time followers of Bulloch to those discovering her work for the first time, “Slapping Pythagoras” offers a comprehensive exploration of the renowned artist’s work and practice.
See inside the exhibition and featured works below.
“Angela Bulloch: Slapping Pythagoras” is on view at Esther Schipper, Seoul, through October 28, 2023.
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