Daniel Arsham Delivers an Unusual Pop of Color in His First New York Solo Show

'Circa 2345' touches on archaeology, time travel, and caves.

Daniel Arsham with installation for 'Circa 2345' at Galerie Perrotin. Photo by Guillaume Ziccarelli. Courtesy of Galerie Perrotin.

Given Daniel Arsham‘s art star status and extensive exhibition history, it comes as a surprise to learn that “Circa 2345” at Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin is his first New York solo show.

Even more surprising, as artnet News learned from a walk-through and conversation with the artist, is that the exhibition also marks the first time that Arsham, who is color blind, has worked with color. (He recently obtained corrective lenses that allow him to discern different hues.)

Whereas Arsham’s past, always thought-provoking works have been cast in shades of gray, the objects in the current show, which is on view from September 15-October 22, feel a bit like Yves Klein-blue has been amped up with shades of indigo and violet.

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Installation of Daniel Arsham 'Circa 2345' at Galerie Perrotin. Photo by Guillaume Ziccarelli. Courtesy of Galerie Perrotin.
Installation of Daniel Arsham 'Circa 2345' at Galerie Perrotin. Photo by Guillaume Ziccarelli. Courtesy of Galerie Perrotin.
Installation of Daniel Arsham 'Circa 2345' at Galerie Perrotin. Photo by Guillaume Ziccarelli. Courtesy of Galerie Perrotin.
Installation of Daniel Arsham 'Circa 2345' at Galerie Perrotin. Photo by Guillaume Ziccarelli. Courtesy of Galerie Perrotin.
Daniel Arsham. detail of . Amethyst Sports Ball Cavern (2016) installation at Galerie Perrotin. Photo by Guillaume Ziccarelli. Courtesy of Galerie Perrotin.
Daniel Arsham, detail of Amethyst Sports Ball Cavern (2016) installation at Galerie Perrotin. Photo by Guillaume Ziccarelli. Courtesy of Galerie Perrotin.
Daniel Arsham. detail of . Amethyst Sports Ball Cavern (2016) installation at Galerie Perrotin. Photo by Guillaume Ziccarelli. Courtesy of Galerie Perrotin.
Daniel Arsham, detail of Amethyst Sports Ball Cavern (2016) installation at Galerie Perrotin. Photo by Guillaume Ziccarelli. Courtesy of Galerie Perrotin.
Installation of Daniel Arsham 'Circa 2345' at Galerie Perrotin. Photo by Guillaume Ziccarelli. Courtesy of Galerie Perrotin.
Daniel Arsham with installation for 'Circa 2345' at Galerie Perrotin. Photo by Guillaume Ziccarelli. Courtesy of Galerie Perrotin.
Installation of Daniel Arsham 'Circa 2345' at Galerie Perrotin. Photo by Guillaume Ziccarelli. Courtesy of Galerie Perrotin.
Installation of Daniel Arsham 'Circa 2345' at Galerie Perrotin. Photo by Guillaume Ziccarelli. Courtesy of Galerie Perrotin.

When asked about the origins of the show, Arsham says, “All of these fictional archaeological works I’ve been making for the last number of years sort of project us into the future. It’s almost as if I’ve gone there and brought these things back.”

On the first floor, viewers encounter football, baseball, and hockey helmets, stacks of footballs, fan jackets—all with “blue-calcite” in the title. The brilliant hues pop against the gallery’s white walls. On the lower floor is a mind-altering, violet-hued “grotto” of sorts, Amethyst Sports Ball Cavern (2016), with basketballs and styrofoam orbs illuminated with a glowing basketball sculpture.

Arsham imagines the objects “as if they’ve been uncovered on some future archaeological site,” he says. With respect to the amethyst cavern, Arsham explained that the installation is the latest in a series of “fictional archaeological spaces” in which which he was looking back at culture from antiquity onwards and came up with common themes that included, “sports, war, and love.”

Asked about making the leap to working in color, Arsham conceded that the exhibition is “a big shift for me.” He continues, “It has kind of expanded the materials that I can use. The base materials that I’ve worked with are everything from volcanic ash through different various quartz and but always in a kind of gray scale. [The corrective lenses have] shown me a different palette, obviously.”

“Daniel Arsham: Circa 2345” is on view at Galerie Perrotin in New York from September 15-October 22, 2016.


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