Theft is Vision

Organizer: gta Exhibitions
Date : Saturday the 18. November 2017 to Sunday the 4. February 2018 Opening: Friday 17 November 2017, 6 pm
Location : LUMA Westbau, Zurich

Friday, 17 November 2017, 6 pm
LUMA Westbau, Löwenbräukunst


With Cosima von Bonin, Maurizio Cattelan, Maria Eichhorn, Marie-Louise Ekman,
Sylvie Fleury, Isa Genzken, Richard Hamilton, Charline von Heyl, Pierre Joseph,
Valentina Liernur, Dan Mitchell, Mathieu Malouf, Malcolm Morley, Albert Oehlen,
Betty Tompkins and Gili Tal.
Exhibition architecture by Petra Blaisse / Inside Outside

The notion of Theft establishes a site of investigation. This exhibition examines the
desire to appropriate – a fundamental theme in the production of art. Throughout art
there are typologies that ensue from the appropriation of motifs or of other works of
art. As just one form of aggressive theft, the act of citation was already a cultural
strategy long before Appropriation Art manifested itself.
At LUMA Westbau the following questions are posed from a contemporary perspective:
What are the genres established through appropriation today? What
does stealing mean for artistic production? Is it an act of removal and subtraction? Or
can it be a productive strategy as suggested by the art history of Appropriation Art? In
the context of this exhibition, Theft is presented as dialogues and translations between
artists. In essence, the exhibition confronts two opposing concepts in appropriation: the
desire to appropriate as the idolization of sources or as an attack on and subversion of
the established.

The typology of the enfilade—a suite of rooms in grand architecture—is reconfigured in
translucent plastic in the exhibition design by Petra Blaisse / Inside Outside and inserted
into the White Cube space. It encloses formative typologies of works of art productively
used by numerous artists. The investigation leads to a wild variety of iconic and
unexpected results: reconfigurations of Marcel Duchamp’s readymades, Kazimir
Malevich’s Black Square, Lucio Fontana’s Concetto Spaziale, Jasper John's Target,
Fra Angelico’s Annunciation, Jacques-Louis David’s Napoleon Crossing the Alps, book
illustrations by Bernard Buffet, and Courbet’s L’Origine Du Monde or variations
on shopping-bag installations. By gathering these typologies together, the exhibition
reveals and contrasts different appropriation strategies in art, and invites to discern
and encounter sources, counterparts, and sundry partners in crime.