One by one, over and over again, the nameless soccer players dive hard onto the ground. As you watch this video installation by contemporary artist Paul Pfeiffer, it strikes you that the individual players — stripped of their logos and teammates, without a soccer ball in sight — look almost absurd.
Pfeiffer is one of four artists whose work is included in the “New Contemporary Art” exhibit at the ASU Art Museum in Tempe. His photographs and video works show the glorification of sports figures through our culture and the media.
The exhibit features abstract paintings by British-born artist Cecily Brown, a video installation by Tucson-born artist Raymond Pettibon and two prominent print works by up-and-coming New York artist Ellen Gallagher. The works are on loan from The Broad Art Foundation and the Ovitz Family Collection.
“We have ongoing relationships with these collectors. ... It's an opportunity for us to show brand-new works right out of the studio, out of galleries or auction houses,” says Heather Lineberry, the museum's senior curator. Gallagher's new work “Deluxe” has been purchased by the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and was recently reviewed in The New York Times. The collection of 60 etchings, individually framed and covering an entire wall in the gallery, is unusual because of the multiple techniques Gallagher uses to create it.
She takes ads from African-American used in a cultural sense magazines from the 1930s to 1970s, re-creates them through a photo process, hand colors them and adds a plasticine-like material on the surface to give it a three-dimensional quality.
Brown's paintings, “Figures in a Garden #1” and “Girl on a Swing #2,” are abstract pieces that use fleshy and organic tones and sensual paint application, Lineberry says. Pettibon's video installation in the museum lobby is a series of cartoonlike narratives on-screen.
New Contemporary Art' exhibit
What: Art and video installations by contemporary artists Paul Pfeiffer, Cecily Brown, Ellen Gallagher and Richard Pettibon.
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m Tuesday through Saturday through Sept. 3 Where: ASU Art Museum Mill Avenue and 10th Street, Tempe
Information: (480) 965-2787.