September 20 - November 1, 2008 - 547 W. 21 St
September 20 - November 8, 2008 - 525 W. 22 St
Opening reception Saturday September 20, 6 - 8 pm
303 Gallery is proud to present new works by Doug Aitken.
In concurrent exhibitions at 303 Gallery's 22nd street and 21st street spaces, Doug Aitken utilizes multiple media to create psychological environments that are at once unique, familiar, and alien. For the inaugural exhibition in 303 Gallery's 21st street space, Aitken presents "Migration", the first in a 3-part cycle of installations titled "Empire." In “Migration” the movements of wild North American migratory animals are transposed upon the ubiquitous space of modern roadside hotels and motels. As the wild birds and animals inhabit these mysteriously vacant and sterile interiors we’re taken on a haunting odyssey through the contemporary American landscape. With the film alternating between three billboards within the gallery space, the viewer is left to determine his own place in the often desolate and alienating transitory spaces which man inhabits.
Continuing to investigate the constructed landscapes that prevail in our everyday world, Aitken re- imagines our streets and urban landscapes as an almost psychedelic experience in a series of 30 abstract watercolors. Upon entering a glowing white circular room in the 22nd street space, the viewer is surrounded by the paintings, which suggest futuristic cityscapes collapsing onto themselves. Contrasting the calmness of pure geometric space with the sensory qualities of the city, each composition is imagined through multiple overlapping perspectives. In the back gallery, Aitken shows large illuminated signs filled with panoramic photographs that are enigmatic explorations of the modern landscape using a combination of text and image. "Star" uses a nocturnal image of a city to re-conceive a new kind of solar system.
“Migration” is included in the 55th Carnegie International exhibition “Life on Mars” where the piece is projected on the museum’s façade through January 2009. Aitken has had numerous solo exhibitions internationally including his 2007 exhibition "sleepwalkers", a nighttime installation comprised of seven large scale moving images projected on the facades of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, co- produced by Creative Time. Aitken has also had solo exhibitions at the ARC Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Serpentine Gallery, London, Kunsthalle Zurich, Switzerland, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria and Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Japan. . His installation "electric earth" was included in the Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial, 2000 and was awarded the International Prize at the Venice Biennale, 1999. Aitken’s newest book “99 cent Dreams” was published in 2008 by Aspen Art Museum as a follow up to his solo exhibition there, and his artist book “Write In Jerry Brown President” will be published by the Museum of Modern Art, New York in October 2008.