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Modern Art Oxford Opens Haegue Yang Teacher of Dance

Modern Art Oxford presents Teacher of Dance, the first major UK exhibition of the Seoul- and Berlin-based artist Haegue Yang. Exhibition on view 11 June–4 September 2011.

Yang has developed a distinctive practice of colourful and sensorial installations and sculptures that seek to occupy the spaces where public and private meet and contend with one another. Through her work, Yang discloses narratives, individual portraits and her own sentiments, reflecting the balance of research and intuitive enquiry that underlies her practice. She predominantly uses materials drawn from the domestic realm, yet employs an abstract language to free the work from any narratives that influenced her production process.

The exhibition, whose title references the spiritualist thinker and teacher G. I. Gurdjieff, is guided by an interest in movement and the role it plays in the formation and experience of Yang’s work. It includes not only major past works but also newly conceived pieces. Commissioned to produce a new work for the Piper Gallery, Yang has created a Venetian blind installation—a form she has rigorously pursued for the past six years—that for the first time escapes eye level, representing a departure from what has been a defining characteristic of these installations. The work is formed of two distinct parts that visitors can move underneath and within: the first conceptually transforms the artist’s relationship to the Venetian blind, from a semi-transparent material that is looked through, to an object that is to be looked at; the second, referencing the stereometric costumes of Oskar Schlemmer’s Triadisches Ballett (1922), comprises floor-based structures that can be entered into and moved around.

The breadth of Yang’s practice is revealed through work in a variety of media from the past decade of her practice, with individual works often forming a constituent part of a family of objects. Occupying the Upper Gallery is a group of vibrantly coloured and highly textured sculptures entitled Non-Indépliables, (Non-Unfoldables), 2006/2009–11. These works, drying racks wrapped in fabric and knitted material, deftly transform a functional and intrinsically foldable household item into a strongly figurative yet fixed sculpture.


To coincide with the exhibition, Modern Art Oxford is producing a fully illustrated catalogue in collaboration with the Aspen Art Museum, Colorado, focusing on Yang’s exhibitions at the two institutions. The catalogue contains two major essays by Professor Julian Stallabrass, Reader at the Courtauld Institute, and Professor Anne Wagner, The Henry Moore Foundation Research Curator at Tate. It also contains a text by Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson, Director and Chief Curator, Aspen Art Museum, an interview with Haegue Yang by Emily Smith, Curator, Modern Art Oxford, and a biographical text by Katharina Schwerendt. The book has been developed in a close collaboration between the designer Manuel Raeder and Haegue Yang.


Saturday 3 September, 2–5pm
Anne Wagner & Haegue Yang
Professor Anne Wagner, The Henry Moore Foundation Research Curator at Tate, gives a lecture on Haegue Yang’s practice focusing on the status of the ordinary object in Yang’s sculpture. The lecture will be followed by a conversation between Wagner and Haegue Yang.
Booking essential


Friday 15 July, 3–5pm
Workshop: G. I. Gurdjieff Movements
Booking essential

Friday 15 July, 7pm
G. I. Gurdjieff Movements Presentation
A presentation of Gurdjieff movements by specialist practitioners. Gurdjieff sacred dances and movements stem from ancient
traditions that were noted down by the Armenian mystic and spiritual teacher G. I. Gurdjieff (1866–1949). The movements are explored in Haegue Yang’s new installation created for Modern Art Oxford, where a network of suspended Venetian blinds map out an intricate geometric formation.
Booking essential

Image: Haegue Yang, “Non-Indépliable, azuré,” 2010.
Drying rack, fabric ‘Non-Indépliable, azuré’, 2010. Courtesy of Galerie Wien Lukatsch, Berlin. Photo: Nick Ash

Modern Art Oxford
30 Pembroke Street
Oxford OX1 1BP
T +44 (0)1865 722733
[email protected].

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