June 7 - August 9, 2023

Anton Kern Gallery is pleased to present Tondo, a group exhibition organized by Patricia Pericas, director at Nara Roesler, New York, which brings together paintings, sculpture, film, and drawings, all of which share in their exploration of the long-standing, and circular, art form. Artists on view include: Georg Baselitz, Brian Calvin, Dewey Crumpler, Roberto Cuoghi, Julie Curtiss, Nicole Eisenman, Fred Eversley, Carmen Herrera, Sheila Hicks, Loie Hollowell, KAWS, Jim Lambie, Chris Martin, Raul Mourão, Rafael Ortega, Amalia Pica, Mika Rottenberg, Salvo, Amelia Toledo, Frank Walter, Andy Warhol, Pae White, and Yuli Yamagata.


The curator’s proposition to think on the shape has garnered a variety of responses. An artist designed urn, conceived in the form of an inflated ball with a crochet covering and a label showing an inscription (replacing the traditional tombstone plaque) by Roberto Cuoghi; a trio of inky red works on paper drawn by Georg Baselitz, depicting reflecting deer heads around a cutout; a video by Amalia Pica and Rafael Ortega in which many shapes appear; oblong paintings by Dewey Crumpler; and of course, round canvases. In Nicole Eisenman’s case, her circular painting is of ink and gesso, uniquely on top insulation foam instead of canvas.


With beginnings in ancient Greece necessitated by the functional need for a round image, early tondos decorated the insides of vases and shallow wine cups, and were often sculptural or relief-like in nature, with scenes of the everyday, all the way to the mythological. Their roundness was integral to the picture, and was ornamental but practical. Likewise, Renaissance architecture, striving for harmony and order, employed domes and arches, on which painters and sculptors would create divine scenes within the perfectness of the circle. The contemporary “challenge” of the tondo is both conceptually and formally demanding and has specific history of utility, order, and symbolism to contend with. Tondo’s artists acknowledge this past and use it as a device, oftentimes representing the very same themes and concepts: Harmonious scenes of nature (Frank Walter, Salvo) and the figure (Brian Calvin, Yuli Yamagata, Mika Rottenberg).


Patricia Pericas and Anton Kern Gallery would like to thank all of the participating artists, their galleries (Andrew Kreps Gallery, David Kordansky Gallery, Galeria Nara Roesler, Hauser & Wirth, Ingleby Gallery, kaufmann repetto, Lisson Gallery, Pace Gallery, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., Tanya Bonakdar Gallery) and the lenders for their enthusiasm and support of Tondo.

Installation Views