May 10, 2019 - September 15, 2019
Collaborator is the first solo museum exhibition of Los Angeles-based artist Oscar Tuazon (b. 1975, Seattle, Washington) to take place in his native Pacific Northwest. The exhibition surveys both new and existing works from the past fifteen years that explore the pivotal role collaboration plays in his practice. In occupying and activating the gaps between sculpture and architecture, private and public space, and performance and activism, Tuazon restlessly pushes boundaries, exposing the limits of disciplinary divides.
With confluent roots in conceptualism, vernacular architecture, and his own roughhewn brand of minimalism, Tuazon often works with steel, glass, and concrete as well as two-by-fours, tree trunks, found objects, and existing cultural fragments. The result is an immersive, sensorial relationship with both site and viewer that encourages audience interaction and inquiry. As the scale and intensity of his do-it-yourself aesthetic overturns the spatial conditions of viewing, sculpture becomes both a tense to inhabit and a series of gestures that can appear to be in motion, still unfolding.
In Oscar Tuazon: Collaborator, past bodies of work are revisited and accompanied by new sculptures and site-responsive interventions that respond, in part, to the porous, light-filled nature of architect Steven Holl’s design for BAM’s third floor galleries. Tuazon has previously said of his approach: “I do much of my work on-site and that usually means I don’t have a lot of time or a lot of control over exactly what materials are available. I use what’s there. I use what’s expedient, whatever I can afford. Each solution for a problem has particular properties and those properties are always interesting to me. I let them dictate the work. I like that thinking process because it incorporates considerations of time and economy. I like thinking under duress.” Resonating with and ricocheting off BAM’s exhibition space, Tuazon’s engagement with serial collaboration will span many projects, from past works with his brother and fellow artist Elias Hansen, to a sound work made with conceptual sculptor and architect Vito Acconci, to recent assemblage works made in concert with poet Ariana Reines. Oscar Tuazon: Collaborator looks to the playful, shapeshifting nature of Tuazon’s collaborations and how such efforts challenge and revitalize his larger sculptural practice.
About the Artist
Tuazon lives and works in Los Angeles. He was born and raised in Indianola on the rural Kitsap Peninsula of Washington State. In 2018, his work was included in a show at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich and as part of a three-person exhibition at the Brant Foundation in Greenwich, CT. Recent solo exhibitions include Oscar Tuazon: Hammer Projects, at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles in 2016, Studio at Le Consortium, Dijon, France in 2015, as well as solo exhibitions at Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Schinkel Pavilion, Berlin, and the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam. Having lived and worked in Paris, Tuazon is the co-founder of the artist collective-run gallery castillo/corrales (operative 2007-15) and currently organizes LAWS (Los Angeles Water School) in proximity to his downtown Los Angeles studio. The exhibition Oscar Tuazon: Water School is on view at the MSU Broad Museum in Lansing, Michigan beginning in January.
Tuazon’s work has been featured in several important international group exhibitions, including the 2012 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; ILLUMInations, 54th Venice Biennale, and Skulptur Project Münster, among others. Tuazon studied at the Cooper Union School of Art and attended the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York.
Oscar Tuazon: Collaborator is guest curated by Fionn Meade and organized by Bellevue Arts Museum. Exhibition materials sponsored in part by Alki Lumber. In-kind support from Seattle SignShop.
WITH IN-KIND SUPPORT FROM