Wilfried Lentz is pleased to present works by Michael Portnoy and Andrea Éva Győri at Paris Internationale 2021, the gallery’s second presentation at the fair.
Acute observation of human behaviour manifests in the respective practices of Portnoy and Győri, as do a profound sense of play and an ongoing commitment to exploring—and perhaps overturning—certain social norms.
Portnoy is concerned with manipulating language and behaviour as a tool for world-bending. From a background in dance and stand-up comedy, his performance-based work arrives sometimes in participatory installation, painting, writing; or, as here, in sculpture and video.
URGENT (2020) is a collection of ugly and ridiculously expensive Tactical Trainers: unwearable wearables that equip the bearer to deal with the most urgent issues of our time. Alongside these ceramic shoe-objects is Progressive Touch (2019) a film work that asks: is it possible to fuck to an irregular beat? A group of actors performs modified steps in the sexual encounter in slapstick vignettes. Together they make up a composition resembling a rock opera and also provide an example to be tried out at home. As always in Portnoy’s work, comedy, complication, and ambiguity are used in a quest to “improve” our quotidian rhythms.
Győri’s ongoing fascination with the interaction of the body and the psyche is expressed in bold works depicting affective sexual relationships. Observing herself, her family members and strangers, and often working with experts in human behaviour, she presents views of interconnectivity in painting and drawing, in ceramic sculpture, and in performance and video works.
In the paintings and drawings shown here, we see creatures of differing scales connecting with one another. Sticking fingers and tongues in genitals, touching and licking each other with closed eyes. Instead of an observer, as in her earlier drawings, the artist is the main instigator, creating a personal fantasy, small beings demonizing larger bodies. The creatures are on a sexual expedition, a hilarious procession discovering and exploring the body—whose abstract eye both watches over and participates in the fantastic journey into pleasure.
Michael Portnoy (b. 1971, Washington DC, USA; based in New York) has presented internationally in museums, art galleries, theatres and music halls, including recently Vleeshal, Middelburg (NL) 2020; IFFR Rotterdam (NL), 2020; steirischer herbst, Graz (AT) 2018 and 2019; Witte de With, Rotterdam (NL) 2016; the Centre Pompidou, Paris (FR) 2015; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (NL) 2014; Cricoteka, Krakow (PO) 2014; Palais de Tokyo, Paris (FR) 2013; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (DE) 2013; The Kitchen, New York, (US) 2013; dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel (DE) 2012.
Andrea Éva Győri (b. 1985, Budapest, HU; based in Rotterdam, NL) studied at Hungarian University of Fine Arts in Budapest and at Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Stuttgart (DE). She was artist in residence at the Jan Van Eyck in Maastricht (NL) and winner of the Esterházy Art Award 2020 (HU). Her work has been presented at Pori Art Museum, Pori (FI), 2020; Haus am Lützowplatz, Berlin (DE),Witte de With Rotterdam (NL), and IKOB – Museum of Contemporary Art Eupen (BE), 2019; Haus der Kunst, Munich (DE) and Vleeshal, Middelburg (NL), 2018; MANIFESTA 11, Zürich (CH) 2016; and Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul (KR), 2015.
Andrea Éva Győri’s work is shown at Paris Internationale with support of the Mondriaanfund.