The Haas Brothers: Cool World
4 November 2014 - 10 January 2015
82 Franklin St NY 10013
R & Company is pleased to announce Cool World, the first American solo exhibition by The Haas Brothers, 4 November 2014 – 3 January 2015. The concept of freedom, in particular the ideal of California freedom, provides the nexus for the new body of work they’ve developed for the show. The artists will be present at the opening reception on Tuesday, 4 November, 6-8pm.
The concept of freedom provides the nexus for the body of work exhibited in Cool World, in particular the ideal of California freedom. As Simon Haas writes, “California has been the catalyst for our development as artists — its alien-ness and variety of culture and landscape have taught us by example that fantasy and reality can be merged by choice. Our newest pieces offer a taste of the Californian utopia that we developed for ourselves.”
The title of the exhibition, Cool World, is The Haas Brothers’ nod to the 1992 film directed by Ralph Bakshi. The combination of live-action and animation in the film made it an obsession of theirs as children, as did the highly sexualized content, which meant they were not allowed to see the film when it came out, nor have they to this day. For them, even the simple idea of the film, and the titillation of its having been off limits, palpably evokes the rush that a young teen gets at the thought of getting into an XXX arcade or film. Many of the works in the exhibition capture this thrill, a heady mix of innocence, arousal, curiosity and humor.
The exhibition, an immersive reworking of the gallery space, includes never before seen works from their Beast series presented in a dinner party setting at a large-scale table flanked by animalistic lamps, both made in their unique hand-worked hex tiles. Their acclaimed installation Advocates for the Sexual Outsider, to date seen only at Design Miami/ Basel, will be on view as will new Accretion ceramics, the debut of a series of paintings in handmade frames and Animal Party, the print they developed with Flavor Paper for the Wallpaper* Handmade exhibition. The collection of works selected for the exhibition offers a broad look at the inventiveness, ingenuity and reverence for culture, both high and low, that the Haas studio embodies.
In never having seen the film Cool World itself, The Haas Brothers indulge and prolong their fantasy — in essence, preserving their memory of Cool World and choosing to remember it as a success and watershed cultural moment, rather than the flop it actually was, commercially and critically. For them, this represents Los Angeles culture as well, where it seems possible to chose one’s own reality by ignoring some and embracing other aspects of life in the city. The fantasy they present in this exhibition is a group of objects driven by, as Simon writes, “the emotionally liberating idea that things are whatever we want them to be.”