At Sea, at David Zwirner

“I sometimes think that there is nothing but time, that what you see and what you feel is what time looks like at the moment.’’ Paul Thek, said in 1977 evoking the eternity of time.

This fascinating quote features in a stunning online exhibition presented by David Zwirner online.

At Sea features an incredible list of works by luminaries including Gustave Courbet, J.W.Turner, Francis Alÿs, Tacita Dean, Oscar Murillo, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Wolfgang Tillmans, Cy Twombly and Not Vital to name a few.

The beautiful and dynamic presentation is contextualised with rich content ranging from a short film by Francis Alÿs, quotes by French writer Guy de Maupassant, American novelist Herman Melville from his most-acclaimed masterpiece Moby Dick to poetry by Derek Walcott.

“In a great bare room a fat, dirty, greasy man was spreading patches of white paint on a big bare canvas with a kitchen-knife. From time to time he went and pressed his face against the window pane to look at the storm. The sea came up so close that it seemed to beat right against the house, which was smothered in foam and noise. The dirty water rattled like hail against the window and streamed down the walls. On the mantelpiece was a bottle of cider and a half-empty glass. Every now and then Courbet would swig a mouthful and then go back to his painting. It was called The Wave and it made a sensation around the world.” Guy de Maupassant observed during a visit with Courbet in Étretat. 

 

Courbet

Images: Paul Thek, Untitled (Sea Series), 1975, Enamel, acrylic, and gesso on newspaper, 26 3/8 x 31 3/4 inches (67 x 80.5 cm) and Gustave Courbet La Vague (The Wave), c. 1869-1870 Oil on canvas. Copyrights David Zwirner.