Galleria Lia Rumma - Milan
26 / 02 / 2015 - 30 / 04 / 2015

Galleria Lia Rumma announces Depth Charge, the third solo exhibition in Italy of works by Gary Hill, opening on Thursday, 26 February 2015. After the exhibitions of 1996 in Naples and of 1999 in the former premises in Via Solferino in Milan, the Californian artist is back with two recent works: Klein Bottle and Pacifier, and four historic creations: Depth Charge, Isolation Tank, Learning Curve and Sine Wave.

Known for his use of video “as the form of expression closest to thought”, Gary Hill (Santa Monica, California, 1951) focuses his artistic research on the relationship between verbal codes and electronic and digital images.

In his work, he investigates the processes of perception, the diversity of spoken, written and gestural languages, and the dynamics brought into play by combining visual elements and electronically generated sounds. Since the mid-1970s he has been creating complex and often spectacular videos and video installations, which involve the viewer on a personal, active level.


The six works around which Hill has constructed his third solo exhibition at Lia Rumma’s clearly reveal his meticulous artistic research and the variety of processes it involves. In Depth Charge (2009-2012), the work that gives the exhibition its title, Gary Hill combines two previous works, for the screening is actually a reference to Varèse 360, in which the composition – Un Grand Sommeil Noir (1906) by Edgard Varèse – is interpreted by the musician/composer Bill Frisell on the electric guitar, while five monitors on the ground play The Psychedelic Gedankenexperiment, in which the artist investigates the psychic alterations brought about by lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD.

The very presence of the artist and his voice, which is often a part of his works, creates a state of quiescence, inviting the viewer to watch and to listen to the work with great care. This can also be seen in Sine Wave (2011) and Isolation Tank (2010-2011), in which an entirely computer-generated video with synthesised sound creates a work of huge impact.

Learning Curve (1993), on the other hand, is a tribute to surfing and to the cognitive relationship between theory and practice. In this work, the viewer is seated on a school chair at the end of a slightly tilted five-metre-long table made in perspective in order to emphasise its length, and asked to focus on a 5-inch monitor that shows a perfect wave, followed endlessly by surfers.

Gary Hill (b. 1951, Santa Monica, CA). Exhibitions of his work have been presented at museums and institutions worldwide, including solo exhibitions at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Guggenheim Museum SoHo, New York; Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel; Museu d’Art Contemporani, Barcelona; and Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, among others.  Commissioned projects include works for the Science Museum in London and the Seattle Central Public Library in Seattle, Washington, and an installation and performance work for the Coliseum and Temple of Venus and Rome in Italy.  Hill has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Foundations, and has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, most notably the Leone d’Oro Prize for Sculpture at the Venice Biennale (1995), a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship Award (1998), the Kurt-Schwitters-Preis (2000), and honorary doctorates from The Academy of Fine Arts Poznan, Poland (2005) and Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, WA (2011).