Lisson Gallery

Announcing representation of Josh Kline

14 May 2024

Lisson Gallery is delighted to announce representation of New York-based artist, Josh Kline, across America and China. Kline (b.1979, Philadelphia) will first exhibit with Lisson Gallery at Art Basel in June 2024, followed by his inaugural show at the New York gallery in September 2024. Described as one of the leading artists of his generation, Kline is best known for creating immersive installations using video, sculpture and photography to question how emerging technologies are changing human life in the 21st century. The announcement precedes the artist’s forthcoming solo presentation, Climate Change, opening at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, on June 23, 2024. Kline’s work is also currently on view in both the 24th Biennale of Sydney (9 March – 10 June 2024) and the 8th Yokohama Triennale (15 March – 9 June, 2024). Lisson Gallery will represent Kline in collaboration with 47 Canal in New York and Modern Art in London.

Kline's diverse oeuvre is centered on the dynamics between work and class, examining how contemporary social and political issues such as climate change, automation, and the fragility of democracy affect the labor force. Kline often utilizes the technologies, practices and forms that he scrutinizes – including digitization, data collection, image manipulation, 3D-printing, commercial and political advertising, productivity-enhancing substances – aiming them back at themselves. Some of his most well-known videos use early deepfake software to speculate on the meaning of truth in a time of post-truth propaganda.

Over the past decade, Kline has developed a multi-part cycle of installations dissecting different facets of 21st century existence. The fourth and largest chapter in the cycle, Climate Change (2019-24), includes a 16mm film titled Adaptation (2019-22) alongside a set of science-fiction video sculptures depicting the repercussions of climate change on essential workers in the 2050s, while also delving into the societal ramifications such as mass displacement and class dynamics. The third chapter, Civil War (2017), envisions the 2030s as a period marked by the severe dismantling of America's middle class, symbolized through sculptures portraying the ruins of their homes and belongings. Kline presents this particular work alongside a film offering a utopian alternative. Also set in the 2030s, Kline's second chapter, Unemployment (2016), creates haunting portraits of office workers facing redundancy due to automation, showcased notably in the Contagious Unemployment (2016) sculptures where plastic virus forms encapsulate the personal effects of displaced white-collar workers. The initial chapter, Freedom (2015) harnesses emerging technologies like deepfakes (or face swapping), 3D scanning and printing techniques to critique inequalities and political frustrations that catalyzed movements such as Occupy Wall Street in 2011. This comprehensive exploration of societal themes culminated in the midcareer survey exhibition, Project for a New American Century, at The Whitney Museum of Art in 2023, offering a significant reflection on contemporary existence and societal trajectories.

Earlier, prominent bodies of work, including Creative Labor (2009–14), explore how artists navigate branding and marketing themselves amid the rise of smartphones and social media – as well as the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis – highlighting shifts in the creative industries. Prior to exhibitions at The Whitney, Kline first gained major recognition with his 2011 solo exhibition, Dignity and Self-Respect, at 47 Canal, installations in the group exhibitions New Pictures of Common Objects in 2012 at MoMA PS1, and Speculations on Anonymous Materials in 2013 at Fridericianum, Kassel and in 2014 when his work, Skittles was showcased on the High Line in Manhattan, New York. The artist has been widely exhibited at institutions in the United States and internationally, including The Museum of Modern Art, the New Museum, and MoMA PS1 in New York; The Hirshhorn Museum and The National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; LAXART, Los Angeles; ICA Boston; Louisiana Museum, Denmark; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; KW, Berlin; Kunstverein Hamburg; and MCAD, Manila. In 2015, Kline’s installation Freedom was a highlight of the New Museum Triennial and the subject of a solo exhibition at Modern Art Oxford, earning widespread acclaim; in 2019, he was featured in New Order: Art and Technology in the Twenty-First Century at MoMA; and in 2020, his first survey exhibition Antibodies was mounted at the Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo. Kline’s work is held in the collections of museums including The Museum of Modern Art, The Guggenheim, The Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Josh Kline said:
I'm excited to collaborate with Alex and the team at Lisson Gallery on realizing new ambitious projects. After diving into my past as an artist in my mid-career retrospective at the Whitney last year, it's time to turn towards the future. Lisson is a gallery with an incredible legacy, representing many artists that I admire, including Dan Graham who was a friend and mentor; as well as Cory Arcangel, Wael Shawky, John Akomfrah, Lawrence Weiner, Hugh Hayden, and Lucy Raven. I'm honored to become a part of Lisson's community of artists.

Alex Logsdail said:
We're thrilled to be working with Josh, a visionary figure of his generation and an artist who poses important questions to his audience about our current state of being and the future that we choose to inhabit. Josh also holds an important place in contemporary dialogue about what sculpture can be, continuing a long tradition of groundbreaking sculptors that the gallery has championed over many decades and generations.

Portrait of Josh Kline © the artist, photography by Isabel Asha Penzlien.

Announcing representation of Josh Kline
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