In the Galleries: Transformer

By Christopher Harrity

Originally published on Advocate.com December 07 2013 5:00 AM ET

On the 40th anniversary of "Transformer: Aspects of Travesty" — a groundbreaking show curated by Jean-Christophe Ammann in 1974 — Richard Saltoun Gallery announces a reproposition of the original exhibition that will reunite all the artists in London. This is the first such reunion to commemorate the exhibition, which deals with the aesthetics of desire and sexuality through travesty and drag performance.

"Transformer" will include works from all the artists featured in the original exhibition: Luciano Castelli, Jürgen Klauke, Urs Lüthi, Pierre Molinier, Tony Morgan, Luigi Ontani, Walter Pfeiffer, Andrew Sherwood, Katharina Sieverding, Werner Alex Meyer (alias Alex Silber), The Cockettes, and Andy Warhol.

"Transformer" looks back at the contemporary society and art practice of the '70s, considering the aspects of transvestism and sexual self-reflection in art. The exhibition takes its title from the seminal 1972 album by recently deceased ex-Velvet Underground star Lou Reed (and in particular referencing the song "Walk on the Wild Side"), finding its parallel in the worlds of fashion and glam-rock. The exhibition first opened at the Kunstmuseum Lucerne in Switzerland, and was an extraordinary cultural event, recorded by Swiss TV, and later touring from to Germany and Austria.

References to "Transformer" have recently appeared in "Glam! The Performance of Style, Tate Liverpool, Kunsthalle Frankfurt and Kunstmuseum Linz (2013)" and in "A Bigger Splash: Painting After Performance, Tate Modern (2013)." The exhibition at Richard Saltoun Gallery will contain the sexually explicit content of the exhibition and show the lesser-known artists originally included. A series of events will be finalized closer to the launch, but the itinerary is expected to include film works from Andy Warhol and The Cockettes, along with talks and performances.

Transformer: Aspects of Travesty
13 December 2013 - 28 February 2014

Richard Saltoun Gallery
111 Great Titchfield Street
London W1W 6RY
United Kingdom
 

Click through for a selection of works from "Transformer" >>>

Luciano Castelli
Spiegelssal, 1973
Series of 9 photographs, taken with self-timer. 90 x 65 cm each
© The Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery

Urs Lüthi
My Face Behind Eckis Face, 1974
Black and white offset print. 64.9 x 49.3 cm
© The Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery

Urs Lüthi
You Are Not the Only Who Is Lonely, 1974
Black and white offset edition with stamp (artist's lipstick). 63.5 x 49.2 cm
© The Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery

Pierre Molinier
Portrait of Luciano Castelli, 1974
Vintage silver print. 16.5 x 11.4 cm
© The Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery

Pierre Molinier
Portrait of Luciano Castelli, 1970s
Vintage silver gelatin print. 17.8 x 12.7 cm
© The Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery

Walter Pfeiffer
Untitled, 1973
Black and white gelatin-silver print. 11 x 15.5 cm
© The Artist. Courtesy Collection Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland.

Walter Pfeiffer
Untitled, 1973
Black and white gelatin-silver print. 11 x 15.7 cm
© The Artist. Courtesy Collection Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland.

Andrew Sherwood
Jackie Curtis Making Up, 1969
Black and white photograph, reprinted in 2013
© The Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery.

Alex Silber
Das Herumliegen der Bilder – (Drehbild I), 1973
Black and white photograph (Alex Silber photographed by Kat Zickendraht)
© The Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery.

Alex Silber
Spiegelbild (Boudoir), 1974
Black and white photograph (Alex Silber photographed by Kat Zickendraht)
© The Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery.

Katharina Sieverding
Transformer IV/3, 1973/74
C-Print, Acrylic, Steel
190 x 125 cm
© The Artist, VG Bild-Kunst. Photo: Klaus Mettig, VG Bild-Kunst.
Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery.

Katharina Sieverding
Transformer X A/B, 1973/74
C-Print, Acrylic, Steel (2 parts)
190x125 cm each
© The Artist, VG Bild-Kunst. Photo: Klaus Mettig, VG Bild-Kunst.
Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery.

Jürgen Klauke
Transformer, 1973
Colour photograph (vintage)
180 x 105 cm
Edition 2 of 3
© The Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery.