From February to April 2018, Luxembourg & Dayan will present KISS OFF, a group exhibition organized by Francesco Bonami that rethinks the trope of the “kiss” in artworks spanning the twentieth century. Featured artists will include Vito Acconci, Patty Chang, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Joan Miró, Elizabeth Peyton, Francis Picabia, Sigmar Polke, and Andy Warhol, among others.
In 1971 Vito Acconci made an edition of prints while in residence at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design titled Kiss Off, which index a series of actions: after applying lipstick and kissing his own body, Acconci would rub his pigmented flesh on a lithography stone, using his body as a stamp. A kiss is typically a transfer of touch between two elements; Acconci bends this to encompass an intimacy both solipsistic and serialized. He suggests that kissing might involve more or less than two, and that a kiss is not always an embrace.
Love is a timeless preoccupation, but its incarnations and representations are mercurial. Taking Acconci’s Kiss Off as a cue, this exhibition considers kissing as one instantiation of love that morphs over time and can encompass, as Acconci suggests, more than intimacy. At times literal—as in Sigmar Polke’s figurative Liebespaar I (1965) or Andy Warhol’s Kiss (1963)—while at others abstract, the exhibition takes kissing as a meeting or melding of forms.