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Beautiful Numbers (Works)

Selected Works

Beautiful Numbers
Installation view, west wall. Beautiful Numbers
Carbon I (1800/2020), 2021. 19th Century oil on canvas mounted on masonite with inlays, 39 3/8 x 29 1/8 in.
"Cumulative emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere: yellow - China, light blue - USA, red - Europe." Beautiful Numbers
Oil (1970/2010), 2021. 19th Century oil on canvas, mounted on masonite with inlays, 39 3/8 x 23 5/8 in.
"Gray dot - large oil spills, 2010; red dot - large oil spills, 1990; and yellow dot - large oil spills, 1970." Beautiful Numbers
Democracy I (1945/2015), 2021. 19th Century oil on canvas, mounted on masonite with inlays, 21 1/4 x 21 5/8 in.
"Number of democracies worldwide: 1945 - 30, 1965 - 40, 1985 - 60, 2005 - 80, and 2015 - 85." Beautiful Numbers
Life (1800/2020), 2021. 19th Century oil on canvas, mounted on masonite with inlays, 18 1/4 x 22 1/4 in.
"Global life expectancy, average: 1800 - 29 years and 2020 - 71 years, which is 2.5 times as long." Beautiful Numbers
Carbon II, 2021. 19th Century oil on canvas, mounted on masonite with inlays, 36 1/2 x 26 in.
"Carbon footprint of protein-rich foods from left to right: cheese - 85kg CO2 per 1kg of protein, chicken - 43kg, beef - 250kg, lamb - 200kg, and farmed fish - 35kg." Beautiful Numbers
Installation view, west wall with Stefan Sagmeister Beautiful Numbers
Water (1990/2015), 2021. 19th Century oil on canvas, mounted on masonite with inlays, 38 1/2 x 27 in.
"Share of people with water from protected sources: 1990 - 75% , 1998 - 81%, 2006 - 86%, and 2015 - 90%." Beautiful Numbers
Suicide I (1950/2005), 2021. 19th Century oil on canvas, mounted on masonite with inlays, 16 x 20 1/5 in.
"Suicide rate: USA - 1950, 1955, 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, and 2005." Beautiful Numbers
Woman II (1900/2020), 2021. 19th Century oil on canvas, mounted on masonite with inlays, 20 1/16 x 23 5/8 in.
"First female members of Parliament: 1900 - 2020." Beautiful Numbers
Installation view, north and west walls. Beautiful Numbers
Suicide II (2000/2015), 2021. 19th Century oil on canvas, mounted on masonite with inlays, 43 x 27 1/4 in.
"Suicide rates worldwide, number of deaths per population of 100,000: 2000 - 13 and 2015 - 11." Beautiful Numbers
Death Penalty (1970/2010), 2021. 19th Century oil on canvas, mounted on masonite with inlays, 38 3/8 x 16 1/2 in.
"Abolishment of death penalty: 1970 - 21 countries, 1990 - 66 countries, and 2010 - 98 countries." Beautiful Numbers
Famine I (1860/2000), 2021. 19th Century oil on canvas, mounted on masonite with inlays, 27 1/2 x 31 1/2 in.
"Famine victims: yellow - 1860 and red - 2000." Beautiful Numbers
Democracy II (1920/2020), 2021. 19th Century oil on canvas, mounted on masonite with inlays, 35 3/4 x 17 2/4 in.
"Numbers of democracies vs. autocracies, worldwide: 1920 - 18 democracies vs. 132 autocracies, and 2020 - 99 democracies vs. 80 autocracies." Beautiful Numbers
Inequality (1900/2000), 2021. Lenticular print, edition 6 (+1AP), 46 x 60 in.
"Income Inequality: UK, Gini Index 1900 - 2000." Beautiful Numbers
Installation view, north wall. Beautiful Numbers
Disasters I (1900/2000), 2021. Lenticular print, edition (6 +1AP), 46 x 60 in.
"Total number of people dying from Natural Disasters: 1900 - 2000." Beautiful Numbers
Famine II (1900/2000), 2021. Lenticular print, edition 6 (+1AP), 46 x 60 in.
"Total number of people dying from hunger: 1900 - 2000." Beautiful Numbers
Installation view, north and west walls. Beautiful Numbers
Woman I (1900/2000), 2021. 19th Century oil on canvas, mounted on masonite with inlays, 16 15/16 x 19 5/8 in.
"Female voting rights: 1900, 1950, and 2000." Beautiful Numbers
Installation view. Beautiful Numbers
News (1955/2000), 2021. Lenticular print, edition 6 (+1AP), 46 x 60 in.
"Tone of the news in the US: 1955 - plus 3, and 2000 - minus 2." Beautiful Numbers
Stuff (2000/2015), 2021. Lenticular print, edition 6 (+1AP), 46 x 60 in.
"Amount of stuff we use per year, in the UK: 2000 - 15 tons/person and 2015 - 10 tons/person." Beautiful Numbers
installation view, east wall. Beautiful Numbers
Illiteracy (1820/2020), 2021. Embroidery on cotton, 77 1/2 x 54 5/8 in. Credit – Yau Jiang Ping, Su Embroidery, China.
"Illiteracy levels worldwide: 1820, 1870, 1920, 1970, and 2020." Beautiful Numbers
Homicide, (1820/2020), 2021. Embroidery on cotton, 77 1/2 x 54 5/8 in. Credit – Yau Jiang Ping, Su Embroidery, China.
Credit – Yau Jiang Ping, Su Embroidery, China. "Homicides in Italy: 1820, 1870, 1920, 1970, and 2020." Beautiful Numbers
Poverty, 1820/2020. Embroidery on cotton, 77 1/2 x 54 5/8 in. Credit – Yau Jiang Ping, Su Embroidery, China.
Credit – Yau Jiang Ping, Su Embroidery, China. "Absolute poverty worldwide: 1820, 1870, 1920, 1970, and 2020." Beautiful Numbers
Beautiful Numbers
Guitars (1960/2015), 2021. Lenticular print, edition 6 (+1AP), 46 x 60 in.
"Playable guitars per 1 million people: 1960 - 200 and 2015 - 11,000." Beautiful Numbers
Disasters II (1920/2020), 2021. Lenticular print, edition 6 (+1AP), 46 x 60 in.
"Death from natural disasters, worldwide per population of 10,000: 1920 - 25 and 2000 - 2." Beautiful Numbers
Disasters II (1920/2020), 2021. Lenticular print, edition 6 (+1AP), 46 x 60 in.
"Death from natural disasters, worldwide per population of 10,000: 1920 -25 and 2000 -2." Beautiful Numbers
Installation view, east and south walls. Beautiful Numbers
Literacy I (1900/2000), 2021. 19th Century oil on canvas, mounted on masonite with inlays, 16 1/6 x 20 7/8 in.
"Literacy 1900, 1950, and 2000." Beautiful Numbers

Stefan Sagmeister

Beautiful Numbers
April, 10 - May, 15

Beautiful Numbers Press Release

Opens Saturday, April 10, from 10-6pm (until May 15)
Press preview on Friday, April 9.

Stefan Sagmeister is a New York based designer (b. 1962, Bregenz, Austria) whose philosophically driven, unconventional approach to his profession – and often status quo upending inventiveness paired with masterful execution – has earned him international recognition with major institutions exhibiting his work.

As a testimony to the extent to which Sagmeister is willing to question his own assumptions, he used himself as the investigator and the investigated in The Happy Film (2016) which is about one artist’s search for bliss and the quagmires it led to. It is an intensely personal search in which he sets up three methods for himself to find happiness through meditation, therapy and psychopharmaca, grading himself along the way.

Beautiful Numbers, Sagmeister’s new body of work, was conceived in 2020 as the daily lived experience – and short term media – reflected a world seemingly out of control, with democracy in peril, ubiquitous conflicts and an overall outlook of doom. Instead of focusing on attention catching daily headlines, the long term perspective – the only way making sense – shows actual improvement: there is less war, hunger and illiteracy; fewer people die in natural disasters, more people live in democracies, an increased number of women serve on Parliaments (see image above), and life expectancy has increased.

Sagmeister has visualized data collected over 100 years and transformed these graphs into inlaid 19th Century genre paintings, embroidered canvases, lenticular prints and hand painted water glasses – all of which will be for the first time on display at the gallery.

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Stefan Sagmeister received his MFA from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna (MAK) and, as a Fulbright Scholar, a master’s degree from Pratt Institute in New York.

Sagmeister formed the New York based Sagmeister, Inc. in 1993 and has since designed for clients as diverse as the Guggenheim Museum, the Rolling Stones and HBO. Having been nominated eight times, he finally won two Grammy awards for his design work with the Talking Heads and Brian Eno & David Byrne. He has also earned practically every important international design award.

His multimedia exhibitions have been exhibited widely in museums and galleries, including the Venice Biennale in 2018. The Happy Show, for example, originated in 2012 at the ICA Philadelphia, and travelled to the Design Exchange, Toronto, as well as MoCA LA, Pacific Design Center (both 2013). The Mak, Vienna, organized The Beauty Show in 2018, conjointly with the Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt, with subsequent stops at Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg (2020) and Fondation Martell, Cognac (2021).

Over the years, other venues included Maat, Lisbon (2018); Museum of Vancouver (2015); Chicago Cultural CenterJewish Museum, New York (both 2013); Israel Museum, Jerusalem (2010); Deitch Projects, New York (2008); Wolfsonian, Miami (2007); and Zeroone Design Center, Seoul (2004).

His work is in the collections of MoMA, New York, the Philadelphia Museum of ArtArt Institute of Chicago, SFMoMA, as well as many other international institutions.

He teaches in the graduate department of the School of Visual Art in New York and lectures extensively internationally.

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