Central focus of the Alice Aycock's exhibition is the large-scale aluminum sculpture Super Twister II. This work belongs to a series of recently developed assemblages, seeking to make visible the force of wind. Simultaneously Franka Hornschemeyer presents a site-specific installation and are on view new sculptures and wall drawings by Richard Deacon, who celebrates his 60th birthday.
In line with this year’s Gallery Weekend Berlin (April 26-28), Galerie Thomas Schulte presents its third solo exhibition with the American sculptor Alice Aycock. The exhibition will open simultaneously with two extensive shows of the artist’s drawings at the Parish Art Museum as well as the Grey Art Gallery in New York. The artist will be present at the vernissage on April 26.
As one of the youngest members of the artist group around Gordon Matta-Clark and the 112 Greene Street Gallery, Alice Aycock reached international acclaim early on, gaining attention in the 1980’s for her large-scale mechanical installations. Since the start of her career within the bustling New York art world, Alice Aycock must be counted as the forerunner of many female artists who have conquered the male-dominated sculpting scene. At the same time, Aycock belongs to a generation of artists that have appropriated and questioned the technological and positivist approach of western civilization. Like many artists in the modernist tradition before her, she explored non-western cultures while concurrently grappling with traditions in architecture, science, and the arts.
Aycock’s artistic beginnings are found primarily in Land Art, where she, through the use of natural and building materials, was able to create architectural and semi-architectural sculpture and installations. Later, she increasingly turned to mechanical sculptures and apparatuses, stating, "Much of my work in both the public and private spheres has been a meditation on the philosophical ramifications of technology from the simplest tool (the arrowhead and the plow) to the computer. Many of these works have incorporated images of wheels and turbines and references to energy in the form of spirals, whirlwinds, whirlpools, spinning tops, whirly-gigs, and so on."
In this regard, the large-scale aluminum sculpture Super Twister II, standing as the central focus of the exhibition, may be described in similar terms. As part of Aycock’s oeuvre, this work belongs to a series of recently developed sculptural assemblages, seeking to make visible the force of wind. Super Twister II stands in close relation to Aycock’s Park Avenue Paper Chase Project, which the artist will finalize in New York next year between 52nd and 57th street. The six dynamic and spacious sculptures developed for this project embody wind energy as well as the forces of colliding thoughts and ideas that continuously flow through the city and its streets. Resembling waves, currents, tornados, and turbines, the sculptures are a metaphor for the energy of the city. At the same time, Aycock makes reference to paper-models that are made by architects and were once used by the Russian constructivists to visualize artistic ideas.
Next to Super Twister II, the gallery will also show a selection of drawings, created in the context of the Park Avenue Paper Chase Project. Although the artist is primarily known for her large-scale outdoor installations, drawing has always served as an important platform for experimentation and the development of artistic thought processes. In drawing, Aycock not only visualizes her sculptural forms but also allows the drawing to become a performative work on its own. "Aycock is an artist who thinks on paper, and her spectacular drawings are equal parts engineering plan and science fiction imagining. (…) Concurrent with most drawings for actual public projects, Aycock has become increasingly preoccupied with virtual reality, and her current work addresses a blurring of the real, the imagined, and the almost-real, allowing us to, in her words, transport ourselves ‘farther into another place’."
Alice Aycock was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, lives and works in New York City. Her work was presented in solo shows at the Museum of Modern Art, NYC, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the United States Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (1980). Major group exhibitions include the 1979 and 1981 Whitney Biennials in NYC and Content: A Contemporary Focus, 1974-86 at the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. In Germany Aycock was first presented at Documenta 6 (1977) and in 1983/84 in a comprehensive travelling exhibition at Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, and Skulpturenmuseum, Marl. After more than twenty years Galerie Thomas Schulte presented in 2010 the first exhibition of the artist in Germany in the gallery’s space in Berlin. Recently Aycock’s work was included in the first major museum survey on Land Art Ends of the Earth: Art of the Land to 1974 at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and the Haus der Kunst in Munich (2012) as well as Materializing ‘Six Years’: Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art at the Brooklyn Museum (2012/13). An extensive catalogue on her drawings has been published in conjunction with her retrospective at the Grey Art Gallery (New York University) and the Parish Art Museum. The exhibition will be traveling to the University Art Museum at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in 2014.
As part of this year’s Gallery Weekend Berlin (April 26-28), Galerie Thomas Schulte will present a site-specific installation by Franka Hörnschemeyer in the gallery’s Corner Space. Hörnschemeyer’s installation will stand next to a larger solo exhibition with the American sculptor Alice Aycock. The artist will be present at the opening.
Franka Hörnschemeyer, who lives and works in Berlin, focuses her work on a multifaceted approach to redefining spatial conditions. As she explains, "To me a space represents a construc-tion made up of social, historical, and psychological relation-ships that are constantly in an interplay with people. I examine these relationships and reorganize them." As a rule, Hörnschemeyer’s special constructions are developed site-specifically, challenging the viewer to explore them through movement.
Unlike her previous constructions, Hörnschemeyer’s installation at Galerie Thomas Schulte is not set into movement by the viewer, but through a motor from within the construction itself. The construction’s mobile, horizontally swinging elements embody the principle of a marionette, questioning the relationship between gracefulness and movement. The elements divide the Corner Space into two levels, altering its outward perception. The horizontal elements create space by composing a type of suspended ceiling. At the same time, the construction is a moving figure, behaving within the room, much like a viewer would.
The installation’s title Im Innern der Figur references Heinrich von Kleist’s essay Über das Marionettentheater, in which the author describes a dialogue between the narrator and a dancer who admires the natural grace of the marionette. Here, Kleist writes, "Every movement, he said, has a focal point. It would suffice to control this from within the figure - the limbs, which would be mere pendulums, would follow, without needed assistance, in their own mechanical way."
Due to conscious reflection, the dancer cannot match the natural gracefulness of the marionette. This means that the marionette’s absolute gracefulness would only be realizable if "it’s dance were to slip completely into a mechanical realm," rather than being controlled by the human hand. This principle is of the central aspects being expressed in Hörnschemeyer’s installation. Furthermore, it finds a stage to perform on in the gallery’s Corner Space, whose big arched windows open onto Leipzigerstrasse.
Additionally, Hörnschemeyer’s digitally mastered Piezo prints, will be on display in the gallery’s Window Space. Some of these prints represent outlines of already existing works, including LaSound 908 - from the 2008 Berlin exhibition Megastructure Reloaded - as well as Konditional, the interactive moving foundation of the Polish city Zamosc. These prints, in form of layouts, allow us to understand the transparency of special systems, which run through the construction like labyrinths. On the other hand, the title of the series here exhibited Diffusion und Konfusion does not merely reference the finished project, but cryptological concepts. In this sense, it focuses on two basic principles of encryption that are fundamental to Hörnschemeyer’s work. Whereby Konfusion describes the blurring of the relationship between plain-language and secrete code and Diffusion suggests the principle of dissolving statistical structures.
Franka Hörnschemeyer was born in Osnabrück in 1958, and lives and works in Berlin. Her latest solo exhibitions include Franks International, Display, at the Wilhelm Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen (2011), The Presence of Noise at the Galerie Nordenhake, Berlin (2010), Peenemünde at the Jewish Museum, Athens (2008), Franks International at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds (2007), and the TSE 11022 at the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2002). Her most acclaimed works in public include Trichter, Dresden (2011), Koordinaten at Kunstwegen Station, Neugnadenfeld (2011), BFD - bündig fluchtend dicht, at the Deutscher Bundestag, Berlin (2001), and PSE 900 at the Kunsthalle Hamburg (2000). She was part of many group exhibitions counting Wir sind alle Astronauten, Universum Buckminster Fuller im Spiegel zeitgenössischer Kunst at the Museum Marta, Herford (2011), squatting. erinnern, vergessen, besetzen at the Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin (2010), MAN SON 1969. Vom Schrecken der Situation at the Hamburger Kunsthalle (2009), Megastructure Reloaded at the Ehemalige Staatliche Münze, Berlin (2008), as well as Ideal City - Invisible Cities, at the Brandenburgischer Kunstverein Potsdam and Zamosc, Poland (2006).
Add & Subtract
On Friday, June 26, 2009, from 7 to 9 pm, Galerie Thomas Schulte opens Add & Subtract, an exhibition showing new sculptures and wall drawings by British sculptor Richard Deacon, who celebrates his sixtieth birthday this summer. The artist will be present at the opening.
In Add & Subtract, his third solo show at Galerie Thomas Schulte, Richard Deacon presents two new wood sculptures, a steel sculpture, and large wall drawings. All three uses of different media continue Deacon’s subjects of exploring space, volume, material experience, dynamism, as well as combinatorics. They attest to his uncompromising search for the limits and possibilities of contemporary sculpture, without taking recourse to an expansion of the concept.
Deacon’s two new wood sculptures are quite pointedly opposite. If the formal corpus of Still Water is quite dense, with strongly closed structures, in the second sculpture already the title Walking the Walk refers to the concept that expands in the space. In older wood sculptures as well, as in the voluminous work How Much Does Your Mind Weigh with its open serial structure, which Deacon presented in the corner space at Galerie Thomas Schulte in 2007, the beholder is included in the free structure and involved in its movement. Still Water, in contrast, remains much more autonomous, and preserves a distance to the beholder, always remaining an object for the perceiving subject. All the same, the beholders clearly sense themselves in the force field between the sculpture and the surrounding space, and walking around the object search for views inside or through the object and the inner spaces enclosed by the sculpture as immaterial shapes, and for an immanent principle of order.
In the exhibition situation, the steel sculpture Siamese Metal No. 4 and these wall drawings, reflecting in their two dimensionality, with their permeable, amorphous structures seem to serve as mediators between the wood sculptures, between Still Water—which suppresses space—and Walking the Walk, which appears almost in a process of dissolution.
Deacon’s sculptures capture in form the struggle between chaos and order, between formlessness and rigorous structure, and are the result of his work with material-immanent processes of tension in his preferred materials, steel, cop-per, glass, plastic, ceramics, and wood. Walking the Walk could thus be read as a liberation of the wooden rods still held together by metal-covered lattices in Still Water, twisted and bent against one another. It remains unclear in which "direction" the two sculptures should be read and it remains an open question whether order results from chaos or chaos from order.
Richard Deacon was born in 1949 in Bangor, Wales. Since his 1978 exhibition at London’s Tate Gallery he has held numerous individual shows, participated in internationally significant group exhibitions and been commissioned with outstanding projects. Deacon is currently preparing a comprehensive retrospective that will open 2010 at Musée de Strasbourg and travel in 2012 to Korea and to Hanover’s Sprengel Museum. Deacon’s art has been awarded many prizes, including the Turner Prize in 1987. After 12 years of having taught at École Nationale Supérieur des Beaux Arts in Paris, Deacon is set to take on professorship at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.
Richard Deacon lives and works in London.
Opening Friday, June 26, 2009, from 7 to 9 pm
Galerie Thomas Schulte
Charlottenstraße 24 D-10117 Berlin
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 12 to 6 p.m.
and by appointment