20 years of the Barbara Gross Gallery
On June 8, 1988, the Barbara Gross Gallery opened in the Lehel quarter of Munich. An exhibition celebrating the gallery’s twentieth anniversary brings together Nancy Spero and Eylem Aladogan — two artists whose works characterize the direction of the gallery’s program.
Nancy Spero had her first solo show in Europe at the gallery in 1998. She represents the gallery’s early focal point: the work of female artists. Silvia Bächli, Louise Bourgeois, Valie Export, Eva Hesse, Maria Lassnig, Ana Mendieta, Anna Oppermann, and Katharina Sieverding all exhibited here, some of them for the first time in Germany. Since its beginnings the gallery has promoted artists on the periphery of the established art system. In recent years there has been a new focus on both male and female artists from China, as well as on young conceptual artists such as Eylem Aladogan.
Nancy Spero incorporated feminist issues, socio-political commitment, and the gender debate into the exhibition praxis. Although Spero was hardly known in Europe at the time of her first show here, Barbara Gross initiated many exhibitions at museums for her. Owing partly to their enthusiasm for Spero as an artist and a person, artists such as Kiki Smith and Jana Sterbak also joined the gallery’s program. Today, the 82-year-old artist has an international reputation. Her work was seen at the 2007 Venice Biennial, and in 2008 several retrospectives of her art can be seen: at the MACBA in Barcelona, the Reina Sofia in Madrid, and the De Appel Center for Contemporary Art in Amsterdam. Our anniversary exhibition features a small retrospective of the artist’s work, with pieces from different phases, some of which were previously seen in shows at the gallery.
The gallery is also introducing a young Dutch-Turkish sculptor, Eylem Aladogan. Personal experience, visual impressions from the everyday environment, and the exploration of modern techniques and knowledge inspire her drawings and sculptures. Aladogan takes a cornucopia
of images, observations, and texts and condenses them into a few motifs and moments she considers important. Technological objects are placed in intriguing relationships to natural and organic elements. She uses unusual methods to process and alter the character of her materials. Glass looks like metal, ceramic like leather, plastic like mother-of-pearl; surprising associations are created, disrupting the original context and transforming the actual source material into symbolic form.
In June 2008 Aladogan will be showing new works at the Sonsbeek international sculpture exhibition in Arnhem, the Netherlands.
Barbara Gross Gallery
Thierschstrasse 51 - 80538 München
Tue - Fri 1 p.m. - 6.30 p.m.
Sat 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.