BERLIN.- Galerie Max Hetzler
presents an exhibition of recent sculptures by British artist Rebecca Warren.
A series of hand painted bronzes punctuate the main space of the gallery, following on from the gold patinated totem-like sculptures Warren exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2010. Unfired clay works, characteristically raw, sit alongside large wall-based vitrines.
Warrens sculptures move from figurative to abstract, ranging from amorphous to more clearly recognizable forms. Her sculptures can be tender and droll, yet also aggressive in their depiction of the female form. Her figurative ideal emanates from translating the idioms of different sculptors; from Rodin's monumentality to Giacometti's vertical vision, or de Kooning's and Degas' diverse approaches to sensuality. Whilst she often manages to both invoke and skewer the work of these familiar names, her works individually and collectively form an entirely modern, complex and distinctive visual language.
The tactile relationship to material, having eloquently shaped the clay prior to casting, seems remarkable at first glance; a unique approach in regards to contemporary sculpture. Although the production of a bronze cast usually starts with a positive made of unfired clay, she uses the same material for the completion of fragile (sometimes smaller and sometimes larger scale) sculptures, expanding the spectrum of the medium. Equally striking is the duality of the monumental alongside her anti-heroic posture. Warren's bronze gestures echo the fragility of the clay. The raw material is distorted later to be fixed in bronze, sometimes painted in soft colours. The sculptures have a visceral hand-made yet delicate touch.
A further component of Warren´s work is represented in the exhibition by large scale vitrines, another type of sculpture that re-invents those made by the likes of Joseph Beuys. Whilst his are characterized by earthy colours, Warren´s give way to abstract pale neon. Often filled with pompoms, indescribable objects and intentionally poorly sealed, the vitrines break the accepted language of museum display and as with her other works in clay and bronze, Warren tries to push and break given boundaries.
This is Rebecca Warren's second solo exhibition at Galerie Max Hetzler.
Rebecca Warren (born 1965) lives and works in London. Having studied at Goldsmith's and Chelsea College, she came to prominence with solo and group shows at major venues. She was nominated for the Turner Prize, London in 2006 and for the Vincent Award, Amsterdam in 2008. Recent exhibitions in museums and institutions include the 54th Biennale di Venezia (2011); Royal Academy of Arts, London (2010); The Art Institute of Chicago (2010); The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (2010); Serpentine Gallery, London (2009); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2009); Barbican Art Gallery, London (2008); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2008); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2007); New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2007); Tate Triennial, London (2006); Ottawa Art Gallery, Ontario, Canada (2005); Kunsthalle Zurich (2004); Kunsthalle Vienna (2004); Städtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach (2004) and Hayward Gallery, London (2004).