Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Veronika Kellndorfer + Schindler

Lovell Beach House, Akademie der Künste, Berlin 2010

Silkscreen on glass, 293 x 402 cm
The eye looks out through the picture window of the Lovell family’s beach house: sand, a basketball court, the sea. The parapet of a gallery continuing outside protrudes into the right-hand third of the window, as if penetrating the glass.
In the foreground the bourgeois interior, in the middle ground the windowpane, in the background sand and sea. A closer look reveals people sitting under sunshades, a couple rolling out a beach mat, sailboats, a wooden lifeguard tower, a beach tent.
The horizon line is blurred in the hazy afternoon light. It is unclear where the sea becomes the sky. The atmosphere and subject matter of the work recall Un dimanche après-midi à l’Île de la Grande Jatte, by the French painter Georges Seurat.
The silkscreen grid of tiny dots burned into the glass is a further reference to Seurat’s pointillism.

Veronika Kellndorfer + Mazzoni

Angiolo Mazzoni built the post office in the Roman district of Ostia in 1934—an architectural document of interwar modernism with references to late expressionism and the ideas of the Futurists, with their belief in progress.
The building itself has a complex spatial sequence of ribbon windows and corridors, with views in and out onto other interiors or the surrounding vegetation.
I took up this theme of visual layers and superimpositions in the multipart installation Dream switch. During my stay in Rome in 2005 I was particularly interested in modernist functional architecture—post offices, the 1960s Olympic buildings—and the relationship between stadiums, ancient temples, and housing complexes.
The architectural details serve as the foil for a conceptual examination of the construction of space—a theme that is constitutive of both architecture and painting, from which I originally come.


Veronika Kellndorfer + Bo Bardi

Veronika Kellndorfer
Tropical Modernism: Lina Bo Bardi, Christopher Grimes Gallery, 2016

 This body of work stems from Veronika Kellndorfer's 2015 solo exhibition at the Casa de Vidro in São Paulo, home of celebrated Italian-born Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi. During this time Kellndorfer also engaged with the architecture of Oscar Niemeyer and gardens of Roberto Burle Marx, finding their approach to Brazilian Modernism nascent to a new scope of reference.
For Tropical Modernism: Lina Bo Bardi, Kellndorfer continues working in the process she developed in the early 1990s of silk-screening photographic images to highly reflective glass panels, fusing image to form. In the main gallery, Kellndorfer will show works pairing details of Bo Bardi’s iconic SESC Pompéia in São Paulo with an individual plant species found in the Royal Botanic Garden in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Like Bo Bardi, whose architecture explored reciprocity between the human and the built, Kellndorfer examines the dialog between the playfully Brutalist and culturally dynamic SESC Pompéia and the global selection of various plant species flourishing in Brazil.  The South gallery will feature works referencing Bo Bardi’s architectural treasure: Tree House (Casa de Vidro) as well as two sculptures Casa de Vidro, Quadrado and Casa de Vidro, Triângulo.


Sunday, 5 March 2017

Piotr Lakomy + Le Corbusier


Some thirty inches from my nose
The frontier of my Person goes,
And all the untilled air between
Is private pagus or demesne.
Postscriptum from “Prologue: e Birth of Architecture” by W. H. Auden
Piotr Lakomy’s work engages with human scale, and its relationship to objects and architecture. Reflecting on our connections with our surroundings, his sculptures might be described as ruined monuments to these conflicting relationships. Whilst they are seemingly devoid of a human presence, there remains a subtle anthropometric quality to his compositions. In Room Temperature a nest made of aluminium mesh insulation coated with bees wax hangs from the ceiling. It once contained a human body lying on its side, with the head supported on an outstretched arm. The body leaves an empty space within the structure, as empty as the cells of aluminium grid of which the nest is made.
Flat aluminium honeycomb cores found hanging on the walls are made of ultra-modern material widely used in aerospace, construction, architectural, energy, marine and rail industries. Contrary to the rules of their industrial application they have been stretched on painting frames; instead of specialized tools a human hand has been used. Experimenting with carefully selected materials, developing their properties far beyond those planned by the producers, Lakomy adjusts the scale of objects, via stretching, compressing, melting, dissolving, applying layers of wax or isolating with foam, while deriving all measurements from Le Corbusier’s e Modulor. A juxtaposition between the natural and the man made can also be found in the smothering of high tech aluminium honeycomb with beeswax.
The landscape on the surface of these “paintings” is outlined by the arrangement of empty aluminium honeycomb cells. There is no privileged location from which to view them. The careful deformations and empty spaces are brought out by the viewer, getting close or moving away in different directions, working within the space around the object. Maps made of torn body bags work in a similar way. Their outline resembles a plan of an apartment, minus any detailing of the space or the use of individual rooms. The irregular surfaces of the body bags go beyond that at plan, while egg shells, once protective vessels Filled with the warmth of a living being, are bound with them permanently. This atmosphere of protection and encasement is furthered through obscuring the main source of natural light with Vaseline.
Lakomy has worked across all aspects of the gallery’s architecture; the pole and the nest define the axis of the building, while mesh “paintings” and maps, made from body bags, frame and cover the gallery walls, but also extend further. Each of the adjacent and surrounding buildings designed for any human activity, exists in a way indicated by the work presented here, as the absences within the show relate to the free spaces contained in any other populated place. The role of these works is to highlight the sense of absence, of which every cubic centimetre becomes animated by the body heat of each person present in the exhibition space.
Text by Kuba Bak