WHEN THINGS CAST SHADOW Marliz Frencken, Fabian Marti, Sara Masüger, Claudia & Julia Müller, Milena Muzquiz 13 March – 11 April 2015
Galerie Peter Kilchmann is pleased to present a group exhibition under the title “When Things Cast Shadow” with the five selected artists Marliz Frencken, Fabian Marti, Sara Masüger, Claudia & Julia Müller and Milena Muzquiz. All the artists share a concern with ceramics or ceramic-like materials in the form of sculptural works. The artists use the original material clay that is hand-fired to produce ceramics and the exhibited works demonstrate remarkable power of expression in the exhibited works remarkable power of expression. The works draw upon the wide-ranging use of this traditionally charged material that is to be found in different cultures such as The Netherlands, Mexico and Switzerland. All of these artworks first develop their full materiality in architectonic space and enter into dialogue with the viewer through their figurality and point to deeper themes.
Marliz Frencken (1955, NL) is known for her sculptures of women embodying a narrative character. In the figures she combines characteristics that at first glance appear controversial such as beauty, decay, jealousy, strength and self-confidence. In the so-called “Brown Sculptures” such as Brown woman with child at feet (52 cm) Frencken shows the female figure in states of unfamiliar rawness and deterioration. The represented woman loses her grace and partly confronts the observer with an antipicture of being a mother. In the process Frencken raises questions like: why should a woman have children? What is taken from her and what does she get in return? The sculptures are roughly worked in resin covered with clay and the material seems to be dripping. The glossy coating appears like a protective cloak which is attempting to cover the figures’ (human as well as material) crevices and cavities - and doing so to offer refuge to the figures in their revealing openness
The artist Fabian Marti (1979, CH) is showing new works at this group exhibition: his hanging sculptures with their ceramic basis and their porcelain tentacle arms hanging down are reminiscent of a dream catcher. In the context of Marti’s interest in cultural-historical subjects, his suggestion of the shamanic and spiritual can be understood. Marti sees the various techniques and means of breaking through temporal and spiritual limits as a possible way of reaching the roots of our culture. The mural relief QIYSSNLFFISSSWMYTTL (250 x 200 cm) from 2012, which is based on a previous work by the artist UNREST OF BECOMING II (138 x 108 cm) from 2011 is also on show. On the ceramic wall the artist plays with the flatness and surface of the material and leaves behind his hand-prints as traces of the creative. Baumann describes the artist’s ceramic works as follows: “Marti’s work presents itself as art that has developed alongside great traditions.”1 Thus his concern with consciousness and the question of being able to change it and the idea of spiritual time travel can be recognised as a leitmotif in Marti’s work
In the sculptural works of Sara Masüger (1978, CH) the balance is fathomed between the recognising image and free form. The series on show, Dictation (various sizes), which the artist describes as a “sculpture forest”, makes a central theme of the instability and fragility of body shapes. The moulds in acrystal, a material that is similar to plaster but more stable, show the cast of the artist’s face and the many copies could be seen as pointing towards the mystification of the figure of the artist. For Masüger working with her own body means a loss of control because it drives her to her physical limits. The irregularity in the image rather than its perfection is thus the focus. The dense juxtaposition of the sculptures produces an impressive unity which seems to speak from one and the same mouth in encountering viewers.
Claudia & Julia Müller (1964 and 1965, CH) are presenting new sculptural works from 2014 and, especially for this exhibition, individual ceramic works Physisch (2015) in a wooden box which can be used as storage place and pedestal at the same time. In the spatial installation Zwei Wirklichkeiten, unfertig (Blind Painting) the artist duo handle ceramics material in a new way and combine sculptural objects with a mural (acrylic on wall). The juxtaposition of the drawn figure on the wall with that captured in space evokes a survey of the situation since an apparently floating representation meets earthing material. The question as to the physicality of things and their dimension in the context of the viewer produces self-referentiality. On the one hand the viewer is confronted with the dimensions of the drawing of the superhuman and on the other with the small objects, some of which are standing on the floor. The perception of these different scales then produces a differentiated relationship to things. In addition, the ceramic pots stimulate sensuous perception with their glazed surfaces and colourfulness. With the dynamism of the colour application and their authoritative, intensive form, the pots stand in contrast to the mural. The wall drawing, with its clear contours and reduced look meets the ceramic objects as a direct and untameable expression. The interplay of the mural and the objects playfully produces further contrasts: colourfulness - black and white, three dimensionality - flatness, living form - linear copy of the living.2
The artist Milena Muzquiz (1972, MEX) began working with ceramics very early and set up a ceramics studio in her home town Tijuana. In her ceramic works such as Untitled (39 x 36 x 47 cm) she traces the idea of a cosy, homelike feeling and allows vases with fresh flowers in them to become sculptures, thus encouraging viewers to think about (non)idyllic ideas of home. Muzquiz investigates clay as a local tradition and craft in order to produce contemporary objects. Her interest in vases comes from her examination of Danish still-life pictures from the 16th century. The idea of Muzquiz is to present an everyday object such as a vase as a theatrical narrative and to fill it with symbolic content.