Curatorial Projects

ENCLOSURES

Sarah Arriagada, Annie Brito, Hodgin Katarina Obradovic, Bonnie Paisley, Olivia von Pock and Dagmar Rauwald

I am pleased to announce that the third exhibition I curated is taking place at Galerie 21 im Künstlerhaus Vorwerk-Stift, Vorwerkstrasse 21, 20357 Hamburg from July 1-4, 2021. The opening reception will be July 1 from 4-9pm and the opening hours will be July 2-4 from 12-5pm.

The binational art exhibition Enclosures showcases the current work of six women artists residing in Germany and the United States of America: Sarah Arriagada, Annie Brito Hodgin, Katarina Obradovic, Bonnie Paisley, Olivia von Pock and Dagmar Rauwald.

In a sharp reflection of the sudden changes that occurred on a societal and personal level following the onset of the COVID-19-pandemic, the presented paintings, sculptures, videos and animations deal with the unprecedented issues as experienced through the bodies and minds of the artists and seen through their specifically female lens.

The exhibition title and term Enclosures alludes to the many protective and restrictive, possibly claustrophobic layers the artists have been surrounding themselves with in order to maintain a functional everyday life and an ongoing artistic practice: their homes, masks and social distancing on the physical level, and personal boundaries, set structures and discipline on the psychological side.

But Enclosures also refers to the gender-specific barriers – such as the so called “glass ceiling” – in our society that became more evident and oppressing in light of the pandemic. Many women were forced to leave the workforce in order to tend to the schooling of their children – or juggle both and more simultaneously. On the other hand, as isolation and virtual realities became the new norm, single and childless women were pushed to hold the loss of daily routine, human touch and connection and have been finding strategies to emotionally thrive against difficult odds.

This group of artists, mothers and non-mothers, meditates on the actual meaning of the private within the political, questions who or what is ruling over their bodies and lives, and investigates the role of self-care in an inherently unjust society. Their attuned and confident voices show how the crisis can be responded to with humor, insight and the unconditional embrace of life as it is.

 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Sarah Arriagada‘s work explores the mental and physical space where closeness and intimacy touch on questions of boundaries and self-preservation. She applies and partially subtracts layers of oil paint onto small scale wood panels, bringing together softened, abstract and figurative elements into richly textured, kinetic compositions. Her bold brushwork and serene color compositions allude to intimate scenes of the domestic realm, depicting curtained windows, rounded vessels and the female body living in the shallow room of the paintings’ physical edges and corners. Sarah Arriagada lives and works in Columbia, Missouri. saraharriagada.com

Annie Brito Hodgin‘s work is a figurative exploration of trauma, isolation, and absurdity; the ways we synthesize those realities, and the ways they shape us for better or worse. Lone female figures inhabit colorful, often-tense, otherworldly scenes. But if the figures are suffering, or fearful, or lonely, it’s usually with a placidity that belies an incontrovertible will to survive, whatever the toll. Life and death, loveliness and decay, tenderness and brutal indifference coincide. Whether and how they reconcile is perhaps what her figures are working to discover. Annie Brito Hodgin works and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. anniebritohodgin.com

Katarina Obradovic engages in a diligent and slow process of performance, photography and video work, combining the individual steps and materials into a digital flow of black and white images on screen. Her videos investigate personal boundaries and possibilities that lie in her relationship to the spaces within and outside of herself. The visual remains of this tedious procedure are achingly beautiful and endlessly captivating – a human figure moving in a white cube and within the constraints of a porous and malleable, self-built structure. Its shape and motions are comparable to that of the fine and bold movements of black calligraphy ink streaming onto white paper. Katarina Obradovic lives and works in Hamburg, Germany.

Bonnie Paisley uses a diversity of found objects from the domestic realm, combined with traditional art supplies and building materials in order to create a wide array of visual experiences ranging from paintings to assemblages, stop motion videos to installations. She approaches her studio work much like a chef in the kitchen, blending, mixing, tossing, rearranging, and finally serving her tasteful and voluptuous creations. Through her process and work, she seeks to crystallize personal memories and common experiences as evidence of our human existence in an ephemeral life and on a precariously changing planet. Bonnie Paisley lives and works in Portland, Oregon. bonniepaisley.com

Olivia von Pock creates casts of her feet that she moulds in soap, defying the loss of structure she first encountered during lockdown. The process of making these objects is helping her stay down-to-earth and feel her own body grounded in the reality of the present moment. The ephemeral quality of the soap alludes to the fragility of our body, while the steadiness of its form reminds us of its resourcefulness. By using a material that gained sudden preciousness during the pandemic, Olivia von Pock generously gifts us with a healthy sense of self-worth. Olivia von Pock lives and works in Hamburg, Germany. oliviavonpock.de

Dagmar Rauwald‘s arrangements of canvases, sketches and foil paintings, which partially overlap, open up a space of reflection on how to interpret and relate to the manifold contradictions of the current situation. While she has been working with transparent foil as a painting surface since the 1990s, the material has recently gained new meaning through the use of protective films in public spaces to reduce the risk of virus spread and infection. The uncertainty that Dagmar Rauwald embraces in the making of her work, her joy of experimentation and risk-taking, and her responsiveness to accidents and emergencies bring to light surprising parallels between her process and the development of and responses to the pandemic. Dagmar Rauwald lives and works in Hamburg, Germany. dagmarrauwald.de

 

WISH YOU WERE HERE

Sarah Arriagada, Silvia von Pock and Maria Schoof

I am pleased to announce that the second exhibition I curated is taking place at Raum Linksrechts, Valentinskamp 37, 20355 Hamburg from 16 – 29 July 2017. The opening reception will be 6 – 8 pm Saturday 15 July 2017.

In WISH YOU WERE HERE, three painters take down their studio walls and invite audiences to step inside these mysterious spaces and become creative collaborators. Sarah Arriagada, Silvia von Pock and Maria Schoof have each set up a version of their studio inside the gallery and will be in residence throughout, working with visitors to co-produce new artworks. The exhibition will evolve as visitors generate new work, to be celebrated at a closing night event.

The artist’s studio can be a retreat, a private paradise, a solitary even a lonely place where the magic of making work unfolds. This exhibition highlights the distinct, complex and changing relationship each artist has with their studio. Von Pock describes, “escaping into a private wilderness where inner and outer worlds connect for a timeless while”. She provides a shamanistic tent made from rubber bands and filled with art materials where visitors can work in a sheltered atmosphere.

As the mother of a small child, Arriagada recently found herself making work, “at home, in the night and developing ideas increasingly in her head rather than while handling materials”. Craving companionship and the togetherness that comes with sharing ideas, Arriagada invites visitors to add their marks to her designs for hand-knotted rugs. These will be reworked and made into rugs for a future exhibition, creating a sociable space where the artist’s domestic and creative lives are united.

Schoof adapts two small rooms to involve visitors in the meditative process that precedes the act of painting. The first room is a place for quiet introspection where visitors can connect with their “inner space of remembrance or spiritual connection”. The second room, filled with powerful personal objects, photographs, figures and dreams lays out Schoof’s individual mythology, the ‘personal cosmos’ she draws on when making paintings.

Like a postcard from a faraway place, WISH YOU WERE HERE is an invitation to join these artists in their creative spaces where their working processes are revealed, demystified and shared.

Raum Linksrechts is open Thursday to Saturday, 5 – 8 pm.

 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Sarah Arriagada was born in Hamburg, studied fine art in Berlin and has exhibited in France, Germany and the UK. She lives and works in London. saraharriagada.com

Silvia von Pock studied art in Bremen and Berlin. She has curated and exhibited widely in Germany and lives and works in Hamburg. oliviavonpock.de

Maria Schoof was born in Hamburg where she now lives and works. She studied Cultural Studies in Bremen and Illustration in Hamburg and has exhibited in Germany and the USA. mariaschoof.de

 

MUTTERBODEN

An exhibition of paintings and assemblages by Sarah Arriagada and Silvia von Pock

I am delighted to announce that this two-person exhibition that I curated will take place at The Stone Space, 6 Church Lane, London E11 1HG from 21 July – 14 August 2016. The opening reception will take place 6.30 – 8.30 pm Thursday 21 July.

Mutterboden brings together German painters Sarah Arriagada and Silvia von Pock and their shared interest in a playful, material and process-based approach to image making. Both artists take everyday household materials as their starting point, from cheerful textiles to discarded packaging and plastics, and create paintings that explore their visual, tactile and structural possibilities.

The German word Mutterboden (mother soil: engl. top soil) refers to the earth, the medium in which things germinate and flourish. In the context of this show it alludes to the mass of ‘stuff’, the visually fertile layers of cheap, colourful debris that surround us and from which these art works grow. Both artists have a love of textures and an openness to haptic discoveries that are allowed to shape their work, sometimes taking them outside the framework of canvas and stretcher and beyond the flat plane. But Arriagada and von Pock’s contrasting strategies produce paintings that throw each other into sharp relief.

Substituting domestic textiles for canvas, Arriagada continually layers and strips back paint, sometimes reversing the stretcher as she seeks a purified, distilled, image in the face of colourful excess. Von Pock’s impulse is to collage and encrust, building layers and massing materials until new visual effects are found in works that are structurally self-supporting. Shown together for the first time at The Stone Space, Arriagada and von Pock’s works generate a lively dialogue with and about seemingly worthless materials and what they offer the restless and resourceful eye.

The Stone Space, an independent gallery in Leytonstone, is open Thursday and Fridays 2 – 6pm, Saturdays 10 – 5pm and Sundays 12 – 4pm.

 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Silvia von Pock revels in the wealth of cheap, disposable materials that surround us, using them to make multi-media paintings that reveal the visual power of everyday detritus. Her work is driven by a playful responsiveness to the colour and structural possibilities of found plastics, discarded packaging and pound shop treasures, which she shapes into works that take painting beyond the flat plane.

Broken rubber bands, throbbing with synthetic pigment, are stitched into luxuriant fringes, woven through mesh or bunched and swagged to form a tangled air orchid. Plastic drinking straws are glued into self-supporting structures, collaged to build rippled layers of colour or bristle from painted surfaces like coral formations. Von Pock masses these materials in large quantities until she finds a tipping point where a new quality or effect emerges.

The natural and the artificial collide in works where oddly organic appearances grow from accumulations of synthetic materials. Latex puddles form congealed rock pools, marshmallows float in gungy slicks of paint, and garishly coloured modelling clay oozes brightly coloured growths like toxic confectionery.

Whilst von Pock describes herself as a critical consumer, her work communicates a restless excitement at the inexhaustible visual possibilities of household rubbish and throwaway tat. Alive with surprising textures and discoveries, these works continually resist our perceptions of debased ‘stuff’.

Silvia von Pock studied fine art in Bremen and Berlin. She has curated and exhibited widely in Germany and lives and works in Hamburg. oliviavonpock.de

Sarah Arriagada’s works exude a light, playful quality and a joyful sense of the power that painting has to hold conflicting impulses in a momentary state of balance. Drawing on her interest in the fetishization of domestic interiors, Arriagada combines cheap textiles with both process and gestural painting techniques to produce works that explore the boundaries between fine art and decoration, ‘taste’ and kitsch, the precious and the banal.

Taking the everyday as her starting point Arriagada paints directly onto unprimed canvas or flimsy fabrics such as gingham, allowing elements of chance to shape the continual reworking of each canvas until she arrives at a point of visual clarity. In an almost ritualised process, she repeatedly applies and scrapes back layers of oil and acrylic to establish a grid or patterned ground against which organic shapes flourish in naïve, expressive strokes.

Arriagada’s actions seem both tentative and bold, awkward and assured as she reverses a canvas and reworks it in chalks and pastels, stencils through lace or blocks out and then exposes the tacky floral print onto which thick colour fields have been applied. The resulting paintings with their fluid, dynamic surfaces invite active looking and open up intimate and elusive spaces, rich in colour, texture and nostalgic association.

Sarah Arriagada was born in Hamburg, studied fine art in Berlin and has exhibited in France, Germany and the UK. She lives and works in London. saraharriagada.com