Art Exhibition

NATURE MORTE presents Alicja Kwade’s first solo show in India that delves into the intricate pursuit of knowledge

Opening on Thursday, January 25th from 6 to 8 pm. The exhibition remains on view until Sunday, March 3rd.

Nature Morte presents Berlin-based artist Alicja Kwade’s first solo exhibition titled “Matter Moments” in India. Known for her distinctive artistic language involving reflection, repetition, and the deconstruction and reconstruction of everyday objects, Kwade uses natural materials to explore our reality’s essence and examine social structures. Often veering towards the absurd and transforming commonly accepted assumptions into open-ended questions, her poetic and mesmerizing oeuvre disrupts familiar systems and searches for new explanations to comprehend our world.

For Kwade’s first solo exhibition at Nature Morte, she delves into the intricate pursuit of knowledge, unraveling the paradoxes that while we relentlessly seek it, we are often eluded by it. The show further examines measurement, scale, and the vantage points from which we contemplate our quest for understanding wealth distribution, national responsibility, and the role of resources.

At the center of the exhibition stands a series of four new sculptures by the artist entitled Know-ledge, which utilize Encyclopedia Britannica books representing the consolidation of knowledge. Tethered on one end via a stainless steel funnel that appears to condense the entirety of human knowledge and time, the other end presents a symbolic stone that serves as a counterweight. Hanging afloat above these works are a series of mobiles that feature rocks suspended by gold-plated structures and wires, bringing acute attention to the operations of gravity and the precarity of its states of equilibrium.

Various works on paper line the walls of the gallery, transcending mere representation and delving into the philosophical realms of measurement, time, and perception. They prompt viewers to consider the nuanced relationships between these seemingly disparate systems. Transformator, installed in an adjacent gallery space, consists of a natural, original branch and its mirrored counterpart in patinated bronze. At the heart of this work is a polished bronze sphere nestled amidst the branches, serving as a mirror with a unique twist—it doesn’t just reflect reality, it

transforms it. This piece encourages viewers to explore the enigmatic aspects of our universe, pondering the existence of hidden forces and parallel realms that may exist beyond our everyday perception.

“Alicja’s captivating exploration of knowledge, and the intricate dance between perception and reality promises to engage our audience profoundly. We look forward to further collaborations with Alicja, as her unique artistic vision continues to challenge and inspire us, fostering a deeper understanding of the complexities that define our world,” says Aparajita Jain Co-Director of Nature Morte.

The artist will be present at the opening of the exhibition in New Delhi on January 25th.

In addition, she has created a centrepiece of this year’s Sculpture Park exhibition at Madhavendra Palace, Jaipur. The ambitious new installation, Superposition, comprises multiple elements that interact with each other.

Superposition is comprised of interlocking steel frames that unravel similarly to a folding screen. Within this arrangement, some frames stand bare, while four are equipped with double-sided mirrors. The installation is complemented by bronze chairs, each adorned with a substantial stone sphere sourced from local Indian vendors that evoke planets and distant worlds. Positioned in front of or behind the frames, they occasionally mirror each other symmetrically or cast reflections within the mirrored panels. The interplay between transparency and reflection creates a spatial confusion that is hard to unravel. At first glance, it seems impossible to decipher how a chair can be visible, yet its reflection is not. As the viewer moves around the sculpture, one phenomenon might be explained, yet new ones emerge. The individual elements disrupt the view and open up spaces that create renewed confusion. The viewer’s perception is enhanced by the surrounding courtyard of the 19th-century Madhavendra Palace, with its own repeated motifs. Kwade’s installation invites contemplation into the essence of our existence and prompts us to reflect on our relationship with the world. Balancing poetry with critical insight, Kwade challenges the systems devised to eliminate uncertainty and bring order to an otherwise understandable universe.

“We are thrilled to be showcasing the works of such an important young figure of the international art world both in our gallery in New Delhi and with a special project conceived for the courtyard of the Madhavendra Palace in Jaipur,” says Peter Nagy, Co-Director of Nature Morte.

The exhibition will open to the public on Sunday, January 28th from 3 to 6 pm, remaining on view until December 1st, 2024.

About the Artist

Alicja Kwade (b. 1979) lives and works in Berlin where she studied sculpture at the Berlin University of the Arts. In the past decade, she has become known internationally for sculpture, expansive public installations, film, photography, and works on paper that challenge scientific and philosophical concepts by dismantling the boundaries of perception.

Solo exhibitions of her work have been presented at Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, Germany; Langen Foundation, Neuss, Germany; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, USA; Dallas Contemporary, USA; Centre de Création Contemporaine Olivier Debré, Tours, France; Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona, Spain; ESPOO Museum of Modern Art, Finland; Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark; Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich, Switzerland; YUZ Museum, Shanghai, China; Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK; Kunsthalle Schirn Frankfurt/Main, Germany; Haus Esters, Krefeld, Germany; Kestner Gesellschaft, Hanover, Germany; and Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, Germany.

Her work has also been presented in numerous group shows at institutions including the Museo Jumex, Mexico; Hayward Gallery, London, UK; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, USA; Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, USA; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria; Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; and CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco, USA.

Over the past years, she has increasingly worked in the public realm, creating vast installations that respond to the architecture and the natural phenomena of various sites.

In 2019, Kwade was commissioned to create a monumental installation for the rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum in New York. For her 2022 installation Au Cours Des Mondes in the Place Vendôme, Paris the artist created a dialogue between natural stone globes affixed to endless concrete stairs and a set of natural stone spheres. Both works explored our place in the world, underlying mechanisms of power, and our relationship to knowledge thereof.

Other notable installations include a 2022 participation at Desert X, AlUla in Saudi Arabia and an acclaimed presentation at the 57th Venice Biennale Viva Arte Viva in 2017.

Upcoming solo exhibitions include Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, Netherlands and Tai Kwun, Hong Kong. In 2023 Kwade joined the roster of Pace Gallery.

Her works are part of numerous public collections worldwide, such as the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Museo Jumex, Mexico; LACMA – Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek; Mudam – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg; and mumok – Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna.

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