After London and Seoul, Berlin’s KÖNIG GALERIE is set to open a further branch in Vienna. Representative of the new gallery is Katharina Abpurg, who with a wealth of experience in the world of art, has previously worked for galleries Christine König and Krinzinger, for Sotheby’s, viennacontemporary and, SPARK Art Fair.
ONE DECADE OF FEMALE SCULPTORS is the inaugural exhibition at the KHK and brings together more than 30 works by contemporary women artists to offer a fresh take on the significance of the female perspective in sculpture.
Alicja Kwade, Alice Anderson, Amalia Pica, Anna Uddenberg, Anne Schneider, Ayako Rokkaku, Brigitte Kowanz, Camille Henrot, Caroline Mesquita, Chiharu Shiota, Claudia Comte, Eva Schlegel, Helen Marten, Isa Genzken, Jessica Stockholder, Katharina Grosse, Kathryn Andrews, Kitty Kraus, Koo Jeong A, Loie Hollowell, Monica Bonvicini, Nairy Baghramian, Sarah Morris, Sarah Ortmeyer, Sonia Leimer, Tatiana Trouvé, Xenia Hausner.
In the male-dominated world of art, sculpture was long considered the least feminine of disciplines. Yet ONE DECADE OF FEMALE SCULPTORS proves that this way of thinking no longer applies in contemporary sculptural practice. The idea of sculpture as a physical monolith prevailed well into the 20th century, but since then, opposing, new, multifaceted approaches have become established. These play with materials previously not used in art and the utilisation of different media as well as a dissolution of conventional generic terms.
Contemporary sculpture has become increasingly diverse. By incorporating everyday objects, works such as those by the British Turner Prize-winner Helen Marten can throw up questions around the location of the subject in a material world. Sculptures can comprise a multiplicity of media, layers and references, like the works of the French artist Camille Henrot. And if desired, they can be effective through the traditional, elementary monolithic categories of mass, volume and gravity, as is the case in the works of Alicija Kwade, which simultaneously call into question all of these aspects. Kwade, from Berlin, in a scientific and philosophical way examines the material of stone itself.
The works on show are underpinned by a common knowledge of sculptural tradition and the conscious exploration of the time-honoured concept of sculpture itself. They are united by a keen interest in questioning and breaking with existing ways of seeing and thinking. The forms of Spiritual Machines Series, Totem 11, by Britain’s Alice Anderson, unmistakably reference one of the most influential sculptors of the twentieth century: the Franco-Romanian sculptor and pioneer of classical modernism Constantin Brâncuși. Only on closer inspection does it become clear that Anderson has rigorously re-evaluated: unlike Brâncuși’s, her sculpture is composed not of a single piece but from various individual elements which she brings together and wraps in finely woven copper wire. Only the title reveals its reference to the often-criticised Amazon Alexa voice assistant with loudspeakers.
ONE DECADE OF FEMALE SCULPTORS presents the perspectives of contemporary women artists who have made an important contribution to the discourse around an extended concept of sculpture over the past ten years. In doing so, this exhibition proves that sculpture is now one of the most multi-layered and variable, and therefore exciting forms of art. The deliberate focus on the female perspective encourages new discussions around the significance of the output of women artists.