01/03/14 – 19/04/14
Thomas Rentmeister – A Product of Rest and Unrest*
Ellen de Bruijne Projects is pleased to present the fourth solo exhibition of Thomas Rentmeister in the gallery, in which the artist made a selection of new and recent works.
According to Christoph Schreier, Thomas Rentmeister has a strong connection to minimalism, but in a sense also to pop art or nouveau realisme. Considering the stacks in clean geometrical forms, he is referring to minimalism. However the products of which he is forming the stacks are familiar to us, they might even smell familiar. In that sense he is also referring to pop art or nouveau realisme, which created the specific descriptions of his work as “Minimalpop” or “impure” or “dirty” minimalism.
In the new work packets of chocolate biscuits are forming a geometrical triangle. A row of paper handkerchiefs are chosen for their colour and size: they perfectly fit on the metal wall piece. A duvet is spread out like a big blank piece of paper. The brown furniture pillow and rake form a contrast with the white duvet. These colours (unconsciously) are reminiscent of his earlier work with the nutella spread and Penaten baby crème. Every item Thomas Rentmeister uses in his installations are (temporarily) placed out of order and put into a new order. They are pulled out of their daily function.
By choosing and using familiar objects, Rentmeister also appeals to the visitor’s memory of the objects. Almost everyone has eaten a Prince chocolate biscuit, or uses paper handkerchiefs, or sleeps under a duvet. By taking them out of context, the visitor is invited to use his imagination in an attempt to solve the tension between his own memories, the newly proposed metaphors and meanings of the objects.
Thomas Rentmeister will also be presented by the gallery at Art Cologne booth E014, in a duo show with Klaas Kloosterboer, from the 10th until the 13th of April 2014.
The new acquired work by Thomas Rentmeister will be on view in Museum Boijmans van Beuningen from March 2014 on.
* org. Hannes Böhringer in cat. Thomas Rentmeister. Objects. Food. Rooms. Kunstmuseum Bonn/Perth Institite of Contemporary Arts, Dumont Buchverlag Köln, 2011, p. 111
Image: Thomas Rentmeister, Untitled, 2013, cast iron, duvet cover, 17 x 355 x 210 cm, photo Bernd Borchardt
Marianne Vierø – Great Transformation
For Great Transformation Marianne Vierø has created a 1:1 representation of the deteriorating remains of Naum Gabo’s Construction in Space: Two Cones. One of the first examples of plastic in sculpture the 1927 artwork belonged to A.E.Gallatin and his Museum of Living Art before formally becoming part of the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) in the 1950s. Only a few years later the sculpture began showing signs of decay. In 1960 the bonnet of the vitrine that enclosed the sculpture was removed and, due to properties of the unstable plastics, the artwork infamously collapsed. By 1968, after much conservation effort and study, the PMA declared the piece unfit for exhibition. While a Plexiglas study-copy was constructed for internal purposes the original was permanently stored away.
No longer representing its own ideal form, not to mention the artist’s intent, it seems the sculpture, at that moment, stopped existing as a Gabo hovering instead in a state of limbo. However, this uncertainty does not necessarily compromise the potential of the remaining object as an artwork. By falling apart and in that way challenging the limits of its given form the piece alluded to movements of the late 1960s that all helped fracture established norms – from counter-culture to the introduction of Deconstruction. Inspired by the quasi-correlation of events surrounding the disintegration of the Gabo and the introduction of Derrida’s destabilizing notion, one might even think of the sculpture as an unintended model of deconstruction. As such the deterioration of the piece positions it in almost uncanny alignment with developments on the cultural horizon. In its open-ended, indeterminate state, it continues to defy common boundaries of categorization and remains an acute work of art. Adrift from its original set of coordinates it has become an object of an ever-changing present.
Acknowledging the materiality of an artwork as a driving force in creating meaning, Vierø negotiates the potentials of the decay by meticulously representing the piece it in its current deteriorating state. With the aid of various 3D-technologies Vierø’s representation has been digitally modeled and 3D-printed using recently developed plastics. In that way the representation is in itself prone to change – inadvertently, the untested printing materials will warp, bend and crack until eventually they reenact a past event.
Creating a backdrop to the three-dimensional representation a selection of works on paper commemorates the marble plate that used to serve as a base for Gabo’s sculpture. The base was separated from the sculpture before the work entered the collection of the PMA and was apparently used as a cheeseboard in the Gabo household. A written account describes the marble as colored and veined, but the only image showing it is a b/w photograph. To salute the appropriation of the base from art into domestic life, each print combines monotype printing with stone lithography to suggest a possible color scheme for the marble.
A final entry in the show is a vintage catalogue presenting the collection of the Museum of Living Art. Here Gabo is heralded for his experiments with new materials and Construction in Space: Two Cones is represented unaffected by the inherent vice that was to irreversibly transform it.
Marianne Vierø would like to thank the Advanced Media Studio at NYU and the Henry Moore Institute. Special thanks to Taylor Absher. The project is supported by the Mondriaan Fund, the Danish Arts Council and the Danish Art Workshops.