Helwaser Gallery presents Christina Kruse: Base and Balance
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 30, 2019 from 6 to 8pm
Exhibition Dates: May 30–July 25, 2019
Helwaser Gallery is pleased to announce Christina Kruse: Base and Balance, a solo exhibition by New York-based artist Christina Kruse (b. 1976, Germany) presenting the artist’s newest body of sculptural work completed over the last two years. This new direction builds on her previous body of photographic and collage works, introducing a spatial dimension to her practice. Drawing connections between geometric and organic forms, Kruse’s artistic practice thrives on the notion of construction, bringing together multiple materials into cohesive abstract forms. The show will be on view from May 30–July 25, 2019, with an opening reception on Thursday, May 30, 2019. The exhibition coincides with the 100th year anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus, and is also accompanied by a catalogue, with the foreword written by Glenn Adamson and essays by Joerg Trempler and John Zinsser.
Kruse’s works combine various primary shapes and forms—made out of wood, bronze, and occasionally, brass—into integrated wholes. Works on show include Detached (2019), a spherical work suspended from the ceiling by a thin, bronze rod. Although the work appears as tilted and off-balance, the work’s internal wooden structure was conceived as a means of purposefully shifting its center of mass forward. The work stands in conversation with Settled (2018), a large standing bronze sculpture, where a circular “head” is supported by an elongated stem. Accompanying these works are a selection of studies rendered in pencil and chalk; almost diagrammatic in spirit, these preparatory sketches reveal the structural, shape, and color relations that inform her construction process.
Across her body of sculptural work, rectilinear forms are often counterbalanced with rounded spheres, weighted by intense shades of black, grey, and white. Through emphasizing the weight and depth of each component, as well as their surface treatments and color applications, Kruse’s works achieve a sense of equilibrium. Although characterized by geometry and line, her sculptures inspire uncanny references to the human figure, inviting viewers to imagine and investigate beyond its formal limits. Presented in loose groupings, her sculptures recall the notion of a tableau vivant, reflecting her own interest in the artistic practices of leading Bauhaus practitioners such as Oskar Schlemmer. These works are a new treatment of the human figure—a motif that figured prominently in the artist’s previous photographic collage works.
About the artist
Christina Kruse (b. 1976, Germany) is a New York-based multi-disciplinary artist who works across the fields of photography, painting, and sculpture. Her ongoing body of sculptural works combines bronze, marble and wood in standing arrangements that reference geometry. Although grounded in structure, balance, and stability, Kruse’s sculptures nevertheless evoke similarities to the human head and face, drawing connections between rationality and the oftentimes more capricious side of human life.
Previous significant works include Dystonia (2013), a three-part performance work where Kruse confronts the instability of the human-lived experience. Getting into a purpose-built aluminum sculpture calibrated to automatically right itself after being pushed, Kruse allows herself to be taken along by the movements of the sculpture as it struggles to stay upright in the face of multiple pushes and forces from all sides. Her earlier photographic and collage works draw on her personal biography, often deploying self-portraits layered with tape, watercolor, ink, and other media in her formal compositions.
Kruse’s artistic practice thrives on the notion of construction—that a work of art can necessarily be produced out of multiple elements that fit and connect with one another. Kruse is a recipient of the GLAAD award for Best Emerging Artist in Photography (2005). Her works have been featured in solo and group exhibitions in New York, France, Austria, and Germany, amongst others.
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