KARLA BLACK at BECHTLER STIFTUNG [from 20240424 to 20241006]

[Photos: Flavio Karrer / Courtesy: The artist, Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne and Modern Art, London]

Karla Black (*1972 in Alexandria, Scotland) creates large-scale works using everyday materials such as plaster, cellophane, make-up, and various household items. Her practice revolves around exploring the physicality of materials and their relationship to space.

Black’s ephemeral works—be it strands of paper hanging from the ceiling or fragile floor works made of wafer-thin layers of scattered powder—are references to the minimal and conceptual art of the 1960s and 1970s. At the same time, Black expands the classic concept of sculpture through a process-oriented, performative approach to both atypical materials and materials with existing cultural connotations. Black has always prioritized material experience over language and representational imagery as a means to moving through, and understanding, the world. In this age of two-dimensional screens, the immersion and absorption in physical reality induced by her work is more necessary than ever to safeguard our spiritual and embodied humanity.

For the exhibition at Bechtler Stiftung the artist installed an immersive, room-filling sculpture that plunges the visitor into a world of pink, peach and yellow and was realized by the artist herself on site.

Karla Black had institutional solo exhibitions at Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh 2021, Des Moines Art Centre 2020, The Power Plant, Toronto 2018, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle 2017, Scottish National Galleries of Modern Art, Edinburgh 2016, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin 2015, Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover 2013, Dallas Museum of Art, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, both 2011, among others. In 2011 she was nominated for the Turner Prize and represented Scotland at the 54th Venice Biennale.
Karla Black’s work is part of major contemporary collections such as the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and Tate Gallery, London.

[Text: Bechtler Stiftung]

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