KÖNIG GALERIE is pleased to present the redesigned group exhibition Gartenschau at its former church garden.
Visible from afar, the steeple of the Church of St. Agnes towers above the neighborhood. Its sharp-edged geometric concrete body is a forbidding, even menacing presence in the urban space. How can a garden complement it, or stand its ground next to it? The basic idea is to take up the building’s geometric forms and adapt them to the needs of garden design—to use them as the basic elements of the new garden.
Where the structural ensemble of St. Agnes’s rises upward, accurately defined areas within the garden gesture in the opposite direction. Evergreen hedgerows structure the layout, heightening the spatial effect and preventing the viewer from taking in the setting from a single vantage point. This garden wants to be discovered.
On view in the grounds of St. Agnes, Gartenschau includes works by Elmgreen & Dragset, Katharina Grosse, Jeppe Hein, Alicja Kwade, Michael Sailstorfer, Tatiana Trouvé, Stefan Strumbel, Jonas Burgert, Claudia Comte, Erwin Wurm, and David Zink Yi. Set in the semi-private garden space that lies quietly behind the church, it focuses on each artist’s critical engagement with space-based approaches to contemporary sculpture.
Jeppe Hein’s ongoing investigation of the possibilities for viewer interaction through the negotiation of architecture delineates spatial relationships between subject and object. Composed of mirror panels separated by gaps, Mirror Angle Fragments (60°) divides our own reflection and layers it within the surrounding environment and other viewers, collapsing barriers between self, other, and landscape.
Waterfall by Tatiana Trouvé is a tragicomic and romantic rethinking of a classical outdoor water fountain, an otherwise common sight in public spaces. What one encounters here instead is a mattress in decline, another familiar sight in downtown alleyways and dumpsters. Cast in bronze, a preferred sculptural medium, the abject mattress appears soft as it wilts over a slab of construction concrete. The detailed casting reveals the wear, dimples, and indentations of the mattress, which seems to weep or perspire, revealing a humanlike quality to this intimate and forlorn object.
More familiar to boulevards and avenues in the United States, David Zink Yi’s delicate palm trees, Neusilber 2, look curiously out of place in the surrounding environment and Berlin’s typical flora. Fabricated out of stainless steel and standing at an unusually short height, they let us discover the surreal in the utterly common, as the artist misappropriates a plant that is both entirely exotic and banal for a play with its formal qualities.
Artists: Elmgreen & Dragset, Katharina Grosse, Jeppe Hein, Alicja Kwade, Michael Sailstorfer, Tatiana Trouvé, Stefan Strumbel, Jonas Burgert, Claudia Comte, Erwin Wurm, and David Zink Yi.
König Galerie (press release)