Curated by Saskia Neuman
The foundation for the exhibition Interior / Exterior / Sculpture is the relationship between the artists’ own personal story and history. Investigating exterior architecture in their immediate surroundings: buildings, parks and playgrounds as well as architecture from further afield. At times paring these investigations with actual studies of the physical body.
The sculptures and reliefs are, in instances, extensions of the artists’ persona and – their own physicality. In both Fattal and Pyszczek’s work there are apparent and very direct links to their personal heritage, which ties into larger histories – that of European history: WWII and the decline of the Iron Curtain. Whereas Safavi creates a red thread between exterior influences, building and surfaces, with the exterior of the human body, establishing a very intimate and personal meeting point within her metal sculptural structures.
Pyszczek explores Polish murals. Decorative pastels figures and shapes painted directly on facades of residential buildings, eschewing the blanket of the Cold War aesthetic by completely embodying the narrative of the time: tertiary beautification in an attempt to dissuade the eye from seeing – processing. The artist does not stop there; Pyszczek examines building exterior, playgrounds and a plethora of architectural elements in Poland – the artists’ birthplace. We are encouraged to participate on his journey. Flashes of memory recognized in how the artist deals with the physicality of the sculptures and reliefs, mimicking windows or components of a playground jungle gym.
Amir Fattal focuses on the exterior imagery of the imaginary German Village. In 1943 a military experiment with Erich Mendelsohn at the helm. Using Mendelsohn’s experience as an architect in Berlin, the American army constructed life-size versions of Berlin tenements. With the intention to – in the artists own words, ‘efficiently destroy them’. The images were taken from the American army archive and are juxtapositioned against blocks of color. These colors were taken from the Mendelsohn archive, and originally used in buildings Mendelsohn designed and built in Berlin during the 1920s, prior to escaping Germany for the U.S. Here, Fattal examines his current surroundings. Through the reliefs the artist express’s a complex relationship between pre and post war architecture, and the usage of architecture as a tool for both construction and destruction.
Vanessa Safavi surveys bodily form and how it can be expressed through material and elements often connected with exterior functionality. Safavi combines several layers of art historical references along with cultural references, mirroring her own background. The artist uses the myriad of cultural influences, married with her constant travel, expressing these in her approach to sculpture. Working with hard metals to create soft properties. Here, originality mingles with exoticism, pooling into a colorful pop culture take on minimalism. Allowing these ‘bodies’ space to breath, deliberately playing with the contradictions that arise in her practice. The sculptures represent a somber approach to a vivid exploration of creating a dialogue between the exterior of say a building and the familiar embrace of a recognizable entity, a safe space.