Special Show - leading and emerging women artists
Galerie Karsten Greve AG, St. Moritz
on Thursday, Dezember 29, 2022, from 5 to 7 pm
Galerie Karsten Greve AG is pleased to present its Winter Special Show: leading and emerging women artists in its gallery in St. Moritz. Shining a spotlight on the stunning achievements of women artists since the early 1930s, the exhibition features a tightly curated selection of works ranging from Louise Bourgeois’ masterpieces such as the marble Baroque (1970), her cloth sculpture Arch of Hysteria (2000) or the bronze cast Woman with a Secret (1947), to minimalist works of ink on paper by one of the leading French abstract artists Pierrette Bloch, to contemporary masters such as Leiko Ikemura, Catherine Lee, Georgia Russell and Claire Morgan.
While coming from different backgrounds, they all subtly hold up a mirror to us and create a balance between reality and spirituality through the exploration of fear and fragility carefully balanced with strength and love. Sharing sensible explorations of their individual narratives through a variety of mediums and techniques – sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, ceramics and installations.
In the post-war era, societal shifts made it possible for larger numbers of women to work professionally as artists, yet their work was often dismissed in the male dominated art world. However, the second half of the 20th century progressively gained the necessary openness to allow talents to flourish. After her emigration to the United States in 1938, Louise Bourgeois was first represented in Europe by Karsten Greve, with whom she had a close bond for over the entire 30 years of their collaboration. In her oeuvre, Louise Bourgeois gives a specific form to that which cannot be adequately put into words, allowing the outside world to feel her from the inside-out. Throughout her career, Louise Bourgeois experimented with various materials for her sculptures. For her totems, she worked with wood, fabric, bronze, and plaster and latex in the 1960s. Her marble works are a tribute to the baroque sculpture of the 17th century and particularly to the Italian sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Baroque (1970), exhibited at her first retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in 1982, can be interpreted as a metamorphosis and contemporary readaptation of the famous sculpture Apollo and Daphne. Exhibited alongside are works on paper – which she called her “pensées-plumes” (feather-thoughts, to enhance their volatility) – such as the portfolio The view from the bottom of the well (1996).
Young Jae-Lee’s delicate ceramic cups bear the ancestral Korean mastery of the medium, as opposed to a somewhat bolder approach by the Japanese, Berlin-based, Leiko Ikemura, infused by the myths and legends of the Empire of the Rising Sun. Catherine Lee’s reductive abstractions seem orderly, as opposed to Pierrette Bloch’s more spontaneous, intuitive approach – both finding comfort in their rhythmic patterns. Lucia Laguna paints the views from her studio in Rio de Janeiro, adding curious details, shapes, turning around the canvases in a brightly coloured kaleidoscope – neither complete abstraction, nor figuration. More recently, Georgia Russell finds inspiration in the fields she sees every day, and, staying true to her technique of careful incisions with a scalpel, she creates a mirage between reality and illusion, her cells of light a passage for light, air and colour. Claire Morgan oscillates between violence and vulnerability, balance being the key. She draws inspiration on the cycles in nature to evoke the possibilities that can only occur when we make peace with our own vulnerability as a human being – particularly in the sculpture in vitrine I couldn't get enough (2021), in the charcoal drawing series Archaeology (2021), or in her more recent experience of printmaking techniques, such as Canopy (2022).
Through their lens, Lynn Davis and Sally Mann reveal metaphorical landscapes – Davis’ Greenland adventures depicting the majestic icebergs from the early 2000s, and Mann’s Deep South series focusing on the American South, from the dreamy Faulkner’s novels to the hidden history of war and violence laying underneath. Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California (1936) is one of the most iconic photographs of all time. In 1936, Lange encountered the mother of 32 years old at a pea-picking camp in California during the Great Depression – her vision of the mother depicts a Madonna of the modern age, her face marred with worries and misery, children clinging to her frame. Ilse Bing’s years in Paris inspired her to capture the essence of the zeitgeist with a bold frameworks and innovative approach– from the nightlife effervescence of dance and theatre, to nocturnal cityscapes Fountain. Place De La Concorde (1933).
Luise Unger’s sculptures of crocheted steel wire are both architectonic and anthropomorphic, the silhouettes emerging give an illusion of black shadows, the hollow spaces gathering light in their centre. Maria Nepomuceno, relying on ancient weaving techniques, borrows from the artisanal traditions of her native Brazil to create abstract forms out of rope, the organic forms sneaking on the ground like jungle vines. Craftsmanship in the work of these artists is a way to hold time in their hands.
Reunited together, the exhibited works offer original perspectives, initiating unexpected dialogues and generating fresh appreciation for each work included in the exhibition.