Rebecca Warren: Galerie Max Hetzler

By Schwabsky, Barry | Artforum International, November 2007 | Go to article overview

Rebecca Warren: Galerie Max Hetzler


Schwabsky, Barry, Artforum International


Rebecca Warren's presentation at last year's exhibition at Tate Britain of the artists shortlisted for the 2006 Turner Prize consisted of two distinct types of sculpture, and the same was true of "Come Helga, This Is No Place for Us," her first solo show in Berlin. On the one hand, there were three floor-based works consisting of roughly modeled, vaguely biomorphic, but ultimately amorphous sculptures of unfired clay set atop white pedestals. Vigorously worked, they are marked by traces of pale color that add warmth and atmosphere. Considerably more abstract than much of Warren's previous work in this medium--though perhaps even more overtly sensual--they recall a whole tradition of manually expressive sculpture, from the early ceramics of Lucio Fontana through Willem de Kooning's bronzes and those of William Tucker to Franz West's plaster "Passstucke." On the other hand, there were four vitrines containing (but also supporting) various elements, including, in each case, a bent neon tube. Two of the vitrines were wall-mounted, two were freestanding--but both of the floor pieces included a very pale rose-colored pedestal among their contained elements. In addition to these recent works--all from this year--a painted bronze Head, 2001, rested on the floor.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Marcel Duchamp once referred to titles as "invisible colors" added to a work; likewise a list of materials can be something like an intangible form within it. Gilbertine, Olga, and Yes, Olga are described as consisting of "painted re-inforced clay" and "painted MDF plinth," suggesting that their straightforward, rectangular white bases are elements in the work rather than provisional presentational devices. Of course, Brancusi (and other sculptors since) dealt with the base as a sculptural element but usually subjected it to sculptural labor equivalent to that expended on the supported object. …

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