Monica Bonvicini

NeedleKnows

February 18 – April 14, 2012


Galerie Max Hetzler is pleased to present an exhibition of installations and drawings by Berlin based artist Monica Bonvicini. The imposing large-scale word sculptures, SATISFY ME (big) (2010), Built for Crime (2006) and the electrically powered installation Identify Protection (2006) are presented in Berlin for the first time while Off the Grid (2011 - 2012), four large-scale drawings, as well as NeedleKnows (2012), 200 works on paper depicting pliers stitched in red yarn, have been produced specifically for the exhibition.

The artist's eclectic oeuvre can be characterized by the use of traditionally associated "masculine" materials she combines with industrial items such as light bulbs, glass, polished steel and fetishism related leather, rubber and chains. Her media varies from sculpture, installation, photography and video to works on paper.

In this exhibition, Monica Bonvicini revisits some of the themes which have become emblematic of her practice in the last decade, namely work that explores specific conventions and investigate the relationship between space, power and gender. Bonvicini's phrases or idioms, once erected, become sculptures. The titles, texts and words underscore her views on the beliefs as well as the malfunctions of our (capitalist) society.

SATISFY ME (big), made of acrylic glass letters, has been firstly installed outdoors on a garbage dump in the Emsland region. The ambiguous title seems to summon the viewer whose narcissistic impulse will be triggered by the reflecting surfaces. The same physical concreteness and the commanding way in which it addresses the observer's experience of the room can be applied to Built for Crime. In this work, words are assembled in bright light bulbs, which are screwed into freely suspended letters made of broken security glass. The viewer is thus confronted with a choreography of dazzling lights which are reflected in the other featured works.

Identify Protection with its somehow obscure title is more directly related to the clichés and fantasies of sadomasochistic acts and scenes as well as building construction workers. The suspended sculpture consists of six tower harnesses as used by the latter. They are varnished in black liquid rubber and mounted with steel chains on a steel ring set in motion per electronic interval timer.

Equal to the grand gestures as carried out in her expansive mises en scenes are the over-scaled drawings Off the Grid featuring patterns reminiscent of strings and chains. Heavy steel chains are recurrent elements of Bonvicini's sculptures and large scale installations. Words such as RUN or RAGE, sometimes mirrored, capture the attention of the viewer. In NeddleKnows, needle-nose pliers embroidered on paper echo the early leather tools which were presented on pedestals: hammers of different types, axes, wrenches and trowels.

This is Monica Bonvicini’s second solo exhibition at Galerie Max Hetzler.

Monica Bonvicini, born 1965 in Venice, Italy, lives and works in Berlin. Bonvicini's work has been widely exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in Europe, the United States and Asia. Museums and institutions include the 21er Haus, Belvedere,Vienna (2012); Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Málaga; Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno IVAM, Valencia; Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; Dublin Contemporary 2011; Künstlerhaus Wien, Vienna (all in 2011); Venice Biennale (1999, 2005 and 2011); Museum Fridericianum Kassel (2010); The Art Institute of Chicago; Museion, Bolzano; Lenbachhaus Munich and Kunstmuseum Basel (all in 2009); Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2008); Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm (2007); Sculpture Center, Long Island City, NY (2007); Preis der Nationalgalerie Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2005); 1st and 3rd Berlin Biennale (1998 and 2005); Secession, Vienna (2003); Aarhus Kunstmuseum (2002); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2002) and Le Magasin, Grenoble (2001).

Forthcoming solo exhibitions and projects include among others DESIRE DESIESE DEVISE at Museum Abteiberg in Mönchengladbach (March 4th – May 20th 2012), which will travel to Deichtorhallen in Hamburg (2012). Her permanent public light sculpture RUN in the Olympic Park, London will be completed mid-March this year.

Upcoming exhibition at Galerie Max Hetzler: Rebecca Warren and FUEL (April 27 - June 16, 2012).
For further questions please contact Florian Rehn at +49(0)30 459 77 420.