Up to no Gouda
12 November – 23 December 2022
A swan partly costumed in meat loaf and sausages, a pig’s skull on a tray crowned with a pineapple looking dazed, confused but weirdly content – welcome to the fantastical creatures from Dominika Bednarsky.
Up to no Gouda
12.11.2022 – 23.12.2022
In Up to no Gouda, Bednarsky’s first exhibition at the gallery, the Frankfurt-based artist assembles a survey of glazed ceramic objects that she has made over the last three years. Selected pieces from different existing series and new large-scale objects reveal Bednarsky’s diverse and unconventional practice of ceramic handicraft. What makes her work so special is her surprising choice of motives, masterfully crafted – have you ever seen a ceramic floor sculpture resembling a neatly mown lawn? In Rasen (2021), the artist combined 9 tiles made of thousands of delicately formed grass stalks with a Carl Andre kind of vibe. Juxtaposed is a large piece depicting a rock populated by several small mice in colorful shirts and shorts playing instruments.
In another body of work, the artist created miniatures of animal furs that are unfolding on the floor and the gallery wall. In XS Carpets (2021), it is fur rugs with elaborate heads that take this type of taxidermy as their model. Whether coati, chihuahua, bat, armadillo, or rabbit – a wide variety of small animals are condemned to an existence as carpet rugs. The horror is written all over their faces.
The plump pig’s head looks far more cheerful. It comes from Bednarsky’s sculpture series A Sitting and A Slurping and A Spitting and A Thinking (2020). The title refers to a social gathering at the table, which the artist hosted as part of an earlier exhibition. Although the head lies chopped off and bloodied on a serving platter, it seems to belong to a lively table company through its peaceful smile and watchful gaze. Exotic fruits such as pineapple or banana adorn the face, and peas and an egg lie next to it. Turning away from the usual symbolic content of still life, Bednarsky chose and arranged the fruits intuitively. The work thus questions not only art-historical traditions but also human eating habits, as well as the way we treat the environment and nature.
Bednarskiy’s arrangements with comical and happy-sad connotations stir up 17th-century still-life vanitas and fuse with contemporary and pop cultural references to the absurdity of a hedonistic consumer and everyday kitsch culture. Looking at her unique objects, a momentum of the artificiality of contemporary life and the sentiment of nature and real emotions blend just as irritating as touching.
Dominika Bednarsky, born 1994 in Schweinfurt, DE, lives and works in Frankfurt am Main. She studied at the Offenbach University of Art and Design, under Heiner Blum and Mike Bouchet.
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