Contemporary Fine Arts

Katja Strunz

09 Nov - 07 Dec 2013

© Katja Strunz
Unfolding Process IV, 2013
collage on paper
46 x 38 cm / 18 x 15"
Unfolding Process
9 November - 7 December 2013

We are pleased to present Katja Strunz’ third solo exhibition at Contemporary Fine Arts entitled Unfolding Process.

With her current exhibition Katja Strunz continues her show, Drehmoment (Viel Zeit, wenig Raum) which was exhibited at the Berlinische Galerie in the summer of 2013. There, she showed a spatial composition dominated by two monumental crumpled up and folded metal sculptures that could be read as a paradox of gravity and movement. These were shown together with the collages Yesterday’s Papers, loose book pages from historic publications on which Katja Strunz printed again, using classic metal type, thus inscribing a new component into the past. The ensemble of new works at Contemporary Fine Arts takes up this approach and is now devoted entirely to paper and books.

In the form of paper collages and metal sculptures, the artist moves a main theme to the fore that had hitherto been present in the background: the shrinking of space and time in the book, i.e., in an artificially constructed world that changes one’s own thinking and transfers the real existing world into a new dimension. In the spirit of Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898), who in his essay ‘The Book: A Spiritual Instrument’ declares ‘that everything in the world exists in order to end up as a book’, for Katja Strunz, the book stands for the flow of history into a pure presence. Mallarmé’s notion of the book as a model of a cosmic textual architecture, which marks the beginning of ‘a new, post-historical time (...) independent of a history that is determined by linearity, causality, and progression – a time without perspective’, correlates to Katja Strunz’ idea of condensing space and time in the act of folding: ‘When the paper is folded, pages are layered on top of one another, get in touch with one another.’

For the current exhibition, Katja Strunz took the illustrated book Hans Memling Sąd Ostateczny | Das jüngste Gericht (Warszawa Auriga, 1973) and treated it. Opening a book and turning the pages means for Katja Strunz also unfolding a space from the past which is given a new presence here. This also happens in her collages with pictorial elements from antiquarian books. With the title Unfolding process, the artist describes her work as ‘part of a process of growing complexity where spaces and times interconnect.’

Katja Strunz became well known for her engagement with the geometrically reduced shapes of the classical avant-garde, which she translated into a new formal vocabulary of her own. Her work is informed by the themes of space, time, and history, themes that she explores with sculptures, reliefs, and paper collages reminiscent of constructivism, which simultaneously time bear traces of formation and decay, inertia and dynamism, smoothness and injury. The phenomenon of folding is always present as a temporal process that has become material. Linked to this is the notion of the world intruding and being folded in, its condensation in an independent space.

Tags: Katja Strunz