Peter Kilchmann

Zilla Leutenegger

Casa Blanca

27 Oct - 15 Dec 2018

Installation view

Casa Blanca
27 October – 15 December 2018

Galerie Peter Kilchmann is delighted to present Casa Blanca, the tenth solo exhibition by Zilla Leutenegger in the gallery. Zilla was born in 1968 in Zurich, where she has been living and working for many years. From the early start of her career the focus of her artistic repertoire is the repeated dicourse of space and the person in relation to space or certain spaces: drawings grow out of the plain and merge with sculptures and video projections into three-dimensional installations. In the past two years, this repertoire has been increasingly extended by the monotype as a medium, through whose technique the colour surface in its intensity and combination possibility becomes the new protagonist. Framework of the exhibition will be a walkable apartment, which as an installation across media connects a new body of work with familiar elements. A series of large and mid-size monotypes on paper and chrome steel as well as sculptural installations with video-projection will be presented, each embedded in the respective context of entrée, piano room, bedroom, „melon-room“ and bath room.

The visitor is invited to a quaint journey of discovery: in the entrance he encounters the installation Zorro (oil on canvas, video-projection, wall drawing) with an animated dog, which declares a hidden door sill his space, wagging his tail happily. Next door in the black and white piano room lure from here the gentle sounds of the painted, mechanized grand piano Piano Timido, which surprisingly begins to play each time upon entering. The „melon-room“, which at the same time functions as the kitchen, glares with intense colours: on the chalky white walls there are works with defined colour fields in deep blue and luscious red and pink, such as Grosse Melonen (big melons), David Lynch and Blauer Tisch (blue table, all oil on cotton paper). Inside the bedroom it seems as if the host had been present this very moment, leaving behind his lighted cigarette in the form of a small projected illumination on the Schmincktisch (oil on wood and chrome steel, video-projection). With a vague touch of nostalgia, a memory of a perhaps similar scene from the past is blended with the euphoria of being a guest here, of wandering along and being able to observe.

This concept was developed by Zilla inspired by George Perec‘s novel Träume von Räumen from 1974. The novel describes a world of spaces - to some extent sentimental, rational, sudden, bizarre or humorous - that are to be found at unusual places and can be re-appropriated through memory. In this way, Zilla had returned to the spaces of her childhood in 2015. With the exhibition Ring My Bell at Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich she set up a town house composed of fragmentary recollectional moments, in which the visitor could enter and explore individual rooms. Yet, the Casa Blanca is not a mere assamblage of fractions of memory. In the very sense of Perecs words: „Ich schreibe: ich bewohne mein Blatt Papier, ich statte es aus, ich durchlaufe es“ (I write: I inhabit my sheet of paper, I furnish it, I traverse it), the Casa Blanca, with its white walls, can be read as a mental reset, a re-initialisation of the original, unspoiled shape, which subsequently can be designed in any way one pleases. Only then the intellectual journey will start again and the spaces in which the artist had lived in as a child are taken back in her possession and redefined due to temporal distance.

Since 1996 Zillas works have been frequently presented in the framework of solo and group shows at national and international institutions. Currently, her two new installations Moondiver II and Sternwarte are part of the group show The World on Paper curated by Friedhelm Huette at Palais Populaire of the Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle, Berlin. In 2016 the solo show Tintarella di luna took place at Bündner Kunstmuseum, Chur. A further solo show had been shown the same year at Musée Jenisch in Vevey. The museum Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich presented in 2015 the solo show Ring My Bell, curated by Inka Graeve-Ingelmann. In 2014 it was possible to see Zilla‘s solo show At night at Centro de Arte Caja Burgos CAB, Burgos, as well as her solo show Fairlady Z at Museum Franz Gertsch in Burgdorf. A significant moment in the same year was the participation of the artist at Sydney Biennial 2014. Zillas artworks are encountered at the public collections of institutions such as Centro Gallego de Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago de Compostela, Centro de Arte Caja de Burgos, Burgos, Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, FRAC Lorraine, Metz und FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, Collection Goetz, Munich, Museion Museo d‘arte moderna e contemporanea, Bolzano, Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, LUMA Stiftung, Kunsthaus, Zurich and Kunstmuseum Basel, among others. She was awarded several prizes, most recently the recognition award of Grisons (2015).