Art Guide: Etti Abergel at Galerie Mezzanin, Vienna

Etti Abergel  A Hundred Beats, 2011 (detail) Industry porcelain, metal wires, plaster, gesso, plaster bandages, sticks Dimensions variable

Etti Abergel, A Hundred Beats, 2011

Exhibition title: Stay Inside (group show)

Artists: Etti Abergel, Miriam Cahn, Marzena Nowak

Venue: Galerie Mezzanin, Vienna

Dates: Until April 4th, 2013

Images courtesy of Galerie Mezzanin, Vienna.


Galerie Mezzanin is pleased to present an exhibition that brings together three artists – Etti Abergel (*1960, Tivon, Israel; lives and works in Jerusalem), Miriam Cahn (*1949 Basel, Switzerland; lives and works in Basel and Bergell) and Marzena Nowak (*1977 Piaseczno, Poland; lives and works in Warsaw) – and a selection of works that revolve around the external projection of a hidden fragility and vulnerability, works that contradict the title’s demand to ‘stay inside’. As a result, the exhibition seeks to analyse cultural transfer between the transcendent and the immanent, the inner and the outer, and the affective in images and symbols.

Etti Abergel’s organic sculptures often hang or emerge from ceilings or walls. If, as a result, these structures appear animated, the sensation is magnified by the emotional charge (often drawn from the artist’s biography) that they contain. In this way Abergel’s works become poetic symbols able to alter a viewer’s perception of both material and space. They also introduce epistemological elements that urge us to question the tools of knowledge, the experience of art, the act of remembering and of memory, and thus the relationship between subject and object.

Since the 1970s Miriam Cahn has been creating work that both incorporates and departs from feminist ideals. Evading traditional classifications of method and material, body and mind, Cahn shifts fluidly between media and styles. Her enigmatic forms, innocent and raw, with a hint of violence, form like ghosts – androgynous creatures that become totems of beauty, violence and sexuality – emerging from her blind sketches. For Cahn the process of making is intensely physical. “I draw lying down,” she says, “creeping, crouching, with black chalk, dancing on white paper, and afterwards I wash the dust off my body.” It is this combination of metaphysicality and physicality that intensifies Cahn’s recurring play on themes of experience and memory.

With subtle gestures, Marzena Nowak uses a variety of media to render the sensual and the sensitive conceptual, drawing out the ambiguity of emotion via everyday historical and socio-cultural references. The artist abstracts and minimises, orienting herself toward intermediate and empty spaces in order to expose the uncertain, the inaudible, the ephemeral and, ultimately, the inner self. The resultant work often hinges on a balancing act between the psychologically ephemeral and the physically tangible. This might manifest itself in an audio work that tracks unconscious movements of the body or in the reductive alienation of the real in objects and installations. In this way, Nowak deliberately invites an open play between the psyche and the unconscious.

Etti Abergel

Exhibitions (selection) 2012 Galleria Marie-Laure Fleisch, Rome 2011 Dvir Gallery at Hangar 2, Jaffa-Tel Aviv 2010 Gallery of the Center for Art, Science and Technology of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 2009 Kibbutz Be’eri Gallery 2007Braverman Gallery, Tel Aviv 2005 Chelsea Museum New York 2003 50th Venice Biennial 1999 Jerusalem Artists House 1998 Blanche and Romie Shapiro Gallery, Fine Arts Department, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem 1997 Ruth Youth Wing, Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Miriam Cahn

Exhibitions (selection) 2012 Le Plateau, Paris 2011 Centre d’Art Passerelle, Brest Kunsthalle Basel, Basel Galerie Jocelyn Wolff, Paris 2011 Kunstmuseum Lichtenstein, Vaduz 2010 Palais de Tokyo, Paris 2009 Galerie Meyer Riegger, Berlin Projecte SD, Barcelona 2005 Museum für Gegenwartskunst Basel, Basel Cobra Museum of Modern Art Amstelveen 2004 Neue National Galerie Berlin 2002 Sammlung Hauser und Wirth, St. Gallen 1997 Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna 1995 Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong1989 Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn Kunstverein Hamburg 1987 ICA London 1984 Museum of Modern Art, New York 1983 Kölnischer Kunstverein, Köln 1979 Den Haag / Amstertdam

Marzena Nowak

Exhibitions (selection) 2012 Galerie Gregor Podnar, Berlin Kunsthalle Krems, Factory 2011 Galerie Mezzanin, Vienna CoCA Center of Contermporary Art Torun Salzburger Kunstverein 2010 Galerie Karin Sachs, Munich 2008 Galerie Mezzanin, Vienna Künstlerhaus, Vienna 2007 Anhaltische Gemäldegalerie, Dessau Galerian Piekary, Poznan 2005 Lokal 30, Warsaw 2004 Foksal Gallery, Warsaw Bunkier Sztuki, Cracow 2003 50th Venice Biennial quartier 21, MQ, Vienna 2001 ASP, Warsaw