In an extensive solo exhibition, the kestnergesellschaft presents new works by Kitty Kraus. From everyday materials such as glass, ink, mirrors, light bulbs and found objects, Kraus creates sculptures which walk a fine line between fragility and aggression.
The works of Kitty Kraus perhaps recall the formal language of minimalism, but they also link to the coincidental and processual aspects of post-minimal art. The objects distinctively unite contradictory qualities – even to absurd limits. The connection between water and electricity in her ice-block works has something inherently dangerous, even life-threatening. Kraus’ glass objects, either freestanding or leant against the wall, are characterized by the fragility of their material and the challenge to its rupture limit and to gravity. Appearing like placeholders in the exhibition space, they urge the viewers to face themselves and pay closer attention to the details surrounding them. Also the rotating handle bars, taken from supermarket trolleys, block the visitor’s way and intervene in the human radius of movement in a threatening, yet comical way. The works thus create an atmosphere of attraction and repulsion, fascination and unease, menace and conquest.
Kitty Kraus was represented in »Made in Germany Zwei« (2012) at the kestnergesellschaft by her mirror lamps – small cubes of inwardly oriented, only loosely connected pieces of mirror mounted with light bulbs. For her solo exhibition on the ground floor of the former Goseriede swimming pool she has developed new works, presented alongside one of her spacious light pieces. This object, which has the appearance of a square column, in fact consists of a wooden box covered with a tinted pane of glass. A gap between box and pane allows one to see that there is a light source hidden within the column. But although this radiates light, the surrounding space largely remains in darkness. In striking contrast, a horizontal line of shadow is visible on the walls, dividing the exhibition hall into two halves. Similarly to her mirror and ice-block lamps, Kraus thus makes the accessible space into a component of her work, just as the viewer becomes a part as well as a disruption. This time Kraus has achieved an even more dematerialized and self-denying form on her essential quest for immateriality and transience.
Kitty Kraus (*1976 in Heidelberg, lives in Berlin) studied Fine Art at Berlin University of the Arts. Her work has be shown in solo exhibitions at the Kunsthalle Zurich (2008), the Guggenheim Museum, New York (2009) and the Theseustempel, Vienna (2011). In 2008 she was awarded the blauorange art prize and was nominated for the Nationalgalerie Prize for Upcoming Artists in 2011.
The exhibition is accompanied by an artist’s book titled »Lidschlag« (Blink of the Eye) in German and English, inlcuding essays by Kitty Kraus and curator Antonia Lotz: