Spirits of my Flesh
Paloma Varga Weisz creates enduring and evocative works that recall folklore, contemporary media and art history. The hybrid forms that she fashions by this fusion of influences are reminiscent of our cultural history — be it mythical, religious or comic — and simultaneously encapsulate adult knowingness and youthful innocence; personal reference and collective memory; the familiar and the remarkable.
Deeply rooted in the arts and crafts of the Middle Ages, Varga Weisz’s works embrace many of the intrinsic facets of its style and subject matter. For Chapter she has moved away from her trademark ecclesiastical woodcarvings to produce works in ceramic that embrace the aesthetic instincts and influences of the Arts and Crafts Movement.
Themes of bodily containment and deconstruction still remain current in these works. The slick, dynamic glaze seems to shift in such a way as to capture in each work a moment of metamorphosis or transformation — between sleep and death; male and female; real and unreal. This delicate balance between restraint and exaggeration is also felt in here watercolour paintings which reveal an immediacy and freedom that is equally captivating. Almost ghostlike in their delicate appearance, the portraits seem to foreshadow the manifold stories still untold by Paloma Varga Weisz.
Paloma Varga Weisz (born 1966) lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany. She has had solo exhibitions at, amongst others, Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv (2009); Gladstone Gallery, New York and Konrad Fischer Galerie, Berlin (both 2008); Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2006); Berlin Biennale (2006) and the 51st Venice Biennale of Art (2005). She was recently included in the Folkestone Triennial (2011) and has a major forthcoming exhibition at Museum Schloss Morsbroich, Leverkusen (2012).
Paloma Varga Weisz can also be seen at Sadie Coles HQ, London between Thu 12 Jan and Sat 25 Feb 2012.