Event  |  Reviews  |  Comments
© Courtesy of Katz Contemporary
October 26th, 2013 - December 21st, 2013
Opening: October 25th, 2013 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

+41 44 212 22 00
Wed-Fri 11-6; Sat 12-4 or by appointment


KATZ CONTEMPORARY Gallery is delighted to present its new exhibition Lilith featuring
works by Sandra Vásquez de la Horra (*1967 in Viña del Mar, Chile, lives and works in
Berlin), Veronika Holcová (*1973 lives and works in Prague, Czech Republic) and Selina
Baumann (*1988 in Wattwil, Switzerland, lives and works in Zurich, Switzerland/Hamburg,
The show is centered around the fascinating figure of “Lilith”, an Ancient Oriental goddess,
who is often depicted as a winged hybrid creature. The bible translates the Hebrew word lilit
as “night ghost” or “nightjar” whose home is the desert. In subsequent Jewish-Feminist
theology Lilith is portrayed as a woman who - contrary to Eve - is resistant to the devil. This
way, she not only becomes a symbol of sensuality, passion and sexuality in Feminism, but
also the antihero of the biblical persona of Eve who represents the patriarchal tradition.
Sandra Vásquez de la Horra’s medium of choice are pencil drawings on paper. In her
works she creates room for a personal and at the same time universal cosmos. Her radical,
figurative pieces tell stories of fear and visualize dreams, they recount memories of her
homeland Chile and unveil topics like religion, sex, myth, or folk tales. The dominance of the
female figure is striking: The drawings depict nuns, mothers, saints and seductresses. The
motif, drawn in a clear, fluent line, is usually placed in the center of the sheet. The artist
models the shapes with graphite in a subtle range of grey and black shades. Another key
element in Sandra Vásquez de la Horras body of work is typography; many of her drawings
combine figurative outlines with writing. The words - usually in Spanish, occasionally also in
English or German - are spread all over the sheet, grammatical coherence plays a minor role
in this process. To finish her drawings, the artist dips them into liquid wax. Through this
unusal method the pencil lines seem more profound and leave her works with an elegant
Veronika Holcovás’ extremely delicately crafted paintings exude a mysterious aura of
timeless quietness. Quite often the landscapes are inhabited by a seemingly lonesome
female figure whose gaze never meets the viewer’s eyes. She seems to be completely
immersed in either her own thoughts or in the surrounding landscape. The notion of the
“sublime” comes to mind, reminiscent of paintings from the Romantic or Symbolist era. The
motives originate from an unconscious as well as a fictitious (dream-)world. Holcovás’
graphic oeuvre discloses itself as an enormous, almost infinite and extremely multifaceted
enyclopedia, picturesque, exotic and mysterious all at once. At times the message is
dramatic, at others poetic, it is always, however, extremely expressive. The artist herself
says about her drawings: „They complement my canvasses but have an independent life of
their own. They aren’t sketches for paintings, but rather soundings of the subconscious,
ciphers that map and reveal my deepest private self.“
For Selina Baumann the handling of the raw material and the physical process of
emergence are an important component of her ceramic pieces. Her figurative, surreal
sculptures draw upon topics like motherhood, fertility or gender ambiguity and challenge
common beauty ideals. In the piece “Beine hoch” (“Legs Up”) a shell and two nude female
lower bodies with unequally wide spread legs are joint in such a way, that a new creature, a
crab perhaps, seems to have evolved. This becomes even more apparent in her work
“Krebs” (“Crab”) which consists of three female lower bodies with leg stumps that are merged
into one piece. Such imagery could be disturbing, but the polychrome, technically
immaculately modeled and glazed sculptures disrupt any possible frivolity through their high
formal quality and their unique expression. Besides these figurely pieces the artist also
creates abstract, extremely organic seeming ceramic shapes, some of which even bear the
names of human organs.
Stefanie Schneider