Polish artist Monika Sosnowska is known for her ambitious architectural and sculptural installations, which simultaneously embrace and resist the spaces they occupy. Sosnowska’s exhibition will obliquely reference her hometown of Warsaw and the economic shift that has occurred since the collapse of communism in 1989 to the present day.
Characteristically, the artist’s sculptures recall familiar objects transformed in some way. Such as, dysfunctional stairways that join one floor to the other yet serve no purpose, or large-scale metal cubes and girder structures twisted and wedged into existing gallery spaces. Her exhibition will present a series of new painted steel sculptures, redolent of broken market vendor stands, referencing actual forms salvaged from Jarmark Europa Stadium, originally the site of a large market that sold everything from imitation Nike training shoes to pirated CDs and DVDs. The market opened with the onset of capitalism and ended last year when the stadium was destroyed to make way for a new national stadium that was built in time to host Euro 2012.
Even though Sosnowska’s work is often physically and conceptually tied to the condition of architecture it still retains its object-like quality. The Garden (2011) is a series of objects that exemplifies this very nature: one sculpture built from a twist of metal pipes, another of bent aluminum cut and curled into a form resembling an industrial fan. In contrast to her larger-scale pieces these works, like new forms comprising the exhibition at SAAG, collectively evoke a sense of architecture through absence and suggest that as with all social structures, it is subject to change over time. For example, a tilted cross extruding from a block of concrete appears to have been ripped from an existing structure, a larger whole; another, through its folds of metal mesh recalls debris torn from a demolished building. The objects exist as autonomous wholes, but each appears to have been severed from an already existing structure, retaining a physical link to a larger formal system.
Monika Sosnowska (b. 1972 in Ryki, Poland) currently lives and works in Warsaw.
Sosnowska has participated in major exhibitions on an international scale, including The Power of Fantasy: Imagination at Work, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels (2011); ILLUMInations, Arsenale, Venice Biennale (2011); elles@centrepompidou, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2010); Monika Sosnowska/Andrea Zittel, v, Munchenstein, Basel (2008). Her solo exhibitions include Fire Escape, Tamayo Museum, Mexico City (2011); Stairway, Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Herzliya, Israel (2010); and Monika Sosnowska, Modern Institute, Glasgow (2008). She was the recipient of the Bâloise Prise at Art Basel in 2003, as well as the Polityka’s Passport Award and shortlisted for the prestigious Hugo Boss Prize in 2012.
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