30 April – 26 July 2015

Irish Museum of Modern Art, Ireland

Karla Black is regarded as one of the pioneering contemporary artists of her generation. A Turner Prize nominee in 2011, she practices a kind of
lyrical autonomous sculpture, influenced by psychoanalysis, feminism and
its impact on visual art. Black’s work draws from a multiplicity of
artistic traditions from expressionist painting, land art, performance,
to formalism.  Black questions the rigours of sculptural form and her
large-scale sculptures incorporate modest everyday substances, along
with very traditional art-making materials to create abstract
formations.

The site-specific exhibition at IMMA will present
Karla Black’s extraordinary creative output, revealing the artist’s
constant challenges to prevailing concepts of sculpture. Her interest in
process has led her to expand the possibilities of whichever material
she employs; from plaster, polythene, chalk dust and powder to
eye-shadow, nail varnish, fake tan or toothpaste. Black chooses her
media for their tactile aesthetic appeal: the familiarity of the texture
of cellophane or the scent of cosmetics bridges the experience of
tangible matter with the intimacy of memory of the subconscious. Black’s
working process is intensely physical and this energy is conveyed
through works that emphasise her free, experimental working method,
combined with the editing, muting and reigning in of careful aesthetic
judgement. Each element in her assemblages  interconnects physical,
psychological, and theoretical stimuli which are both self-referential
and relate to art as a wider-world experience.

Experimenting with
ways to float material, form and colour at eye level remains a constant
preoccupation in Black’s work, and this preoccupation remains as a
thread in the exhibition at IMMA, which will present Black’s
extraordinary creative output through a series of new works tailored for
the spaces at IMMA.

Karla Black has stated in relation to her
forthcoming exhibition at IMMA ‘I am preoccupied with trying to find
ways to float material, form and colour at eye level. Over the years, I
have discovered makeshift sculptural solutions that allow this to
happen, while actively avoiding the obvious traditional tropes –
painting a canvas and putting it on a wall, placing an object on a
plinth or shelf etc. This preoccupation remains as I develop
experimentation for the IMMA show’.

Black has said previously of
her work: ‘While there are ideas about psychological and emotional
developmental processes held within the sculptures I make, the things
themselves are actual physical explorations into thinking, feeling,
communicating and relating’.

 

( http://www.imma.ie/en/page_236940.htm )

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