BETWEEN THE PHYSICAL AND THE SYMBOLIC
EXHIBITION OF SCULPTURES BY VERONICA TAUSSIG
courtesy the artist
The exhibition of sculptures by Veronica Taussig entitled Crossing opened on 7 March at the Apteka Sztuki Gallery in Warsaw.
Veronica Taussig (1948) is an artist born in Romania who has spent many years in Vienna where she has also been pursuing her artistic career. She has always been interested in art and avidly collected works by contemporary artists. Surprisingly, despite that, she started to create her own works only after her retirement. Currently all her free time is devoted to creative efforts. Her workshop is rapidly filling up with new sculptures and objects with unique geometric shapes and distinctive colours. Veronica finds inspiration in organic elements and architectural motives that sometimes look like they were taken straight out of a research laboratory, but are always spiced up with a pinch of femininity. Works by Veronica Taussig are born out of quiet contemplation and the pure joy of living. They interact with the audience through colours and immaculate forms, evoking certain emotions.
While creating, Veronica Taussig uses motives earlier implemented by Constantin Brâncuși, Russian constructivists, Hans, Arp, Alexander Calder and Nicolas Schöffer, but she places particular emphasis on references to works by Henri Matisse. A few years ago in New York, Veronica saw an exhibition of some late works by the artist, namely his colourful applications. Deeply inspired by the materials presented, she returned to Vienna and developed her own unique technique.
courtesy the artist
courtesy the artist
New ideas very often come to her when she is asleep, at other times inspiration comes during the long nights she spends working in her workshop. The artist dreams about colours, shapes and technical solutions. When she plans to create a sculpture, she first prepares a cardboard or polystyrene foam designs. She paints them and presents them to technical specialists who work directly with aluminium and polymers. The artist’s inborn talent for spatial sculpture prompts her endless solutions in transferring her knowledge of physicality and materiality to her artistic output. Individual objects forming installations combine into a complex network and their interaction with the surroundings gives rise to something completely new. Thereby thin borders between the art of sculpture, design, drawing and painting are broken.
The exhibition at the Apteka Sztuki Gallery is the fifth individual exhibition by Veronica Taussig. Earlier exhibitions of her works were organised in Prague, Berlin, the City Art Gallery in Łódź and the Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art in St. Petersburg. In Warsaw the audience can see sculptures and objects made of metal, wood and Plexiglass, as well as paper and cardboard works. The artist is well known for her admiration for vivid, intense colours, but despite this, works presented in the Apteka Sztuki Gallery are predominantly black and white. This minimalist strategy in colour selection allows the audience to shift their focus onto the interplay between structures and the clash of varying shapes. The title of the exhibition is Crossing and it refers to crossing boundaries between the object and the void, the positive and the negative, colours and colourlessness. The exhibition presents an extensive repertoire of motives and forms, from the regular and geometrical ones to organic and biomorphic ones.
Some objects on show in the Apteka Sztuki resemble totems or simplified figures. They indirectly refer to human beings or nature. Oval shapes remind us of circular spots we see when we look at the source of light with our eyes partially closed. At the same time the modern and neo-avant-garde character of exhibited sculptures is emphasized by materials of which they are made, namely aluminium and polymers covered with shiny, colourful lacquer. The artist rarely entitles her works, thereby leaving everyone a room for free interpretation. Sometimes she intentionally leaves certain clues and points the audience towards some ideas or concepts.
A sphere is one of the favourite motives used by Veronica in her works. At the exhibition in Warsaw we can admire a sculpture featuring a cave with a sphere inside it. In this work two oldest representations of the world combine and symbolize movement of astronomical objects in the universe. The cave symbolizes femininity and the beginning, while the sphere exemplifies entirety, completeness and the outer space.
Multi-layered paper compositions are among the works most worthy of seeing at the exhibition. Colour is first divided into its basic elements and afterwards combined to create a visual effect of a complex whole. Colour nuances become discreet, stifled, and small paper stripes combine to form a sparkling, quivering structure of remarkable dynamism. The audience can see a number of very different compositions, depending on the spot from which they look at the work. These pieces create an illusion of moving images. Here the artist made an attempt at combining painting and sculpture, while at the same time creating an ode on visual perception.
All objects presented at the gallery synthesize and become a single bold and energetic symphony. Works by Veronica Taussig are full of life and still very relevant. In her works the artist reflects on multimedia technology of the 21st century by placing the latest developments in this field in the context of new, independent perspectives. Extraordinary shapes and colours, interwoven with the space, play with the audience’s perception, stimulate their imagination and sensitivity while inducing one-in-a-lifetime sensations.
Written by Ivanka Berchak
Translated by Joanna Pietrak
Edited by Ada Kałużna