Monica Bonvicini: Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zahnradstrasse, Zurich


Galerie Peter Kilchmann is delighted to announce that the artist Monica Bonvicini is now represented by the gallery. Bonvicini’s strong contemporary position dedicated to poetical and socio-political issues fits very well in the gallery’s program.

 On the occasion of Bonvicini’s participation in the upcoming exhibition "Gasträume 2014", organized by the city of Zurich, the artist will show a small selection of works in the project room of the gallery. As part of our opening, her new publication "Monica Bonvicini", published by Phaidon Press (2014, 160 pages, 29 x 25 cm), with an interview of Alexander Alberro and texts by Janet Kraynak, Juliane Rebentisch and Monica Bonvicini, will be presented. On the occasion of Art Basel, Bonvicini’s newly created jewelry designs will be on display in the showroom of the VIERI Haute Joaillerie in Basel, on June 19. The gallery will show her work "Desire" (Digital print on glass, 126 x 170 cm) at Art Basel (Hall 2.1, booth J14), taking place from June 19 until June 22. In 2015, Bonvicini will be exhibited for the first time in a large solo show at the gallery.
Since the 1990s, Monica Bonvicini has been realizing large-format – or rather monumental – sculpture. With formal precision, she focuses on elementary questions about sensitive socio-political topics, and is approaching the viewer with a discomforting immediacy that cannot be escaped. Her works are a mixture of beauty, desire and intimacy, on the one hand – power, violence and manipulation, on the other hand. The installation "Not For You" (Galvanized steel, light bulbs, 75 x 300 x 8 cm) clearly pictures the conflict potential of her work. The installation consists of large steel letters that spell the words NOT FOR YOU, the surfaces of the letters are filled with glowing light bulbs. The phrase "Not for you" is a relentless rejection and can be taken as an insulting gesture of social exclusion. It makes explicit to the viewer what is implicit in galleries and museums: Art is no common property, but rather an exclusive status symbol in a class society. At the same time, it is not only an attack on the viewer but on the space itself. Not only in the spatially limited project room of the gallery, but also in the Städtische Galerie in the Lehnbachhaus in Munich, where the installation was shown in a larger variation in 2009, the space was far too small for the installation. The lettering, that reminds more of an advertisement made for large house facades, was conceived to exceed the scope of what an exhibition space can contain. Further on display will be a selection of works on paper, such as "I'm a Nothing" (Tempera, marker, ink, graphite on paper, 73 x 71.5 cm), "Not For You" (Ink on paper, 38.5 x 42 cm) or "Be My Dog" (Ink on paper, 62.5 x 82.5 cm), as well as the already mentioned work "Desire". The latter illustrates the rear view of the corresponding installation.
The giant installation "Desire" (Stainless steel, mirror polished, aluminum structure, 230 x 914 x 100 cm) will be shown in the open-air exhibition "Gasträume 2014", at Turbinenplatz, near the gallery, from June 13 to September 15, 2014. "Gasträume", in English "Guestrooms", is a sculpture exhibition held annually at different places in the city, organized by the city of Zurich and curated by Christoph Doswald with the support of, among others, Rein Wolfs. The large lettering DESIRE merges visually with the city space behind it, but the letters actually mirror the surroundings: "Bonvicini's work is not afraid to play with a certain luridness. With an autonomous statement, the work creates a strong physical presence while at the same time reflecting and involving the urban environment. Semantically, the installation fits perfectly in the ideological world of the artist in terms of issues such as gender, violence, sexuality and seduction. Another central concern is the performative gesture with regards to linguistic aspects. The expression "Desire" is not only positive in the sense of longing and craving, but also critical in the sense of seductive advertising strategies."
Installation Views
Installation view, Monica Bonvicini, Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich, Switzerland, 2014, Photo: Sebastian Schaub