Bettina Pousttchi — In Transit
The Buchmann Galerie is pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition In Transit by Bettina Pousttchi.
Bettina Pousttchi’s multifaceted oeuvre, which includes sculpture, photography, installation and site-specific façade works, has been expanded in recent years by the series titled Vertical Highways. The artist developed these anthropomorphic- looking, dance-like sculptures formed from crash barriers as part of her exploration of physical objects that control, regulate and order public space.
The exhibition In Transit now open at the Buchmann Galerie presents new works that expand and complement the formal language of the Vertical Highways series. The Progressions series works sculpturally with the phenomenon of sequence and its direct associations with movement and time. The distorted crash barriers, arranged in ascending order, thereby set in motion a dialogue between the ascending elements and the rhythmic-serial character of the sequence. In the exploration of the sequential and ordering in sequence of the pictorial, reference can be made to moving images such as film and video and the beginnings of these media, for example, the chronophotography of Eadweard Muybridge. The association with these early photographs in series, the first to show people, horses and other living beings in various stages of motion, is central to the moment of movement and fluidity seen in the artist’s work.
Alongside Vertical Highways—Progression 01, an almost four-metre-wide, 230-centimetre-high sculpture, Bettina Pousttchi is also showing new works in the exhibition in which she experiments with both colours and formats. In contrast to the previous works in the Vertical Highways series, which were in traffic-light colours, the new works expand the colour palette with sandy earth tones. No longer life-size, the height of the works gives them a new gestalt with which the artist continues her investigation into the plastic qualities of the material and its relation to the human body.
The artist creates the sculptures using an elaborate process in which she deforms the industrial prefabricated parts of the crash barriers being used under high pressure, erects them vertically, and then assembles them into new figurations before applying colour. The vertical orientation of the crash barriers, in subverting their normal horizontal use, breaks with their usual spatial arrangement and provides the sculptures with an architectural reference. The sequential use of the source material both ties in with the concepts of Minimal art and demonstrates their connection to Marcel Duchamp’s Readymades.
Bettina Pousttchi recently inaugurated the largest sculpture in the Vertical Highways series to date at Berlin Central Station. This sculpture, which was designed specifically for the location on Washingtonplatz and is six metres high, underlines Bettina Pousttchi’s interest in the complex notion of the public realm.
The street objects the artist employs in her sculptures, such as crowd barriers, bollards, bike racks and crash barriers, are typically used to structure public space and regulate the possibilities of movement in it. Yet, often going unnoticed, the artist brings these objects back into focus and perception through her sculptures, thereby raising the question of the societal interplay between control and freedom, so central to civil society.
About the Artist
Bettina Pousttchi was born in Mainz in 1971. She studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and completed the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including solo shows at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Philips Collection, both in Washington, DC; the Arts Club of Chicago; the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas; and the Kunsthalle Basel. Her work has been shown in numerous institutions in Germany as well, such as the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, the KINDL in Berlin and the Berlinische Galerie. The large-scale interactive installation The Curve has been on display on the roof of the Bundeskunsthalle Bonn for almost two years. This site-specific intervention has taken the Lingotto in Turin as a reference point to develop an autonomous large-scale sculpture in which reality and fiction blur.
Born 1971 in Mainz. Lives and works in Berlin.
|1999/2000||Whitney Independent Studio Program, Whitney Museum, New York|
|1995-1999||Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (with Prof. Gerhard Merz and Prof. Rosemarie Trockel)|
|1992-1997||Studies in philosophy, art and film history, Universities of Cologne and Bochum|
|1990-1992||Studies in Fine Art, Université de Paris|
|2016||Villa Aurora, Los Angeles|
|Wolfsburg Art Award|
|TrAIN Research Center for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation, University of the Arts, London|
|2007||BBAX - Berlin Buenos Aires Art Exchange, Buenos Aires|
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Washington DC
Nasher Sculpture Center Dallas
Margulies Collection Miami
Rennie Collection Vancouver
The Arts Club of Chicago
The Phillips Collection Washington DC
Freybe Collection Vancouver
Nasher Collection Dallas
Berlinische Galerie, Museum of Modern Art Berlin
Hall Collection New York
Blake Byrne/Skylark Foundation Los Angeles
Levine Collection Washington DC
Wemhöner Collection Herford/Berlin
Kadist Collection Paris
Collection of the Federal Republic of Germany
University of Cologne
Von-der-Heydt Museum Wuppertal
Absolut Art Collection Stockholm
Wolfsburg City Art Gallery
MMAG Foundation Amman