Bettina Pousttchi In Transit
2 Sep—28 Oct 2023

Bettina Pousttchi In Transit

2 Sep—28 Oct 2023
Buchmann Galerie
Press release

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. 
 

Bettina Pousttchi

Born 1971 in Mainz. Lives and works in Berlin.

Education
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 
Grants and Awards
2016 Villa Aurora, Los Angeles

2014

Wolfsburg Art Award

2008

TrAIN Research Center for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation, University of the Arts, London
2007 BBAX - Berlin Buenos Aires Art Exchange, Buenos Aires
2005 Provinzial Förderprojekt
2000 Kunststiftung NRW

 

Solo Exhibitions

2024
2023
2022
2020
2015
2013
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001

Group Exhibitions

2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
Selected Collections

MoCA Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai

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

Albertina Vienna

Berlinische Galerie, Museum of Modern Art Berlin

Kunsthalle Bielefeld

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