Museum Abteiberg

Desire Desiese Devise

DRAWINGS 1986–2012

4th March – 20th May 2012

Exhibition Opening: Sunday, 4th March, 12.00

Welcome Speech and Introduction: Susanne Titz and Harald Falckenberg

The Museum Abteiberg is pleased to present – under the title “Desire Desiese Devise” the first anthological exhibition of Monica Bonvicini’s prolific production of drawings, collage and textual work, a discrete body of work within her oeuvre, which opens on the 4th March.

Monica Bonvicini, renowned for striking installations, works for public space, sculpture and video productions, ranks among the outstanding artists of her generation. Her preoccupation with the graphic medium is hence a most fascinating endeavour. It encompasses illustrative, cartoon-like motifs, a heterogeneous range of textual work and collages, and a great number of filigree sketches and constructions on paper, many of which have morphed into sculpture or installation while many others – because merely a fleeting notion – have been jettisoned. The exhibition showcases the incessant evolution of the work of Bonvicini, who initially spent several years studying painting at Berlin University of the Arts.The drawings range in expression from ‘ephemeral’ to ‘muscley’ – yet are contemporaneous and on a par. The ‘gripping’ and ‘violent’ aspects of her large format monochrome works in tempera, the resilient expressiveness of the graphic medium itself are as much in evidence asare an engaging sense of humour and sensitivity in these sketches, some of which have never before been shown.

Bonvicini’s preliminary work for installations often comprises detailed sketches and rough notes, in which her image of the project’s development, its proposed location, the exhibition space and potential interaction with the public are all palpably present. At other times, series of collage works offer an intimate insight into the themes explored later in installations: architecture, sexuality and fetishism, inter alia.Bonvicini’s eclectic interests are reflected in her choice of diverse styles and materials: quotations from advertising, from the history of art and architecture, and from music and poetry are interwoven with virtuosity,between the poles of elegance and punk.
Alongside a selection of large-format works such as the series ‘Hurricanes and other Catastrophes’, ‘Places of IDs’ and ‘Spray Drawings’, the exhibition includes ‘Kill your Father’, a 63-part block of drawings – in red tempera and felt pen, with quotations, catchphrases and stylised depictions of knotted chains – which the viewer encounters as a compelling ‘cluster’. The premiere presentation of a group of drawings on transparent paper, created by the artist in preparation for ‘15 Steps To The Virgin’, her contribution to the 54th Venice Biennale (2011), is a further highlight, shown in conjunction with other highly diverse series of works on paper, the outcome of an artistic career spanning almost twenty-five years.

Monica Bonvicini has designed her own exhibition architecture for this occasion, in cooperation with the Museum Abteiberg. Wall elements were installed so as to create cabinets within the open-plan exhibition space, a progression of open and closed structures that underscores the particular character of each work series. Altogether, the exhibition encompasses over 300 works.

A comprehensive book of Monica Bonvicini’s drawings, published on the occasion of this exhibition by Distanz-Verlag, will be presented in April. The exhibition is co-curated by the Museum Abteiberg in Mönchengladbach and the Deichtorhallen Hamburg / Falckenberg Collection, and will be shown in the Phoenix-Hallen, Hamburg-Harburg, from 24th August – 18th November 2012.

Monica Bonvicini was born in Venice. She has lived and worked in Berlin since 1986, a period interspersed by several lengthy sojourns in Los Angeles. Since 2003 she has been the professor for performing arts and sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna.The following is a selection of her numerous solo and group shows in international institutions: 21er Haus, Belvedere, Vienna (2012); Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Málaga; InstitutoValenciano de Arte Moderno IVAM, Valencia; Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; Dublin Contemporary 2011; Künstlerhaus Wien, Vienna (all 2011); Venice Biennale (1999/ 2005/ 2011); Museum Fridericianum Kassel (2010); The Art Institute of Chicago; Museion, Bolzano; Lenbachhaus Munich and Kunstmuseum Basel (all 2009); Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2008); BonniersKonsthall, Stockholm (2007); Sculpture Center, Long Island City, NY (2007); National Gallery Award, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2005); 1st and 2nd Berlin Biennale (1998/2005); Secession, Vienna (2003); Aarhus Kunstmuseum (2002); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2002) and Le Magasin, Grenoble (2001).

On view, in parallel, until April 2012: Needle Knows at the Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin.

In 2010 Monica Bonvicini won the Handball Plaza Light Art Commission for the Olympic Games 2012 in London for her project RUN, a monumental, outdoor sculptural work that will be installed by mid-March 2012, and displayed thereafter permanently.