A solo exhibition at Wewerka Pavilion, Münster, Germany,
June – August 2013.
3 x chairs (sand, water and spray paint);
3 x chairs (biodegradable materials);
1 x table (biodegradable materials);
3 x clothed figures with small scale local sculptures as heads, feet and hands (mixed media);
3 x outdoor podiums (sand and water).
12. October, 2012.
Thank-you for showing me around Münster and Dusseldorf. I’m so pleased to have made it back to Münster. My previous visits to the city had been during the Sculpture Project but it was so good to see the city in more normal circumstances.
Thank-you too for the information about Stefan Wewerka’s pavilion. I didn’t know that it was first constructed in Kassel for Documenta 8 back in 1987. Knowing this I cannot help ‘unpicking’ the building – working out how it could’ve been packed and reassembled in its current location.
I have to confess that I didn’t know much about Stefan Wewerka’s buildings, sculptures or furniture until I started investigating it. I’m now a fan. I like his mix of wit and elegance.
I’ve been given some photographs of the pavilion from when it was in Kassel. Some of these photos are of the first exhibition for Documenta 8. The photos came from Axel Bruchhäuser from the company Tecta in Lauenförde, where they have an earlier version of this pavilion.
As far as I can gather the first exhibition held in the Münster pavilion was a collection of Stefan Wewerka’s eccentric chairs. For my exhibition at the Wewerka pavilion this summer I think I will try to recreate this first exhibition in Kassel. I have some figuring out to do as there are gaps in the documentation that I have been given.
I look forward to seeing you again in the summer.
N.B. A German translation of this letter was displayed within the exhibition.
A solo exhibition at Dundee Contemporary Arts, 13th March – 23rd May 2010.
The Connoisseur might be defined as a laconic art historian, and the art historian as a loquacious connoisseur. Erwin Panofsky, Meaning in the Visual Arts, 1955.
The Connoisseurs is an exhibition defined by the seemingly disparate series’, collections and groupings within it. All of these works reference cultural sophistication or a refined taste through their materials, execution or selection. In a mannered fashion they borrow an aspect of the classical art form: portrait or still-life image, the outdoor or the domestic scale object.
The Connoisseurs presents an awkward marriage of numerous distinct references: digital technology, food science, community craft workshops, speculative fiction and macro-economics. The title alludes to both the professional and amateur status of a connoisseur.
“In Alex Frost’s drawings photographs are transcribed as a system of marks plotting areas of light and shadow recorded in the pixels of the image. A pattern of zeroes, dashes and crosses laid out on squared paper describe a cluster of flowers in bloom, a profile or the unique arrangement of features and details of clothing that forms a portrait. A series of self-portraits (Blind drawings 2006-7) are stippled by puncturing the paper with pinholes. Bronze, silver and gold paint is pressed into the back of the drawing so that the holes admit rich, metallic colour and Frost’s image appears to float to the surface of the paper. Eyes closed and head slightly turned or tilted away he seems intent on absence, a blank subject present as a gilded apparition, a relief, a death mask.”
From the essay ‘Nullius in Verba – The work of Alex Frost’, Michelle Cotton, 2008.
“Whilst there is an obvious relationship to pop art products, what we are seeing here is not the abstract gleam of Campbell’s soup or the Coca-Cola logo, well-known to the masses, but a particular niche of class-informed life-support offered by Ryvita cracker biscuits, Optivita cereal and Rice Dream milk substitute. What these commodities promise is dieting, purity and health. Quiet restraint, subtle control, mind over body. There is also the matter of the sculptural materials themselves. Mosaic sits unevenly in contemporary art: it is both a traditional skill with a rich history, and its connotations of workmanship, but also an ‘arts and crafts’ process, often occupying unfashionable crafty women’s groups.
What is most striking, however, in the unease with which the depicted products become monumental. The very nature of the middle class lifestyle is somewhat private, quiet and cosseted. The dream of a private, walled garden. There is a price to pay for this, however. For why should anyone care about a cosy private life? A similar sensation is felt in Douglas Coupland’s ‘Generation X’ (1991) when a character, who has attempted to ‘opt out’ of the contemporary treadmill of his generation of America, returns home for Christmas. Trying to give his family a valuable gift that is unrelated to commerce, he fills the living room with thousands of candles. The family are overwhelmed and happy, but there is a problem. Life too quickly reverts to normal: “It is a feeling that our emotions, while wonderful, are transpiring in a vacuum, and I think this boils down to the fact that we’re middle class. You see, when you’re middle class, you have to live with the fact that history will ignore you. You have to live with the fact that history can never feel sorry for you. It is the price that is paid for day-to-day comfort and silence. And because of this price, all happinesses are sterile; all sadness go unpitied.”” Excerpt from ‘The Dangerous Supplement’, Laura McLean-Ferris, Wound 6, April 2009.