Jonathan Monk, Jan van der Ploeg, Christiane Löhr
May 27 - July 17, 2016
Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel
For its major summer exhibition the Kunsthaus Baselland is showing three artists that engage in a particular dialogue with the architecture and the institution of the Kunsthaus Baselland. As divergent as the three parallel solo exhibitions may at first glance seem, within lies a delicate, linking connection—their open and innovative approach to the institution of the Kunsthaus Baselland, its conditions, its architecture and its activity within a specific context. Yet they also pursue common enquiries, focusing closely on the conditions of how we perceive art today.
Whoever invites Jonathan Monk to exhibit can reckon on one thing above all—it will be anything but usual. The artist, who was born in 1969 in Leicester and lives today in Rome and Berlin, whose work has been seen in numerous prestigious exhibitions internationally, goes a decisive step further in his own practice thanks to this invitation to mount a solo exhibition at the Kunsthaus Baselland. He takes as his subject not only the conditions, possibilities and limitations that are linked with such an invitation, but also the expectations, particularly for an exhibition during the course of which the Art Basel fair takes place. Monk also interrogates the conditions under which we view art today—via digital media, exhibition catalogues or moving swiftly through installations of work. The title Exhibit Model One hints at the numerous artistic considerations for Monk's new work series: model-like in many regards, humorous, considered, spreading a new freedom and precision about how art is viewed in an art system that is fast moving, often clumsy and becomes ever more complicated. A catalogue has been published for the exhibition.
The presentation by the Dutch artist Jan van der Ploeg (b. 1959), who lives in Amsterdam, can also be seen as an enquiry into his location. For his first institutional exhibition in Switzerland Van der Ploeg, who counts among the best known artists in the field of contemporary mural painting and wall drawing internationally, developed two new work complexes that unfold over several hundred square metres across the ground floor of the Kunsthaus. A walk through the Kunsthaus becomes a surprising experience, the topic of which is the sculptural nature of the Kunsthaus architecture, while a dynamic connection is created between wall drawing, painting, sculpture and architecture. The two new work complexes by Van der Ploeg create something else too: they show the exciting new artistic direction which Jan van der Ploeg is taking right now.
The works by Christiane Löhr are also notable for a surprising interplay between sculpture and architecture. The artist, (b. 1965), who works in Prato, Italy, and Cologne, who has been shown by, amongst others, Harald Szeemann at the Venice Biennale in 2001 and who recently won the Premio Pino Pascali, realises sculptures from materials like plant seeds or horse hair, sculptures which can be very different in their dimensions and composition. Sometimes these are installations that take over spaces, sometimes they are delicate sculptures that sit on plinths; they are often reminiscent of architecture or architectural elements and demand a second viewing. Christiane Löhr's works demonstrate the nature of things and connections in our immediate environment, and do this in a subtle and yet insistent fashion. They make us sensitive to the principles, systems and fine details of our surroundings.
Director and Curator Kunsthaus Baselland: Ines Goldbach
St. Jakob-Strasse 170