Alicja Kwade is increasingly making herself known around the world for mixed-media works, especially installations. For the surprisingly long but aptly named exhibition “Something absent whose presence had been expected”, the Polish artist explores repetition and ruin as main concepts — both elements very much in line with an interesting minimalist sensibility put into action.
The anthological white box is surely one of the most discussed and used contexts for art exhibitions to this day, even when deconstructed, its influence is still very much felt. As an art space in galleries the importance of the open canvas is undeniable, so it’s surprising to find an incisive process such as the obliteration of the beloved white totem as the central character. As the artist embraces and proudly displays every piece of a gradual obliteration of the plaster icon, it is also a denial of the common minimalist representation — such as the perfect cube.
The proposal to manipulate with elements in such a controlled ambient, such as the art gallery, leads her to encounter other characteristics that may be considered classic minimalism, for instance, the repetition factor and the clean-cut presentation for each piece of a chosen object to be protagonists.
Kwade’s work may embrace countless facets throughout her collection; nevertheless, it is a pleasure to recognise fresh perspectives on minimalism and its place on the contemporary setting this time around.
Photography courtesy of Artsy.