by Mels van Zutphen

For her largest solo exhibition to date, Anne Wenzel (Schüttorf, 1972) used works from the past decade to construct a mental puzzle in TENT. The exhibition unfolded as a route through an abandoned palace laden with old, long forgotten stories.

From a strong sense of history and political engagement, Wenzel casts new light on the role of art in the representation of power, heroism, and violence. She has developed an oeuvre of monumental ceramic sculptures and installations in which beauty competes with decay, figuration with abstraction, and power with destruction. The work is characterised through her idiosyncratic use of materials and techniques; by experimenting with extreme sizes, chemical additives, and radical distortions, she pushes the boundaries of the sculptural medium.

Wenzel finds inspiration for her work in historical sources, films, literature, and in media images of natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and acts of war. Her attention to universal subjects connects her to a growing group of artists who overstep postmodern irony by daring to again engage with existential themes.

Monograph Prospects of Perception
The exhibition includes a monograph, ‘Prospects of Perception’, published by Lecturis in collaboration with TENT, with a conversation between Anne Wenzel and Philippe Van Cauteren and essays written by Daria de Beauvais, Mariette Dölle and Sjarel Ex.

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Response
“All works glow with vitality. The savage beauty and power flow from artisanal virtuosity, both in shape and colour and gravity defying dimensions. ” (Marina de Vries, Volkskrant, 18.02.2014)

“At TENT, Seven rooms are decorated like an abandoned, impenetrable palace with dripping walls and broken windows. A horrifyingly beautiful and enchanted setting which is delicious, but it is uncomfortable wandering between Wenzel’s sculptures.” (Henny de Lange, Trouw, 24.02.2014)

With thanks to: CBK Rotterdam, Elise Mathilde Fund, Bevordering van Volkskracht Foundation, Goethe-Institut Niederlande, Mondriaan Fund.