by Mels van Zutphen
"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, 4 stars in Trouw, 24.02.2014)
The Opaque Palace transforms the exhibition spaces of TENT into an installation in which the monumental sculptures of Anne Wenzel (DE, lives and works in Rotterdam) provide a coherent representation of the major themes in her work – power, destruction, heroism, history – and a new series of sculptures is introduced. Daria de Beauvais, from Palais de Tokyo, Paris, has curated the exhibition. With Anne Wenzel’s solo exhibition, her largest yet, TENT celebrates the re-opening of its newly renovated building.
The exhibition unfolds as a route through an abandoned palace laden with old, long forgotten stories. For her largest solo exhibition yet, Anne Wenzel uses works from the past decade to construct a mental puzzle in TENT.
From a strong sense of history and political engagement, Anne Wenzel casts new light on the role of art in the representation of power, heroism, and violence. For more than ten years, Wenzel has been developing a distinctive 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 and designed by 75B. It includes images of her sculptures and installations from the past ten years, and the main text – a conversation between Anne Wenzel and Philippe Van Cauteren (director of SMAK Ghent) – accompanies essays written by Sjarel Ex (director of Museum Boijmans van Beuningen), Daria de Beauvais (curator Palais de Tokyo, Paris) and Mariette Dölle (artistic director TENT). Price: € 32.50.
Guest curator Daria de Beauvais
The Opaque Palace is curated by Daria de Beauvais, curator at Palais de Tokyo, Paris.
Festive exhibition opening at Art Rotterdam
The opening of Anne Wenzel’s solo exhibition takes place during the art fair Art Rotterdam on Thursday 6 February at 20.00h, with an extensive evening programme until midnight, including a performance by the East German band Lulu and a party at WORM.
With thanks to: CBK Rotterdam, Elise Mathilde Fund, Bevordering van Volkskracht Foundation, Goethe-Institut Niederlande, Mondriaan Fund.