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“The crows remain in the forest because it is black. The branches are playing dead.”
(From Herta Müller’s novel: “Even Back Then, the Fox Was the Hunter” p.233, Rowohlt publishers, Reinbek 1992)
Momenta Art is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by Nina Lola Bachhuber entitled Nachtschatten (Nightshadow). Oscillating between cool abstraction and uncanny figuration, Bachhuber’s work shows sensitivity to materials expressed in an unsettling aesthetic. Surfaces of actual materials as well as layers of possible meaning are essential in her work, often involving a mix of revelation and concealment. Although allusions to death and mortality are omnipresent in the artist’s work, her sculptures seem to be alive, even vivacious - surreal.
For this show, Bachhuber will be presenting a large sculpture surrounded by Flags, 2008, an arrangement of black fabric banners hung on the wall. Upon closer inspection, one can see that these flags each have an individual arrangement of thick black hair sewn into their seams, lending each flag its specific character. While they are rigorously minimalist, being monochromatic and equally sized, each flag presents itself as an individual, as if part of an eerie clan identity. Ornamental, primal, and elegant the works are willfully freakish.
In the center of the gallery, the artist places Untitled, 2010. This large work incorporates two black branches that reach across the gallery floor – with furry and horned black creatures, the size of a human head, sitting on each. They appear to be some sort of hybrid animal species- in conversation with each other, waiting for prey in a nocturnal forest, or simply allowing time to pass. In their rather amputated beauty, these surrealist figures reveal dark obsessions, enticing the viewer to reflect on existential states of mind, pagan ceremonies or secret societies.
“Bachhuber’s mysterious assemblages evoke consciousness at the cusp between rationality and dreaminess—a condition when whimsy and harrowing fears, playful exuberance and startling frailty, are completely fused.”
(Gregory Volk, Eight Paragraphs for Nina Lola Bachhuber, 2006)
Nina Lola Bachhuber was born in Munich, Germany, and obtained her Masters of Fine Arts at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg. Bachhuber has exhibited her work widely, e.g. at UCLA Hammer Museum, The Drawing Center, P.S.1 /MoMA, Sculpture Center, Metro Pictures, Mary Boone and Lehmann Maupin Galleries in New York, The Moore Space, Miami, Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal, Germany, Gallery Min Min, Tokyo, and the 7. Mercosul Biennial in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Her work is the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.