The art space of documenta fifteen

© documenta fifteen 2022

The art space of documenta fifteen

By Christiane Wagner

The current edition of one of the most renowned contemporary art exhibitions, documenta fifteen, opened its doors to the public, questioning: “In light of the alarming consequences of climate change worldwide, how can a globally oriented art exhibition that attracts visitors from all over the world and lasts 100 days minimize harm to the environment and, at the same time, be economically and socially fair?” In this sense, it is essential to put into practice the principles of sustainability, which involves social, political, and economic aspects in search of a balanced and fair development that can be sustained. Also, the ethical notions that should be considered as core values regarding interculturality and its moral and political impacts on individuals and society. documenta fifteen highlights the non-Eurocentric view. For this purpose, documenta fifteen is curated by Ruangrupa, a non-profit organization based in Jakarta, Indonesia, to promote artistic ideas in urban and cultural contexts by involving artists and other disciplines such as social sciences, politics, technology, and media, to open critical reflections and perspectives on contemporary urban problems. The Indonesian word “ruangrupa” means “art space” or “spatial form.”

Ruangrupa was unanimously selected by the documenta fifteen international commission in 2019. This decision was justified, among other important issues, in the essence of the collective work: “At a time when innovative power emanates in particular from independent, collaborative organizations, it seems logical to offer this collective approach a platform in the form of documenta.” The international committee of documenta fifteen is represented by Frances Morris, Amar Kanwar, Philippe Pirotte, Elvira Dyangani Ose, Ute Meta Bauer, Jochen Volz, Charles Esche, and Gabi Ngcobo.

In this sense, documenta presents its fifteenth edition of contemporary art with the proposal of Ruangrupa: “We want to create a globally oriented, collaborative and interdisciplinary art and culture platform that will remain effective beyond the 100 days of documenta fifteen. Our curatorial approach strives for a collaborative model of resource use — in economic terms but also concerning ideas, knowledge, programs, and innovations.” Therefore, documenta fifteen highlights the principles of collectivity, resource building, and equitable distribution as fundamental to the curatorial work highlighting the entire process. Collectivity follows an alternative, community-oriented model for sustainability in ecological, social, and economic terms, where resources, ideas, knowledge, and social participation are shared.

The focus on postcolonial art discusses the challenges of art in overcoming the pervasive notions of modern European thought with artists and artworks from non-Western nations seeking a break with hegemonic Western forms of globalization. Among the selected artists and groups, the presence of the Global South stands out, including Más Arte Más Acción (MAMA), a Colombian non-profit organization founded in 2011 by artist Fernando Arias and entrepreneur Jonathan Collin.  Representing Brazil is the artist Graziela Kunsch, along with Britto Arts Trust from Dhaka, and The Nest Collective, a multidisciplinary arts collective living and working in Nairobi. Founded in 2012, the group has created film, music, fashion, visual arts, and literary work. Also included is  Wajukuu Art Project, a community-based organization situated in the Lunga-Lunga neighborhood of the Mukuru slum in Nairobi.

Furthermore, documenta fifteen presents The Black Archives, a historical archive documenting the history of black emancipation movements and individuals in the Netherlands. Generally, “14 lumbung members and 53 lumbung artists participate in documenta fifteen. They were invited by ruangrupa and the Artistic Team to practice lumbung together and collectively take part in creating documenta fifteen. The lumbung members and lumbung artists were asked to involve their ecosystem of artists, activists, and community members in such a way that documenta fifteen and the common resources benefit the sustainability of that shared local practice on the long term. Thus, not only ruangrupa but a constantly expanding network shapes documenta fifteen.”

documenta fifteen’s postcolonial approach involves all knowledge (including aesthetic) presenting cultural diversity and recognizing otherness in various artistic forms. These postcolonial cultural practices consider a structured set of concepts, assumptions, and discursive approaches to produce, interpret, and evaluate knowledge about non-European people. Differences are present in all situations of public space construction and seek the meaning of interculturality through the arts and aesthetics of everyday life, representing all its subtleties related to the decolonial movement. That is the possible meaning of postcolonial aesthetics when considering overcoming differences in alternative forms of coexistence with new perspectives concerning cultural diversity in urban spaces of the Global South.

© documenta fifteen 2022

Duration of the exhibition: June 18–September 25, 2022

Artistic Direction by ruangrupa

Artistic Team

Andrea Linnenkohl, Ayşe Güleç, Frederikke Hansen, Gertrude Flentge, and Lara Khaldi

Finding Committee

Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore

Charles Esche, Director Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven
Amar Kanwar, artist, filmmaker, New Delhi
Frances Morris, Director Tate Modern London

Gabi Ngcobo, Curatorial Director Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria
Elvira Dyangani Ose, Director MACBA Contemporary Art Museum in Barcelona
Philippe Pirotte, Professor at Städelschule, Frankfurt a. M., Associate Curator Gropius Bau Berlin, Associate Curator Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Jochen Volz, Director Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo

Organized by documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH

Shareholders: State of Hessen, City of Kassel

Director General documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH

Dr. Sabine Schormann

documenta fifteen is organized under the auspices of documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH with the City of Kassel and the State of Hessen in their capacity as shareholders.

Funded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation). Funded by the Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien (Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media).

The lumbung network is supported by Goethe-Institut.

Main partner of documenta fifteen: Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe (Savings Banks Finance Group), Volkswagen AG

HackelBury Fine Art, London is pleased to present ‘Can’t, Won’t, Don’t Stop’

Can’t, Won’t, Don’t Stop

An exhibition of new work by Doug and Mike Starn

9th June – 6th August 2022

“Order never persists, the only constant is change” D+M Starn

HackelBury Fine Art, London is pleased to present ‘Can’t, Won’t, Don’t Stop’, an exhibition of new work by Doug and Mike Starn. The Starns have been working conceptually with photography for over 30 years. This series of work, begun in 2021, sees the Starns returning to some of the techniques which they pioneered in the 1980s when they explored the three dimensionality and physicality of photography and combining the more recent inclusion of painting. This body of work also continues the Starns’ fascination with the passage of time. They make visible aging process and deterioration of the material with which they work and examine how the meaning of what was created or conceptualised changes with time.

SCP 2228b, 2021
Acrylic paint on Ultrachrome K3 Epson ink jets prints on gelatin hand-coated Zerkal

‘A photograph is not simply an image of a thing, but an image on a substrate – the photograph is a thing in itself. The same way a photograph is not only a captured instant but exists in time and deteriorates and expands with time, just as all things and all ideas change their meanings through time”. D+M Starn

The exhibition is made up of two contrasting but interconnected photographic bodies of work, Seascapes and their monumental sculpture series – Big Bambú, reflecting the central belief in the Starns’ work that everything in life is interconnected, interdependent and in constant flow. The Starns grew up on the coast of New Jersey. The ocean has long held a fascination for them as it is always changing but always the same. The Starns see an innate connection between the Seascapes and Big Bambú photographs as they reflect the dynamic forces of nature and the progression of time. They describe the construction of the Bambú as “taking the form of a cresting wave, we’re constructing a slice of a seascape (like our photographs), a cutaway view of a wave constantly in motion”. D+M Starn

‘Seascapes’ focuses on the ever changing yet ever constant sea, a body of water in perpetual motion, crashing against itself and captured in a fraction of a second by a camera – always the same but always different. The photographs of their Big Bambú installations also embody these contradictions – the sculpture is always complete, yet always unfinished. These works provide a visual metaphor for the interconnections of life – that of cultures, societies, relationships and individual and collective growth.

Big Bambú represents the invisible architecture of life and living things. It is the random interdependence of moments, trajectories intersecting, and actions becoming interaction, creating growth and change” D+M Starn

1000 Arms to Hold You_6.13.14_0647, 2015-2020 Ultrachrome inkjet prints on pigmented gelatin hand-coated Zerkal

A recurring theme in the Starns’ work is that in the midst of chaos is an order and an essential structure. In the Big Bambú sculptures the Starns create an architecture of random interconnections which becomes a self-supporting structure and takes on a life of its’ own – like a living organism. Adapting to circumstances spontaneously as the structure grows and “each knot is a decision”, it is philosophic engineering. The structures work because, as in life, everything depends upon one another and the loads are distributed throughout, fluidly and naturally.

For the Starns the Big Bambú structures are never finished and they often re-use sections of earlier pieces when creating new structures, which provides continuity and progress. This idea of interconnection and transformation is at the heart of all the Starns’ work and brings with it philosophical and spiritual reflections. The physicality and tactile nature of their work (such as scotch taping photographic pieces together) ensures that they reflect the concept of time through incorporating dust, debris and discolouration that occurs over time. The photograph is both the medium and a document – the images frozen in time, yet time continues to pass.

Seascape 5L, 2020
Archival inkjet prints on gelatin hand-coated Zerkal watercolor paper

About Doug and Mike Starn

Doug and Mike Starn, American, identical twins, were born in 1961. They first received international attention at the 1987 Whitney Biennial. For more than twenty years the Starns were primarily known for working conceptually with photography. Since 2010 their Big Bambú structures, built from “random chaos” with thousands of bamboo poles lashed together with miles of rope, have been installed in public institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the MACRO Museum in Rome, at the 54th Venice Biennial and the Teshima Triennial. Major themes of their work include chaos, interconnection and interdependence.

“Our vision is that nothing in the world is monolithic, nothing is one thing—everything is interconnected (…) life is created through interconnected random moments (…) the invisible interconnected factors make us who we are, and culture what it is”

About HackelBury Fine Art

Established in 1998, the London gallery in Launceston Place is committed to nurturing long-term relationships with both artists and clients. It continues to evolve and progress through an expanding program of gallery exhibitions, museum projects and publishing ventures.

The small group of artists with whom HackelBury work, represent a diversity of practice, pushing the boundaries of various media. The work and practice of these artists encompasses the worlds of photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture and performance. Each artist, whether emerging or established, creates work defined by a depth of thought and breadth and consistency of approach.


Camilla Cañellas – Arts Counsultancy & PR
E: M:+34 660375123

Phil Crook – HackelBury Fine Art
E: T: +44 20 7937 8688

Instagram @hackelburyfineart

Between Symbolic and Rational Thinking: The Art of Dr Gindi

Between Symbolic and Rational Thinking:

The Art of Dr Gindi

By Christiane Wagner

Even nowadays, the limits of art and knowledge are questioned, and discoveries enrich the “art of knowledge” even more in the face of the complexity of understanding the human being. The fact is that, by classifying and organizing it throughout history, knowledge, in and of itself, is becoming increasingly complex in its foundations, analysis, and conclusions. We, therefore, have to ask ourselves: How do we represent this complexity through art?

From abstractions to what becomes concrete and vice-versa, among so many terms and rational answers to questions, and especially when words are insufficient to express many feelings, Dr Gindi’s art can be considered an essential component of the answer. Between illusion and reality, the representative role of art and symbolization becomes an essential part of all human existence.  Between figurative and abstract motifs, the forms of its perception represent many concepts, feelings, and situations fundamental to humankind, whether through mathematics, philosophy, even theology, and in art, which is the focus here.

For example, the concept of infinity, which has its deepest roots in mathematics, is perceived and materialized in three-dimensional forms. Infinity, for Dr Gindi, is beyond rational thought, as seen in her sculpture series Immanent Conception of Infinity. Other fundamental concepts of human existence are also part of her artistic work, ranging from reason to myth and symbolism. An example is the Interstellar Dilemma sculpture, which poses the question: “Is there such existence as matter without energy, and Earth without the divine?” Her works also represent various existential situations of everyday life, among them “overcoming the conventions of life” or even “torn between purpose and avolition.” For example, the sculpture The Fateful Choice, in all its bodily expressiveness—a predominant characteristic in the artist’s mastery of human anatomy—highlights the gesture and the decisive moment of the human condition. As if that were not enough, the question “How is trust being conceived?” is added. Nevertheless, with the mastery of her perception of the world of things and humans, Dr Gindi states, “I am an illusion changer.”

The term “illusion” derives from the Latin ludere, “to play.” Well, in our contemporary society, in the world of things, we experience a reality of appearances. The concrete form of the things consolidates this reality. Appearances are the shapes and forms of how things are presented. The dynamic that is established between appearances and the reality of the environment, in the conception of aesthetics, concerns the relationship between the artifact and the space, adding time when one experiences the sensation of having the possibility of seeing something, which is then understood, and finally distinguished and defined as something concrete. This process is how Dr Gindi changes the play—the illusion.

We should note that aesthetic experience is necessary for the artwork to be perceived. This is how we feel, understand and gain knowledge of the artifact—something, which until now, existed only as a concept. Only then, in Dr Gindi’s art, is it defined as something concrete. Reality is the illusion—in the dimension of appearances—that, in the sculptor’s words, “we are all bound together by the human question of origin and destiny.” Thus, through art, we can attribute that to the universe of appearances, in the dimension of time and space, offering the illusion of transformation and change. Nevertheless, that still conditions us to ask the same existential questions as our ancestors. Finally, to know more about this sculptor and her artistic work, I present a brief interview with Dr Gindi below.

Christiane Wagner: How are science and art present in your work? I think of your medical training and your path in the arts. But not only that, of course, because the main concepts in your art show your interest in science and knowledge, while at the same time questioning its limits. What are your views?

Dr. Gindi: When sculpting, I re-create the physical and psychical aspects of humanness, as in an open-ended anamnesis—the scientific inquiry into the frailty of being is key to my practice. Then, I augment that inquiry until it gives life and empathy to the materialized characters I am forming and—most importantly—until it reflects their yearning toward infinity. Looking for answers to complex problems is a common thread in science and art—I have been experiencing both pursuits as I was trained and worked as a medical doctor prior to graduating from art school. A hypothesis about the human body in medicine and in sculpture is falsifiable if it is clear that the visualization or an evaluation disproves the hypothesis in question. Just because something worked in the past doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work in the future. My sculptures are more like emblematic nativities eternalized in bronze rather than the eternal circulation of old fallacies. The best physicians and sculptors are those who can take all the facts and make sense of them with an unending amount of rational thinking. There is one major difference between physicians and sculptors, though—sculptors, at least in my understanding, can add an empathic, symbolic, illusionary dimension to the creative process. In my own sculpting practice, for instance, I model characters at inflection points of life, often represented by actions and events that call for unbound infinity whilst calling into question the certainty of truth. My protagonists’ struggle to find intrinsic purpose is illustrated by an often oddly striking and almost always non-scientific stylistic idiom that might produce an unusual spatial experience. I adore the ephemeral, the eerie, and the quixotically ethereal.

CW: Which works or themes represent the most significant influence on your creations? I think mainly of the expressive power of your works based on human anatomy, as well as the masterpieces of sculptors such as Camille Claudel.

DG: When starting to study sculpture, I became inspired by 19th-century French realism, but—without much remorse—I soon discovered and became inclined towards the unfettered approach of Camille Claudel. In a rather natural vein, I moved further on and unlearned what I learned before, convinced that there should be no exemplars and rules at all. While always nurturing Claudel’s sanguine temperament and exuberant sensuality, I started to develop my own sculptural language. I embrace my works pragmatically, and yes, even naively. My practice is thus empirical and very often profoundly absurd—I am not afraid of idiosyncratic escapades if they need to be. If there is a logic, maybe it is Diogenes’ logic—as each of us has to choose his own alternative to reason when living in the tub emerged in the market of truths. I believe that our mind is not just an organ for utilitarian reasoning but also a symbolic instrument for creating illusions. As humanity is cloistered, polyhedral, and unpredictable, I am searching to understand what it means to be human within that infinite realm of being.

CW: We must consider that today the innovation and art universe are much more favorable for women artists. In this sense, how do your sculptures maintain a dialogue with the present time?

DG: Well, there have been many improvements to support women artists while acknowledging gender diversity and promoting gender equality. Still, biases continue to exist. To give you an example: a striking minority of museum acquisitions around the world are artworks created by women artists. I don’t want to complain. Women can grasp and create the opportunities for which they wish and need. Further, in my case, I have not come to grips with the maze of my gender, as I don’t understand myself as female-only—I consider myself an almost androgyne being. We all are androgyne, in one way or the other—we are human. Rather than concern myself with gender ideologies, I try to explore the chokepoints of female and male infinity. It shall all be one. Nevertheless, born as a female, I endeavor to live my own identity narrative by sketching the beauty, buoyancy, and unapologetic lustiness I believe all women deserve to experience.

CW: Artistic anatomy is fundamental to figurative creative knowledge. And undoubtedly, your sculptures evidence this quality. However, besides figuration, we perceive a high-quality abstract tendency in your sculptures. In this sense, abstractionism is a way to express art without the mimetic representations of reality, offering new aesthetic experiences. So, how do you define your art in terms of figuration and abstraction in the Immanent Conception of Infinity series?

DG: Most generally, my approach toward sculpting can be described as organic as I look into the symbiosis between the individual and their outer ambit. I do not want to see the individual split apart from this very ambit, as the individual is always an organic part of it. You might thus perceive my style as figurative, but my approach and inner self are perhaps much more complex than that. I cheerfully resist categorization. My practice is based on synthesis and a conviction of holistic unity embedded in illusions, without falling into the trap of merely incarnating reality—I will always cherish the singularity of us human beings with all our veritable wounds and abstract edges. My sculptures do thus not emphasize appearance and suggest that essence is to be found in appearance. Take Immanent Conception of Infinity as a telling example: A human figure reposes on the ground to explore the fabric of time and space, having neither beginning nor end. The spectator’s gaze might encounter abstract tracks here and there whilst almost intuitively sliding into floral figuration. Figurative art can be abstract, and abstract art can be figurative—that’s, for me, the secret of organicism. And yes, I am an organic sculptor who grows in the face of illusionary reality. That’s what I am.

© Dr Gindi

Dr Gindi is one of Switzerland’s most acclaimed sculptors who works with clay and bronze. On the surface, her approach might be comparable to that of Camille Claudel, but the protagonists in the enthralling sculptures she creates can only spring from her imagination—they are the progenies of symbolic and concurrently rational thinking. Resisting attunement, she scarcely has a mainstream art career—she was originally educated as a medical doctor and worked as a physician prior to graduating from the Florence Academy of Art. Intrinsic to her artistic practice is the focus on the infinite aspects of human existence that she describes as the main thing worth attaining in life.

For complete artworks, and for more information, see her website:

Immanent Conception of Infinity © Dr Gindi

Immanent Conception of Infinity © Dr Gindi
Immanent Conception of Infinity © Dr Gindi

Beaufort 7 © Dr Gindi

Transfigured Immortality  © Dr Gindi

The Fateful Choice © Dr Gindi

The Fateful Choice © Dr Gindi

Let’s stay tuned!

Let’s stay tuned! This is a session for more coverage of art and culture. In addition, it features publications devoted to shorter, creative concept-based pieces pertaining to arts and culture.

This session is where collaborators and journalists will be welcome to submit interviews, opinion pieces, reviews of exhibitions and events. To put this cause into practice, all interested in collaborating can participate by sending your pieces or press releases to our email. We will take care of contributions, select essential works, and publish them.

Mala Gallery of The Association of the Artists of Applied Arts and Designers of Serbia, in Belgrade, is pleased to present: PANdemia PANscape, a solo exhibition by Katarina Andjelkovic.

Katarina Andjelkovic – PANdemia PANscape

25th August – 2nd September 2021

Katarina Andjelkovic, PANdemia PANscape. Sequence 1. Digital graphics on mirror, 2021.

Katarina Andjelkovic, PANdemia PANscape. Sequence 2. Digital graphics on mirror, 2021.

Katarina Andjelkovic, PANdemia PANscape. Sequence 3. Digital graphics on mirror, 2021.

Katarina Andjelkovic, PANdemia PANscape. Sequence 4. Digital graphics on mirror, 2021.

In ancient Greek religion and mythology, Pan is the god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, nature of mountain wilds. He was also considered a cause of sudden and unjustified fear. Being a rustic god, Pan was not worshipped in temples or other built edifices, but in natural settings, usually caves. Inspired by Pan’s world, the project uses narrative visual devices, fragmentation techniques and image layering, to provide an insight into ways of inhabiting the non-human space. Contrary to expectations, instead of analyzing the collective destiny of the post-pandemic world, the project deals with the possibilities for understanding architecture through the lens of metaphysics, the magical and the fantastic. A repetition of the only recognizable motifs, stairs and lights on the horizon, opens a portal between reality and fantastic underground worlds that are accessed similarly to Alice through a hole that leads to Wonderland. At the same time, the horizon itself represents the flow of time, nature, and power within the system distorted by a twisted perception of the horizontal plane. Leaving the observer’s imagination to define the scale of structures without any known referent, the author transforms the spaces of the known into the territory of abstract architectural reveries. A series of digital graphics is created in the combination of digital drawing techniques, moving image editing programs and manual drawing techniques, in several stages. Dominant gray tones are created by overlapping layers of different textures, creating rich dark tones, often black surfaces, and fragmented rhythmic transitions of coloured texture. These tones are contrasted by key areas of open white, which often represent the ground into which the imagined spaces of halls, staircases and atriums are engraved.


As part of the exhibition, the author will give a multimedia lecture titled “Surrealism and the architecture of end space,” on August 25, 2021, at 18:30h.


Katarina Andjelkovic (1983, Yugoslavia), with a Ph.D., M.Arch.Eng., is a theorist, practicing architect, researcher and a painter. She is a high-skilled draftsman, writer and a researcher. Katarina’s research, writing and teaching is transdisciplinary and crosses architecture, visual arts and film. In Spring semester 2021, Katarina is the main instructor of the Hand-drawing course: the Face[s] of Architecture in New York City. She served as a Visiting Professor, Chair of Creative Architecture, at the University of Oklahoma U.S.A., Institute of Form Theory and History in Oslo, Institute of Urbanism and Landscape in Oslo, University of Belgrade – Faculty of Architecture, and guest-lecturing and mentoring at Master Studies of TU Delft – Faculty of architecture and the built environment, Doctoral studies of AHO – Oslo School of architecture and design, FAUP Porto, DIA Anhalt Dessau, SMT New York, and Bachelor studies of ITU – Istanbul Technical University. She lectures internationally at conferences in architectural representation, modern aesthetics of architecture, film-philosophy, drawing research and visual culture in more than 26 countries in Europe, United Kingdom, North America and Canada. Katarina has published her research widely in international journals (Web of Science) and won numerous awards for her architecture design and urban design competitions. She is a full author of the Preliminary Architectural Design, a national project supported by the government of Serbia. She won the Belgrade Chamber of Commerce Award for Best Master Thesis defended at Universities in Serbia in all disciplines. Katarina has published two monographs; an upcoming book chapter and several journal articles with Intellect UK. Andjelkovic exhibited her artwork at 5 Solo Exhibitions and at many international architectural, fine arts and photography exhibitions, including group exhibitions at Pall Mall Gallery in London, Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin, MAAT Museum in Lisbon, International Biennial of Illustration ”Golden Pen” in Belgrade, TU Delft in the Netherlands, the Museum of Applied Arts in Belgrade, the National Museum in Belgrade, Gallery Singidunum in Belgrade, Stepenište in Art Education Center ”Šumatovačka”, Gallery of the Central Military Club, Suluj Gallery, Pavillion Cvijeta Zuzoric of the Association of Fine Artists of Serbia, and Mala Gallery of the Association of Fine Artists of Applied Arts and Designers of Serbia.

About Mala Gallery of The Association of the Artists of Applied Arts and Designers of Serbia

Mala Gallery and Singidunum Gallery of The Association of the Artists of Applied Arts and Designers of Serbia, 12 Uzun Mirkova Street and 40 Knez Mihailova Street, are the center of cultural, tourist and business events in Belgrade. Located in the city center, these galleries are committed to nurturing long-term relations to the ancient history of Belgrade, while permeating and connecting art in the field of applied arts and design with the interests of a wide and diverse audience. Galleries are designed as a sales-type for works in the field of applied and fine arts.

Exhibition opening: Wednesday, 25th August, at 18h.

Visits: Mon-Fri 11-18h, Saturday 10-16h, Sunday: closed.

Access: from the ground floor, catalogue (print) available during the event, e-catalogue available on demand.

Contact: Katarina Andjelkovic:

Address: Mala Gallery, 12 Uzun Mirkova Street, Belgrade 11000, Serbia

HackelBury Fine Art, London is pleased to present: Elemental Forms, Landscape, a solo exhibition of new work by Nadezda Nikolova-Kratzer

Nadezda Nikolova Kratzer – Elemental Forms, Landscape
9th September – 30th October 2021

Nadezda Nikolova Kratzer, Elemental Forms, Landscape no. 30, 2018

HackelBury Fine Art, London is pleased to present: Elemental Forms, Landscape, a solo exhibition of new work by Nadezda Nikolova-Kratzer in which her love of nature and concern for the environment is reflected in her abstract landscapes which capture “the still point of the turning world”. (T.S. Eliot ‘Four Quartets’). Nikolova-Kratzer chooses a balancing act in her work between control and surrender, simplicity and intricacy, light and darkness. She uses simple shapes to create her photogram silhouettes, yet she works with a complex set of variables including temperature, humidity and the timing of the exposure – factors that fundamentally affect the outcome. Nikolova-Kratzer embraces this as she feels strongly that “it is this artifact of chance that brings meaning and excitement to life.”Her work becomes a metaphor for having
the fearlessness to embrace the unknown.

Drawing on poetry, literature and a myriad of artistic influences including Japanese Notan design, Matisse paper-cuts and the organic landscapes of Georgia O’Keefe, Nikolova-Kratzer creates photographic compositions which become sculptural in their focus on the object yet have the depth and thought of a painting. Using geometrical shapes and floating planes, these works build on her preceding series of landscapes taking them to a higher level of abstraction. With the materiality of the photographic medium, she seeks to record intangible aspects of the landscape, as she experiences them, through immersion and observation, without the camera’s capacity for transcription.

Her practice is inextricably linked to her way of life. The physical process of creating work uses her daily ritual of walking in the redwood forests near her home in Oakland, California to connect with nature and respond intuitively whilst reflecting her belief in the concept of immanence.

About Nadezda Nikolova-Kratzer

Nadezda Nikolova-Kratzer (b. 1978, former Yugoslavia) is an artist working with wet plate collodion photograms – a historical technique dating back to the 1850s which uses light-sensitive salts to cover a glass plate before exposing it to the light in a portable darkroom. Her practice is informed by an experimental approach to early photographic processes and her interest in the image as an object. Captivated by the fluidity of wet plate collodion, she manipulates the medium while simultaneously courting chance intrinsic to handmade photography: “I spray, dab and brush on the chemistry in a performative enactment rather than an image capture. (Sometimes, the brush strokes leave physical marks on the emulsion.) In essence, I am negotiating with the chemistry, guiding it. But only to a point. The chemistry has a say in the final image.” Nadezda Nikolova-Kratzer.

The abstract landscape series, Elemental Forms, Landscapes and Elemental Forms, Landscape Rearticulated, emerged as the artist’s direct response to her surroundings and to feeling a sense of wellbeing and security within the landscape. She believes that each locale has its specific identity, history,
and emotional imprint. Nadezda Nikolova-Kratzer has a degree in conservation and environmental sciences and a Master’s in Public Policy. She went on to study photography and historic processes at George Eastman Museum with
Mark Osterman and at the University of Kentucky. She was a finalist for the 2018 LensCulture Exposure Awards. She lives and works in Oakland, California.

About HackelBury Fine Art

Founded by Sascha Hackel and Marcus Bury, HackelBury Fine Art deals in 20th and 21st century artworks. Established in 1998, the London gallery in Launceston Place is committed to nurturing long-term relationships with both artists and clients. It continues to evolve and progress through an expanding
program of gallery exhibitions, museum projects and publishing ventures.
The small group of artists with whom HackelBury work, represent a diversity of practice, pushing the boundaries of various media. The work and practice of these artists encompasses the worlds of photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture and performance. Each artist, whether emerging or established, creates work defined by a depth of thought and breadth and consistency of approach.