Thursday, June 12, 6-8PM
Margaret Thatcher Projects is pleased to present Oh Deer!, a solo-exhibition of hand carved marble sculptures by the Munich-based artists Venske & Spanle. Since 1997, the artists have collaborated to sketch and cut their curious, biomorphic forms from stone, meticulously trimming and polishing each into its final state. In some, such as the titular work of the exhibition, unexpected items are introduced to interact with their creations, such as desk lamps, or wall mounted antlers where elongated marble boughs extend and wrap themselves around the tines and rich, corpulent folds at the center relieve the tension of its offshoots.
Taking visual and conceptual inspiration from the realms of sci-fi, cartoon animation and an innate sense of playful humor, Venske & Spänle are deeply interested in the interaction between sculpture, space and viewer. Often times, their works assert their presence in spaces that may otherwise be overlooked, such as Ploidy in the Corner where bulges seem to sprout from its corner position. Others, such as Club or Helotroph Kaiser display an exuberant confidence, claiming their positions either leaning against a wall or hugging the bulb of a lamp.
The fleshy folds and gestures the artists are able to pull from stone have the ability to fascinate and confound. Many reach into a classic visual vocabulary, displaying mannerist expressions of pull and tension. Ultimately, the group of sculptures presented in this exhibition represents an expanding body of work that has evolved from their original and still growing family of Smörfs, now found in locations from New York to Papua New Guinea and the Congo.
Venske & Spänle is the moniker for the artists Julia Venske (b.1971, Berlin) and Gregor Spänle (b. 1969, Munich). The artists live and work in Munich, and have exhibited their work worldwide in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. Recent solo museum exhibitions include the Museum de Bella Artes, Valencia, ES (2014) and Museum Bad Arolsen, Kassel, DE (2012). Permanent public installations of their work include Myzot Nachtwächter in Incheon, South Korea and Fiat Eater in Querceta, Italy, to be completed this year. Oh Deer! is the artists' fifth solo-exhibition at Margaret Thatcher Projects.