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b. 1979, Poland

Alicja Kwade Biography

In Alicja Kwade's sculptural installations, commonplace items from rocks to household appliances are repurposed as players in whimsical illusions that challenge our perception of time, space, and systems of value. Through her use of such reflective objects as mirrors and glass, Kwade creates immersive artworks that reconsider the constituents of reality.

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Born in Poland, Kwade moved to West Germany as a child and graduated from the Berlin University of the Arts in 2005. Her early works show the artist's long-lasting interest in found materials and elements of repetition. The 'Bordsteinjuwelen' series (Gutter Gems, 2008), for example, consists of 100 stones that Kwade collected in Berlin and cut and polished like jewels.

The transformation of familiar realities is often at play in Alicja Kwade's artwork, notably in her 'Reconstituted Objects' series (2016–2019). For this, the artist ground personal items including lamps, iPhones, and kitchen appliances to dust, which she used to sculpt vessels. Presented in glass vitrines, typically reserved for museum displays, the urns and vases attest to the transmutability of everyday objects in unexpected ways.

In 2017, Alicja Kwade began creating large-scale installations consisting of large rocks elevated on steel bars. WeltenLinie (World Lines), which was first shown at the 57th Venice Biennale, is made up of double-sided mirrors and pairs of objects that are placed inside and outside open steel frame structures. Depending on the viewer's position, the objects become reflections in the mirrors on matters of reality.

Alicja Kwade's exploration of large rocks developed into ParaPivot (2020), a Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. In the work, steel frames are interlocked at different angles, so that visitors can walk around and through them. Along the steel bars are spherical rocks, each weighing up to one-and-a-half tonnes, that allude to planets. Through the allusion to a planetary system, Kwade evokes other systems, such as political, social, and economic, that we live in.

Alicja Kwade's other outdoor projects include Die Bewegte Leere Des Moments (2016), an enormous pendulum with a clock at the end, presented in Nuit Blanche, Paris; Against the Run (2015), commissioned by Public Art Fund, New York, which takes the form of a clock with a face that has been turned anti-clockwise, making it impossible to read time; and Nissan (Parallelwelt 1+2) (2009), in which two identical Nissan Micra, different only in the location of their handles, are presented alongside.

Alicja Kwade's selected solo exhibitions include Hypothetical Reality, Winsing Art Place, Taipei (2020); In Between Glances, the MIT List Visual Arts Centre, Massachusetts (2019); I Rise Again, Changed But The Same, 303 Gallery, New York (2016).

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2020

Alicja Kwade Featured Artworks

Trans-for-Men (Fibonacci) 5 by Alicja Kwade contemporary artwork
Alicja KwadeTrans-for-Men (Fibonacci) 5, 2020Branco granite, stainless steel, stone, bronze, petrified wood
107 x 75 x 311.6 cm
KÖNIG GALERIE Contact Gallery
ShiftSlot (Tree) by Alicja Kwade contemporary artwork
Alicja KwadeShiftSlot (Tree), 2018Bronze, copper

Not for sale
Tang Contemporary Art

Alicja Kwade Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Alicja Kwade, Hypothetical Reality at Winsing Art Place, Taipei
Closed
29 April–29 July 2020 Alicja Kwade Hypothetical Reality Winsing Art PlaceTaipei
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, WHO AM I at Tang Contemporary Art, Beijing
Closed
14 March–10 May 2020 Group Exhibition WHO AM I Tang Contemporary ArtBeijing
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Reflections on Time and Space at Galeria Nara Roesler, Rio de Janeiro
Closed
16 September–2 November 2019 Group Exhibition Reflections on Time and Space Galeria Nara RoeslerRio de Janeiro

Alicja Kwade Represented By

KÖNIG GALERIE contemporary art gallery in Berlin, Germany KÖNIG GALERIE Berlin, London, Seoul

Alicja Kwade In Ocula Magazine

König Galerie Opens New Location in Seoul’s Gangnam District Ocula News König Galerie Opens New Location in Seoul’s Gangnam District Seoul, 1 April 2021

The gallery's first exhibition includes works by Katharina Grosse, Norbert Bisky, Friedrich Kunath, and Alicja Kwade.

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DESERT X 2021 to Feature Judy Chicago and Felipe Baeza Ocula News DESERT X 2021 to Feature Judy Chicago and Felipe Baeza Palm Desert, CA, 17 February 2021

Now in its third instalment, DESERT X 2021 is among the first major art events to return to the region since California went into lockdown last year.

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The Armory Show 2020 Ocula Photolog The Armory Show 2020

The Armory Show (5–8 March) features presentations by leading international galleries, innovative artist commissions, and dynamic public programs. The 2020 edition of The Armory Show, welcomes 183 exhibitors from 32 countries, convening Midtown Manhattan at Piers 90 and 94.

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Alicja Kwade In Related Press

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Non-traditional artworks are difficult to understand? 3 influencing art collectors in Asia sharing their idea about Alicja Kwade’s work Related Press Non-traditional artworks are difficult to understand? 3 influencing art collectors in Asia sharing their idea about Alicja Kwade’s work 2 July 2020, The Art Press Asia

以下是一個常見於藝術界內外的問題:身為單純的觀眾,你可能曾經覺得藝術,尤其當代藝術,總是令人感到困惑且摸不著頭緒?

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On the Met Roof, Alicja Kwade’s Test of Faith Related Press On the Met Roof, Alicja Kwade’s Test of Faith 29 March 2020, The New York Times

Known for confronting the laws of physics, the Polish-German artist builds a planetary sculpture and ponders our place in the universe

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Alicja Kwade: ParaPivot Related Press Alicja Kwade: ParaPivot 7 October 2019, The Brooklyn Rail

Late one Friday night in the middle of August, I stood on the deck of a ferry departing from the glowing environs of New York and was lucky enough to glance up from my phone in time to catch the inscrutable blackness of the night sky give way to countless stars.

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Capturing the Unfathomable Cosmos on the Met Museum’s Rooftop Related Press Capturing the Unfathomable Cosmos on the Met Museum’s Rooftop 19 April 2019, Hyperallergic

High above the trees of Central Park, Alicja Kwade has created a celestial ode to infinitude. Theories of the multiverse have perforated the public's perception of spacetime in recent years, drawing us all into the metaphysical wormhole of alternate realities and branching paths through comic books (Marvel and DC), movies ( Butterfly Effect...

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