14 January – 3 March 2012
Gallery Barbara Thumm is very pleased to announce her second solo show of the New York based artist Chloe Piene in Germany. Chloe Piene is well known for her ability to straddle an extremely wide spectrum, both in the physical play of her materials and as a certain philosophical position. Her work has included such diverse associations as prisoners, love letters, ironworkers, Christian mystics, ruins, political dictatorships and instruments of torture. A sudden discovery of works in wax by Medardo Rosso, (1858-1928), resonated for her as bodies found accidentally in forests. It reminded her of archaeological ruins and the burial sites of kings or families in Ireland and across the European Continent. Iron was at one time a sacred material touched only by the blacksmith, who was given both a high rank and magical status for his ability to transform it. Piene makes no qualitative distinction between the material she uses to create her pieces. She addresses their various states within the process of transformation which inflect the final form of her work. Time, and error, sensitive touch and will, all combine to form the final nexus of power that becomes the piece. Plaster eruptions, masks like impressions of heads and faces, which are mirrored in “sister images”, the iron cast of an octopus hand – all these elements remind of antique mythology as well as surrealist imagery.