Hiding in Plain Sight

Alicja Kwade

b. 1979, Kastowice, Poland
Lives and works in Berlin, Germany

Alicja Kwade transforms materials and environs into immersive laboratories where viewers are encouraged to question their understanding of the universe that surrounds them. What defines an object in Kwade’s scenarios is based on the subjective interpretation of the viewer, including societal value, language, and function. Kwade imagines the unimaginable by illustrating her deepest existential questions revolving the nature of perception and illusions.

Alicja Kwade, TransForm, 2020, original tree segment, patinated bronze, oak, malachite, ceramic, granite, new silver, 32-13/16" × 17' 9-3/8" × 18-7/8" (83.3 cm × 542 cm × 47.9 cm)

TransForm (2020) is composed of tree segments, bronze, wood, malachite, ceramic, granite, and silver in variant spherical forms, both cast and carved. The symbolism and sensory experience of objects suggests the transformation of materials, offering different perspectives of objective reality. The spheres and vessels become containers for holding and digesting information as the perception of time and space. Geological time is contained in the objects that evoke a solar system, using organic matter and natural resources to explore the omnipresent relationship between time and space. The interconnectedness of the materials articulates Kwade’s ongoing interpretation the unanswerable questions of the cosmos.

Alicja Kwade

Alicja Kwade (b. 1979, Katowice, Poland) lives and works in Berlin, Germany and earned a BA from the University of the Arts (UdK) in Berlin in 2005. Important recent exhibitions and installations of her work include Alicja Kwade: ReReason at the Yuz Museum, Shanghai (2018); Alicja Kwade: ParaPivot at the Roof Garden Commission of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2019); and Alicja Kwade: In Abwesenheit at the Berlinische Galerie – Landesmuseum für Moderne Kunst (2021). Kwade’s work resides in numerous public collections worldwide, including Centre Pompidou, Paris; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark; and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, among others.