Considered one of the key figures of the post-war avant-garde, Kogelnik’s multidisciplinary oeuvre spans five decades. Her multifaceted artistic style evolved from painterly abstraction to Pop Art and the representation of the (female) body.
Consumer culture, technology and feminism were recurring themes throughout her work. Her unique aesthetic is marked with playfulness and humour yet imbued with a stark sense of criticality. In resisting and contesting the lure of post-war capitalist culture in her work, she demarcated herself from her contemporary peers.
Her first ceramics were made in 1974, and soon became a key activity in her artistic practice. Her ceramic works were hand-built and cut from slabs using stencils and are reminiscent of her earlier paintings in their boldness, bright colours and vivacity. Drawing on a method of presentation she employed in an exhibition at the Henri Gallery in Washington, DC in 1990, a number of islands pepper the space; made from clusters of plinths of different heights and widths and displaying a range of her freestanding works that date from the 1950s through to the 1990s. Arranged chronologically, this exhibition demonstrates Kogelnik’s boundless capacity for invention and restless commitment to making.
About the Artist:
Kiki Kogelnik was born in 1935 in Bleiburg, Austria. She lived and worked in New York and Vienna. She died in 1997 in Vienna, Austria. She started her studies in 1954 at the University of Applied Arts Vienna but joined the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna a year later. Recent solo exhibitions include: Kiki Kogelnik. Les cyborgs ne sont pas respectueuses, Musée des Beaux-Arts de La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland (2020); Kiki Kogelnik, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York (2019); Kiki Kogelnik: Inner Life, Kunsthall Stavanger, NO (2017); Kiki Kogelnik: Fly Me to the Moon, Modern Art Oxford, UK (2015); and Kiki Kogelnik. Retrospective, Kunsthalle Krems, Austria (2013). She was included in The Assembled Human, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany (2019/20); Fly Me to the Moon. The Moon Landing: 50 Years On, Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland (2018) and Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Austria (2019); A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women, Muzeum Susch, Switzerland (2018); The World Goes Pop, Tate Modern, London, UK (2015) and POWER UP – Female Pop Art, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria (2010).
This exhibition is curated by Chris Sharp in partnership with the Kiki Kogelnik Foundation.
Image credit: Kiki Kogelnik, Untitled (Sea Monster), c. 1974. Glazed ceramic. Courtesy Kiki Kogelnik Foundation.