Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Wunderblock debuts on June 1 at the Nasher Sculpture Center

The Nasher Sculpture Center will debut a new exhibit called WUNDERBLOCK created by artist Katharina Grosse that will run from June 1 to September 1, 2013.  So, what the heck is a Wunderblock you ask? It's the German term for an old-fashioned children’s toy, known in English as a mystic writing pad or magic slate, which allows users to write on its surface, then “erase” the writing by lifting its cover. In 1925, Sigmund Freud wrote an important essay called “Notes on the Wunderblock,” in which he compared the operation of memory and the nature of the unconscious to the layered construction of this toy. We have all learned something today...

For more than two decades, Grosse has been making large installations consisting of brightly colored acrylic paints sprayed onto walls, ceilings, piles of dirt, and sculpted styrofoam and fiberglass shapes. Taking inspiration from frescoes, plein-air painting, Abstract Expressionism, and urban graffiti, Grosse explores how painting can “appear in space” – in the realm of sculpture and architecture – by giving color extreme and palpable form.

In the Lower Level Gallery, mounds of dirt covering the floor and spilling out of the gallery will provide additional surfaces for painting, creating an immersive painted environment that visitors walk into and on. Upstairs, a large carved and painted structure will fill most of the gallery, abutting its garden-side window and continuing on the other side of the glass onto the terrace. A small group of works from the Nasher Collection, selected in collaboration with the artist, will also be on display in the gallery. In the garden, visitors will also see two of her large “color-objects”—dramatic volumetric forms made of glass-fiber reinforced plastic—under the trees. The exhibit will feature two new works created specifically for the museum by the Berlin-based artist.  Grosse has named both the large, window-traversing sculpture and the Nasher’s exhibition as a whole WUNDERBLOCK.

Reminds me of the first stop at Willy Wonka's chocolate factory tour where they wandered into the candy garden...

The Nasher Sculpture Center is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm and until 11 pm for special events, and from 10 am to 5 pm on the first Saturday of each month. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for students, and free for members and children 12 and under, and includes access to special exhibitions. For more information, visit www.NasherSculptureCenter.org.