Working primarily in sculpture and installation, Berlin-based artist Alicja Kwade explores structures of reality such as time and space, as well as systems of value, that determine how we perceive the world and decide what constitutes the real. She is best known for her sculptural works which use common, yet symbolically resonant, materials like rocks, lamps, and clocks. Typically working in a site-specific mode, viewers encounter these and other found objects transformed by Kwade to mysterious effect. Roadside pebbles are cut and polished like precious gems. Lit and unlit lamps mysteriously channel light across glass walls. Normally obdurate building materials droop and sag. Kwade’s alchemical treatment of familiar things complicate, and at times cast suspicion on, our perceptual faculties. Throughout her work, she strategically blurs received distinctions between past and present, fact and fiction, and high and low value. At the List Center, Kwade will realize a new sculptural commission displayed alongside a focused selection of other recent work.
Alicja Kwade (b.1979, Poland, lives and works in Berlin) has had exhibition in museums worldwide including Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (2018); Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich (2018); YUZ Museum, Shanghai (2017); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2016); Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, Switzerland (2015), and many others. In 2017, Kwade mounted a large-scale installation title WeltenLinie (One in a Time) as part of the 57th Venice Biennale exhibition. Her work is part of many public collections, such as Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf; Reykjavik Art Museum, Iceland; and Wrocław Contemporary Museum, Poland.
Alicja Kwade is organized by Henriette Huldisch, Director of Exhibitions & Curator, MIT List Visual Arts Center.
Exhibitions at the List Center are made possible with the support of Fotene Demoulas & Tom Coté, Audrey & James Foster, Idee German-Schoenheimer, Joyce Linde, Jane & Neil Pappalardo, Cynthia & John Reed, and Terry & Rick Stone. In-kind media sponsorship provided by 90.9 WBUR.
Additional funding provided by VIA Art Fund and Deutschlandjahr USA | Year of German-American Friendship.
General operating support is provided by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the Council for the Arts at MIT; Philip S. Khoury, Associate Provost at MIT; the MIT School of Architecture + Planning; the Mass Cultural Council; and many generous individual donors. The Advisory Committee Members of the List Visual Arts Center are gratefully acknowledged.
Celestial Visions on the Met Roof | New York Times | Jason Farago
On the Met Roof, Alicja Kwade’s Test of Faith | New York Times | Thomas Rogers