artist / participant
The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam presents the first museum solo of Magali Reus in the Netherlands, one of today's most exciting young sculptors. Magali Reus works with the materiality and physical interaction between objects, the tension between what is public and what private, and the relationship between the aesthetic and the flawed. The forms of her previous sculptures bore visual similarities to recognizable commonplace objects such as fridges, fold-down chairs and cooking utensils, yet always imbued with a sense of the enigmatic. Although her sculptures may appear recognizable, in Reus' universe they become uncanny. Through her methods of obsessive layering and repetition, objects are stripped of their use value and translated into abstracted, alienated forms.
New series of sculptures With the support of the Stedelijk Museum, the Mondriaan Fund, and The Approach, the artist has realized new work especially for the exhibition. In this new series she also confounds our expectations of objects predicated on a deeply-rooted relationship with the body, this time both human and animal.
Reus utilizes complex textile and leatherworking processes like laser engraving and embossing to produce sculptural forms that, while not directly referencing a specific familiar object, nonetheless evoke associations with saddles, blankets and engines. An element of "camp" or the grotesque is present in the inflation of the (animal) forms that possess a powerful physicality and simultaneously, through their exaggeration, display a satirically baroque presence. The works are further distinguished by their complex materiality and lavish ornamentation.
About her latest series, Magali Reus remarks: "With the new works, I want to convey something untameable. The objects have an animalistic sensibility, which is in part due to their hulking size but also their surface referral to skins, pouches and bones. Visually, these sculptures are problematic forms to understand. The many layers which constitute their shapes and contours feature an accumulation of details and ornaments which feel jarringly at odds, whilst simultaneously maintaining an appearance of precise confidence. I want to further convey this idea of the destabilisation or agitation of the familiar object-relationships within the works through the exhibition title: mustard is Western slang for 'to unsettle or disturb cattle'"
Magali Reus has designed a spatial installation with walls that integrate a second suite of works, in addition to the new series, which will be freely arranged around the space.
The exhibition will be on show at Kunstmuseum St Gallen, Switzerland, from June 3–October 22, 2017.
First publication The exhibition is complemented by an extensive book on the work of Magali Reus, part of the JRP-Ringier "first monographs" series. The publication contains an interview with Reus by curators Leontine Coelewij (Stedelijk Museum) and Andrew Bonacina (chief curator of The Hepworth Wakefield). Also featured are contributions from the British art critic Kirsty Bellm, writer Andrew Durbin, the artist Liam Gillick, and a foreword by Stedelijk Museum Director Beatrix Ruf.
About Magali Reus
Magali Reus (The Hague, the Netherlands, 1981) lives and works in London. She was educated at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam, Goldsmiths College, London, and the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam. For her "Leaves" (2015) series, Reus was awarded the prestigious Prix de Rome in 2015.
Stedelijk Contemporary This exhibit is one of a series of solo presentations under the name Stedelijk Contemporary, in which the Stedelijk highlights an artist at the beginning of their career. Many of these presentations feature new productions and recent acquisitions. The Stedelijk seeks to respond to current events and stimulate contemporary talent by, in some cases, commissioning new pieces. The Stedelijk champions artists as advocates of new ideas and, by cultivating lasting relationships with promising young artists early on, shapes the future identity of the museum's collection.
The Stedelijk Contemporary presentations in 2016 and 2017 are made possible by Ammodo. The realisation of the exhibition Mustard by Magali Reus is made possible with the financial support of the Mondriaan Fund.