press release

VW (VeneKlasen/Werner) is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Huma Bhabha. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in Berlin and features sculptures and collage drawings created in 2013 while Bhabha was artist-in-residence at The American Academy in Berlin. The influence of German art on the artist has never been more keenly felt; German Expressionism, the sculptures of Georg Baselitz and the photo drawings of Arnulf Rainer and Anselm Kiefer are among the art historical referents Bhabha explores in this new body of work.

Bhabha’s approach to form is raw and visceral, suggesting violence and lending the work powerful emotional and political overtones. The artist draws freely upon the history of figurative sculpture, evoking Greek and Egyptian statuary, fertility icons, Rauschenberg’s combines or the playfully sinister sculptural portraits of Marisol; indeed, the synthesis of science fiction, modernism and “pop” with the distant past underlies much of Bhabha’s work as evidenced in her uncanny choice of materials. Styrofoam, wood, metal, terra cotta and found objects are among the numerous ingredients Bhabha employs in her totems and fragmented figures. Archaeology is an important touchstone for the artist, referencing the raw landscapes of her native Karachi to Robert Smithson’s “Monuments of Passaic” and the post-industrial cities of upstate New York, where she now resides.

Huma Bhabha was born in Pakistan in 1962 and currently lives and works in New York. Her work was included in the Paris Triennale in 2012 and the Whitney Biennial in 2010. She has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout North America and Europe and was the subject of solo exhibitions at New York's MoMA/PS1 in 2012 and the Aspen Art Museum in 2011. Bhabha is the recipient of the 2008 Emerging Artist Award of the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art and was the 2013 Guna S. Mundheim Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.