Remy Toledo Gallery

529 West 20th Street, 8th Floor
NY-10011 New York

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artists & participants

press release

Two solo exhibitions by Kaarina Kaikkonen and Monika Weiss offer compelling intersections—thematic parallels, physical residues, and time-based practices. By means of the garment, Kaikkonen constructs a surrogate for the human body. In contrast, Weiss, uses her own to create its trace or afterimage. Each artist incorporates different visual strategies to impart presence and the essence of absence.

Kaarina Kaikkonen, a Finnish artist who lives and works in Helsinki, creates sculptural projects and site-specific installations indoors and outdoors in unusual places. Since 1987 the artist has worked mostly with men's cast-off jackets, garments no longer worn. In this exhibition, both earlier and more recent works provide a range of her inventive vision. Queen of Night, a wall sculpture with disassembled women's shoes, has a magical quality. My Silhouette, an installation of draped toilet paper, poetically communicates delicacy and impermanence by creating a play of shadows. A new series of photographs focuses on the materiality of her garment motif in an attempt to transcend the present.

In 2006 the artist will have a retrospective at Charlottenborg Exhibition Hall in Copenhagen and participate in the Echigo-Tsumari Triennial in Echigo-Tsumari, Japan. She participated in OmniArt-Miami III, Miami, 2005; the 8th Havana Biennial, Wifredo Lam Center for Contemporary Art, Havana, 2003; and Night Train, Kiasma Museum for Contemporary Art, Helsinki, 2003. She has exhibited extensively in Europe and holds the Public Prize, Den Haag Sculptuur 2004, Holland. This is her first exhibition in New York.

Monika Weiss, a Polish-born artist who lives and works in New York, is presenting a multimedia installation featuring a huge floor canvas of cotton sheeting, video projection with sound, large-scale drawings, and preparatory sketches. Leukos was created outdoors on the ground at Lehman College in the Bronx last September during three consecutive days. During that time the artist silently hand-traced her silhouette with crayons, graphite, and pigments over the surface of the six long sheets of cotton sewn together. The artist's ritualistic actions were complemented by several participants who entered and exited the white canvas on the second day for brief periods, recording their presence and leaving their imprints. Nature's elements also left their marks: wind made the canvas billow, and rain darkened the graphite lines, creating a gestural field. The artist filmed the work on video from its inception, then selected sequences from the original thirty hours, interwove her previous film segments, and added sound. The resulting sound piece was composed as a lamentation with phrases the artist selected from classical arias, sung by Anthony Roth Costanzo, a male soprano. The new composition adds a sense of gravitas to the visual imagery on canvas and video wherein the artist declares the body's contingency.

In 2005 the artist was awarded a Philip Guston and Musa McKim Residency, YADDO, Saratoga Springs, New York. Her survey Monika Weiss: Five Rivers was organized at Lehman College Art Gallery, and Monika Weiss: Between Presence and Performative Memory was shown at the Instytut Sztuki WYSPA in Gdansk. The artist's work will be included in a group exhibition at the Kunsthaus Dresden this year. Weiss studied piano and musical composition in the Warsaw Conservatory for many years and continues to compose music for her work. This is the artist's second solo show at the Remy Toledo Gallery.

Curator Julia P. Herzberg, Ph.D., art historian and curator, has organized contemporary art exhibitions and has written and lectured on multicultural practices in the Americas and Europe.


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Kaarina Kaikkonen & Monika Weiss
Kurator: Julia P. Herzberg