Trained in literature and philosophy, Berlin-based artist and writer Michaela Eichwald (Germany, b. 1967) works predominantly as a painter. This exhibition, the artist’s first US solo museum presentation, brings together painting, sculpture, and collage from the past 10 years of her practice.
Bridging abstraction and figuration, Eichwald’s densely layered paintings—often made on unconventional surfaces such as printed canvas or imitation leather—bear an alchemical combination of acrylic, oil, tempera, spray paint, mordant, graphite, varnish, and lacquer. Whether in large- or small-scale formats, her works combine smooth paint strokes and quick smudges, at times revealing figurative forms and snippets of text. While Eichwald’s works are part of a lineage of abstraction, they resist any direct connection to a particular movement or period, instead amalgamating and churning through the history of painterly styles and techniques.
To create her sculptures, Eichwald pours resin into bags, rubber gloves, and plastic bottles, in which she collects—like objects captured in amber—uncommon and dissonant materials, such as chicken bones, erasers, jewelry, mushrooms, fishing tackle, needles, candy, small drawings, and hard-boiled eggs. At once repulsive and alluring, grotesque and seductive, these pieces bring to mind associations ranging from trophies and time capsules to the human digestive system. Filled with humor and wit, Eichwald’s works draw on references to theology, philosophy, and art history, while also reflecting on her own life: her surroundings, thinking, reading, and friends.
Curator: Pavel Pyś, curator, Visual Arts
Note: This exhibition was previously scheduled to be on view June 4–November 8, 2020.