Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, 1887 – 2058

Apr 23, 2016 — Aug 7, 2016

  • Installation view of the exhibition at K20, photo: Achim Kukulies

In the art of Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster (*1965 in Strasbourg, lives in Paris and Rio de Janeiro), everything revolves around experiences of and reflections on spaces and times. Using often minimal resources, she evokes places, people, and things that exist in one form or another in our collective memory. Her themes may be as diverse as the influence of hippiedom during the 1970s, the film director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, the urban utopia of Brasilia, King Ludwig II, psychoanalysis, a tropical rainstorm, or the prospects for the year 2066. Using just a few elements, she constructs spaces, uses specially created sounds, produces films, or appears herself as a historical figure. A recurring point of reference in all of these activities is literature.

It is not a question of creating the perfect illusion of a certain moment in time or a certain individual, but instead of a state of suspension between recognition and astonishment, memory and speculation. The exhibition title names two specific works, at the same time suggesting that for Gonzalez-Foerster, time is a flowing continuum. The exhibition in the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein- Westfalen is organized jointly with the Centre George Pompidou in Paris. With approximately 15 labyrinthine spaces occupying two exhibition halls of the K20, it is the largest exhibition devoted to this artist to date, and offers a retrospective overview of her work of the past 25 years.

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster is among the most important French artists of the moment, and has enjoyed an international presence from early in her career. She has had solo shows and exhibited works in renowned museums such as the Musée d’art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Dia Art Foundation (New York), the Tate Modern (London), the Palacio de Cristal (Madrid), and the Guggenheim Museum (New York). She has participated in major international exhibitions such as the documenta in Kassel and the Sculpture Projects Münster. Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster lives in Paris and Rio de Janeiro. 

Appearing  in an English edition in conjunction with the show in Paris and Düsseldorf is the most comprehensive publication on this artist to date, a 300 page catalogue with numerous illustrations and essays on various aspects of her oeuvre. This exhibition of works by Dominique Gonzalez- Foerster calls attention to a creative personality who has been neglected in Germany to date, who together with other French artists such as Pierre Huyghe and Phillipe Parreno, but also international figures such as Douglas Gordon, Liam Gillick, and Rikrit Tiravanija, has shaped contemporary art globally in decisive ways since the 1990s. The open, flowing spaces of experience created by this artist develop in the space between literature, history, and culture in the widest sense; her work is emblematic of a younger generation of artists who have been shaped by contemporary media and the everyday experience of globalization.