Shapes, Traps and Spells
30 August to 11 October 2014 Opening reception: Friday, 29 August 2014, 6 to 9 pm
We are very pleased to show new works by Franziska Furter (*1972 in Zurich) in her second solo exhibition in our gallery. Franziska Furter is a prominent Swiss artist, whose work has been shown in many solo and group exhibitions in galleries and museums.
The title of the show Shapes, Traps and Spells points to the fact, that the exhibition includes three different groups of works and themes: On the one hand Franziska Furter explores with balanced collages the Shapes new territories, on the other hand she follows with the sculptural works called Spells more familiar paths. The Traps are objects conceived with fabrics. They refer directly to the most important inspiration for the show, the novel The Fly Trap: About the Happiness of Self-Absorption in Strange Passions, the Soul of the Collector, Flies and Life with Nature by Fredrik Sjöberg. The book mesmerized the artist. Mainly Fredrik Sjöberg explains in this book, why he does, what he does, mainly collecting hover flies. While reporting he loses himself again and again in stories about scientist, living odd lives and following bizarre vocations, leading nevertheless or just because of that to discoveries and new achievements. Amongst others he is captivated by René Malaise, an eccentric Swede who was the last of a generation of polymath naturalist-explorers who invented a fly trap called the Malaise trap. This very effective trap looks like a tent. It consists of black fabric at the bottom and white fabric on the top ending in a summit, which contains a vessel with poison killing the insects. The trap is based on the observation that insects always fly towards the light and, if they are looking for a way out, mostly towards the top.
In the middle room of the gallery the visitors encounter two Traps positioned into each other. These are artistic interpretations of the Malaise traps, which have lost their purpose to catch flies. This sculptural structure hangs from the ceiling and consists of white, varied dense fabrics. It is neither cave nor labyrinth. The form features something intertwined, entangled but also due to its layered texture an abstract quality and depth. The spatial counterbalance to the Traps is a hovering group of Spells – sculptural, geometric arrangements made of square brass tubes developing in their abstraction a life of their own, and pointing with their subtitles towards mythical creatures. On the walls besides the variations of the Traps and the pending groups of Spells Franziska Furter displayed loosely new works on paper from the group Shapes. In the production of these collages she follows exact rules: She always uses two pages from a book with depictions of plants. Then she cuts the pages in such a way that a defined line appears, when the two pages are overlaid above each other. Often the created lines seem to float in the space of the image as if they were hanging on invisible threads like the objects in the real space. Franziska Furter is guided by the principle of controlled chance. In the production of the collage she wants to capture the split second. Thereby the state of stagger – often present in the artistic work – finds its direct visible expression. The additional titles of the Shapes are names of winds. It is as if the elements would touch the papers or even shake them.
The subtitle of the book by Sjöberg denominates an important criterion inherent in Franziska Furter’s work: the self-absorption in an activity through passion and perseverance. This understood concentration of Franziska Furter holds a lightness resulting in moments of happiness. In such lucid moments of artistic production Franziska Furter might affirm the
question by Fischli Weiss „Does luck find me?“. Thereby any esoteric inclination is alien to her. She doesn’t indulge into an immersion of the artistic object but works with a humorous dedication and accuracy.
In the first room her endurance and persistence become tangible in three large downwelling Spells. The title of this series gives a hint, that the objects might emanate some magic power. They are placements in a precisely defined frame made out of ready-made square brass tubes. These playful elements refer to earlier works in her œuvre as for example the outside installation Mojo and the group of works Crystal Silence and Islands. The Spells are abstracts statements in space and systematic materialisations of ideas. They are to be located in the context of talismans and dreamcatchers, but also so called himmelis (Christmas decoration from Finland). These are objects celebrating life and bringing luck.
Franziska Furter has a wonderful gift to create works full of poetry and poignancy within a clearly defined pattern of rules. The three groups of works in the exhibition deal with the description of moments and states. Often Franziska Furter works in groups, in which she explores specific questions. Her exhibitions are perfectly executed, they describe how ideas are developed and how they are finally expressed in the works. Her current installation is dynamic and a constant light stream of air seems to blow through her. The exhibition holds an instinctive lightness. It allows the viewers manifold associations and thoughts but also direct spatial sensations.
Franziska Furter born 1972 in Zurich, lives and works in Basel and Berlin
2010 Artist in residence, Cité des Arts, Paris and Artist in residence of Pro Helvetia, Cairo; 2008 Cahiers d’Artistes, Pro Helvetia and grant, Alexander Clavel-Stiftung, Riehen; 2007 grant, Neue Aargauer Bank; 2006 work contribution, Kuratorium des Kantons Aargau; 2003 studio grant London, Kuratorium des Kantons Aargau; 2001 Prix Ehinger, Basel; 1999 studio grant Berlin, Kuratorium des Kantons Aargau and studio grant Edinburgh, CMS Stiftung, Basel; 1998 grant for the arts des Kantons Basel-Stadt; 1994-1997 Hochschule für Bildende Kunst HGK Basel;
Since 2000 numerous solo- and group exhibitions in Switzerland and abroad, amongst others in the Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau; Kunsthalle Basel; Kunsthalle Baselland; Kunsthaus Langenthal; Kunstmuseum Solothurn; Kunstmuseum Thun; Kunstverein Freiburg i.Br.; Museum Wiesbaden; Volpinum, Vienna, Chapelle St. Quirin, Sélestat, Elsass and Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Towner, Eastbourne; (les halles) – espace d’art contemporain, Porrentruy.
The opening reception takes place Friday, 29 August 2014 from 6 to 9 pm. The artist will be present. For further information and images please contact the Lullin + Ferrari, Limmatstrasse 214, CH–8005 Zurich, t. +41 43 205 26 07, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.lullinferrari.com Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 12–6 pm, Saturday 11 to 5 pm, and by appointment.