Figure Black Hat

Paloma Varga Weisz

Figure Black Hat, 2006

The work of Paloma Varga Weisz (b. 1966, Mannheim, Germany) explores themes of memory, mortality, transformation, metamorphosis, the uncanny, and the tragicomic. Art historical and literary resonances pervade her work. Varga Weisz subsumes influences of German folklore, Christian iconography, and Modernist sculpture into a distinctive personal style, characterized both by playful Surrealism and emotional candor. In many of her sculptures and drawings, Varga Weisz depicts imaginary characters resembling Surreal bodies from fairy tales and folklore.

While some of her characters seem to be immersed in uncanny stillness, others hide away in their anonymity. Their hybrid and anthropomorphic nature, combining human and non human features, makes them free of any ties to time and place. Through the mimetic and resemblance, we connect these creatures to a reality that is surprisingly not that remotely distant from our own.

Figure Black Hat, 2006 has been part of numerous survey exhibitions of the artist, including The Root of Dream at Castello di Rivoli, Turin, 2017, Maison de Plaisance: Rosemarie Trockel / Paloma Varga Weisz, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany, 2012 and The Gilded Age, Kunsthalle Vienna, Vienna, 2008. The work has been reproduced in the following exhibition catalogues: Root of a Dream, Castello di Rivoli, Rivoli, Italy, 2017 (pp. 81, 100, 115), Maison de Plaisance: Rosemarie Trockel / Paloma Varga Weisz. Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, 2012, pp. 86, 101 and The Gilded Age, Kunsthalle Vienna, Vienna, 2008, p. 17.

Major solo exhibitions include Skulpturenhalle, Thomas Schütte Foundation, Holzheim, Germany; Kabinettstück, Fürstenberg Zeitgenössisch, Donaueschingen, Germany; curated by Moritz Wesseler); Glory Hole, Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, Austria; Root of a Dream, Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy; Krummer Hund, Kabinett für aktuelle Kunst, Bremerhaven, Germany, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany (with Rosemary Trockel) and Spirits of My Flesh, Chapter, Cardiff among other. Her works have been included in numerous group shows including Lucas Cranach the Elder, Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, Germany; The Human Factor, Hayward Gallery, London; Sculptures from the art academy Düsseldorf since 1945, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany, Exquisite Corpses: Drawing and Disfiguration, Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Folkestone Triennial, UK, Lust for Life and Dance of Death, Kunsthalle Krems, and the Berlin Biennale. In 2017, a new book documenting Varga Weisz’s exhibition Root of a Dream was published by Castello di Rivoli, Turin.