Black and White (father)

Paloma Varga Weisz

Black and White (father), 2020

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 that is characterised both by playful Surrealism and emotional candour. In many of her sculptures and drawings Varga Weisz depicts imaginary characters, resembling Surreal bodies from fairy tales and folklore.

While many of her characters remain fictional, others bare a relation to personal memories. Black and White (father), 2020, depicts Varga Weisz’s father, also an artist and a repeated reference in her work. Immersed in uncanny stillness, a feature characteristic for many of the artist’s sculptures, frees him of any ties to time and place. The ambiguity of the sculpture, emphasised by the repetition of its two elements and their colour, surfaces the concept of dualism – the yin and the yang. Through this gesture Varga Weisz points to how seemingly opposite forces may actually complement one another by their interdependence in the natural world.

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.