Claudia Wieser: Generations
October 1–December 13, 2020
Generations is a seven-year survey of the distinctive, multi-faceted practice of Berlin-based artist Claudia Wieser.
Drawing upon the history of art, design and architecture—from the democratic stage of ancient Roman forums to the esoteric principles of Bauhaus craftsmanship—Wieser’s practice carefully stitches together a constellation of elements. Influenced by the modernism of Hilma af Klint, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee, who embraced spirituality as part of their aesthetic processes, Wieser broadens their ideals, using spatial installations to consider the coexistence of abstraction and physiological experience.
Generations features hand-painted and patterned ceramics, carved wooden sculptures, tiled mirrored works, colored-pencil-and-gold-leaf drawings, and a new site-specific wallpaper spliced together from imagery of historic sculpture and architecture as well as images from popular culture and found photographs. This exhibition of geometric abstractions, surfaces, and references challenges us to look at ourselves looking and invites us to have a new experience of the Smart Museum’s modernist lobby and gallery spaces.
This will be Wieser’s first solo-traveling museum exhibition in the United States and her first project in Chicago. The exhibition is organized by Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts and the Smart Museum of Art.
The accompanying publication reveals the last decade of Claudia Wieser’s artistic practice. Alongside images of her artworks and installations, the book features essays by curators Rachel Adams and Jennifer Carty that examine Wieser’s practice in relation to its historical foundations and influences. It also contains three interviews conducted by art historians and scholars Maggie Taft, Igor Siddiqui, and Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy, offering a range of perspectives on Wieser’s multidisciplinary practice.