Intervals: Kitty Kraus

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Kitty Kraus, Untitled, 2006


October 9, 2009–January 6, 2010

Kitty Kraus (b. 1976, Heidelberg, Germany) has been invited to exhibit her work for the second installment of Intervals, a new contemporary art series designed to showcase experimental projects by emerging artists. Kraus works in a spare, elegiac vocabulary of monochrome forms and humble materials such as light bulbs, mirrors, ice, and cloth. While her sculptural installations at first recall the cool, geometric precision of Minimalist art, they possess an internal volatility that can prompt their gradual fragmentation or sudden collapse. The spirit of her practice is thus more aligned with the focus on process and alchemic transformation associated with Post-Minimalism, such as the Arte Povera movement of the late 1960s or the work of Joseph Beuys and Robert Smithson. The trajectory of dissolution at the heart of Kraus’s work is encapsulated in her series of bulbs or microphones encased in blocks of frozen ink, in which the heat from the embedded electronic device gradually melts the ice, leaving only a residue of murky liquid pooled on the floor or trailing the gallery walls. Likewise, her sculptures constructed from bulbs enclosed in mirrored glass boxes, in which slivers of light seep through incised edges to envelop the gallery space in delicate projected patterns are sometimes calibrated so that the heat from the light source eventually shatters the casing. As a young artist defining her career at the beginning of the 21st century—a time of profound questioning and global crises—Kraus rehearses the trend towards degradation and chaos known as entropy, finding a mournful beauty in the literal and symbolic failure of form.

Katherine Brinson, Assistant Curator

Kitty Kraus, Untitled, 2006. Ice, ink, light fixture, cable, and light bulb, dimensions variable. Courtesy Galerie Neu and the artist. Photo: Gunter Lepkowsk

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