absalon at KW institute for contemporary art in berlin absalon at KW institute for contemporary art in berlin
nov 13, 2010

absalon at KW institute for contemporary art in berlin

absalon KW institute of contemporary art in berlin november 28th, 2010 to february 20th, 2011

self-titled exhibition ‘absalon’, is the first comprehensive solo exhibition of israeli artist absalon since 1994. covering all floors at KW institute of contemporary art in berlin, the show presents absalon’s ‘cellules’, uniting works from the series ‘propositions d’habitation’ (1989-1992) and the installation ‘dispositions’ (1990), while also showing previously unexhibited models, drawings, paintings and video works.

absalon cell n° 4, 1991 wood, cardboard, white paint 147 x 180 x 247 cm collection capc musée d’art contemporain, bordeaux

absalon was fascinated by spaces which he reworked in systematic and successive ways with questions around essential human activities and geometric forms (the rectangular, the square, the triangle and the circle) being his points of departure. it was in 1987 that he began to empty out the spaces he found, before eventually restructuring and refilling them with the help of simple forms. these test assemblies – further developed by means of objects, drawings, photographs and films – came full circle in absalon’s ‘cellules’: individualized, ascetic and contemplative living units based on the measurements of the artist’s own body, which are neither purely sculptural nor architectural in the classic sense.

absalon cell n° 2 (prototype), 1992 wood, cardboard, white paint 250 x 430 x 220 cm ausstellungsansicht / exhibition view, kunsthalle zürich, 1997 photo : a. troehler, zürich

absalon cellule no. 5, 1992 wood, cardboard, paint, neon lights 405 cm, ø 240 cm photo: heinz preute, vaduz

absalon proposals for a habitat, 1992 wood, cardboard, white paint, neon light 180 x 270 x 370 cm collection of centre pompidou, paris courtesy galerie chantal crousel photo: florian kleinefenn

the white clusters of ‘propositions d’habitation’, illuminated by neon light seem to be architectural studies whereas ‘dispositions’ installed in KW’s attic and covering more than 100 square meters, resembles a thorough cataloguing of his formal vocabulary.

absalon proposals for a habitat, 1992 wood, expanded polystyrene, cardboard, plaster 100 x 320 x 390 cm © d.r./cnap

absalon disposition, 1990 wood, cardboard, white paint, 6 neon lights, 40 elements 140 x 928 x 1028 cm 110 qm / square meters collection frac languedoc-roussillon photo: richard decker

absalon was born in 1964 in ashdod, israel. he relocated to paris in 1987 where he would live and work until his premature death in 1993. in only a few short years, he created an oeuvre of complexity and consistency, which – although unfinished  never appears fragmentary.

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