Preview | Pastel House | Anya Kielar and Johannes VanDerBeek

June 10 - Sept 3, 2022

We are delighted to present new works by the New York based artists Anya Kielar (*1978, New York, NY) and Johannes VanDerBeek (*1982, Baltimore, MD) on the occasion of Zurich Art Weekend 2022. In both artists’ work the figure plays a prominent role. It is approached as a recognizable symbol that is open to a vast range of reinterpretations. For Kielar and VanDerBeek, parts of the body are seen as angles and curves that can be stretched and manipulated into something foreign and familiar, while playing with certain expectations placed upon the frameworks of gender.

Kielar presents two large wall mounted sculptures that portray the upper torso of a women posed within the frame of a shadowbox. In response, VanDerBeek created cast resin panels that depict enlarged faces of men. 
Kielar has been pursuing different modes of representing women in her work for over two decades. Through a variety of mediums, she has explored how the female form can be captured in a manner that reflect its ever-changing role. In her most recent series, she is drawn to the potential of shallow relief to create a subtle play between flatness and dimensionality. These shadowboxes are made in series of labor-intensive steps including carving, sanding, painting, wrapping, and positioning. When all the stages are complete the object that sits on the wall is one that merges the spatial flow of two- dimensional gestures with three-dimensional posture. 

In VanDerBeek’s work there is a sense that something is growing within the field of the male face of each piece. In this new series of works, VanDerBeek utilizes a casting method to make flat panels of colored resin where etched lines and ghostly marks stream through the picture plane. The imagery of men crying, and emoting is a direct response to the recent flood of pictures coming out of war and conflict. In each composition, flowers emerge from around the eyes or mouth, as though the subject is in the process of transformation. 

Anya Kielar and Johannes VanDerBeek have been a couple for over twenty years. During that time, they have supported each other in all the ways that are necessary to keep making artwork. The show highlights how they each approach mark-making and figuration in their own manner and reveal the way gender can have a sway on the act of representation. In this visual context, their back and forth involves the movements of lines and the placements of tones within the house of pastels.

For more information, please check our website here.
The exhibition is part of Zurich Art Weekend, taking place from June 10 to 12, 2022.