veronika kellndorfer’s recent museum acquisitions
may 22, 2019
Veronika Kellndorfer’s works National Gallery, Shortly Before Renovation and Succulent Screen have been acquired by the Art Institute of Chicago and The J. Paul Getty Museum, respectively. In her photographs of Mies van der Rohe’s New National Gallery in Berlin, Kellndorfer reveals the divergence between our idea of the building and its actuality. Kellndorfer offers us new ways to understand and reconstruct the history documented in this body of work. Her photograph of the empty gallery during the process of restoration focuses on its raw materiality; the original steel, glass, and stone coexist with the new materials staged for installation along with the dust and dirt of the construction site.
National Gallery, Shortly Before Renovation has been exhibited at the Elmhurst Art Museum, Elmhurst, IL and the Chicago Architecture Biennial, Chicago, IL.
During a 2003 stay at Los Angeles’s Villa Aurora, a gathering place for exiled European artists during World War II and now home to a residency program for artists and writers, Kellndorfer photographed the iconic Freeman House—a modernist house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1924. Succulent Screen arose from this study.
"Built as a claustrophobic cliff house with breathtaking views, the Freeman House is the antithesis to the sleek modernism of certain buildings in the International Style. Its fragile glazing bars, glass louvers, and wafer-thin glass corners contrast with the severity of its brocade-like concrete walls, the so-called textile blocks; here, a somewhat oriental plant module cast in gray cement/ Cactuses pressing up against the thin glass membrane, as if crowding into and almost bursting the interior, visualize the building's inherent question: what kind of a boundary can glass be? The Freeman offers me exemplary opportunities to explore the transfer of architectural space into the two-dimensionality of my glass works, and to fold back the principle of architecture into the logic of the pictorial space."