Bemis Center For Contemporary Arts

Claudia Wieser: Generations

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EXTENDED THROUGH AUGUST 15, 2020
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"Claudia Wieser: Generations"; Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (installation view); 2020. Photo: Colin Conces.

Curated by Rachel Adams, Bemis Chief Curator and Director of Programs and Jennifer Carty, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Smart Museum of Art

Referencing the history of space and form through architecture, design, and imagery, Claudia Wieser considers the coexistence of abstraction and the physiological experience through her spatial installations. With a nod to Modernist geometric constructions inspired by the Bauhaus and influenced by spirituality within an artistic practice like artists Hilma af Klint, Wassily Kandinsky, and Paul Klee before her, Generations will encompass Wieser’s distinctive, multi-faceted practice. This will include hand-painted and patterned ceramics, carved wooden sculptures, tiled mirrored sculptures, fine colored pencil and gold leaf drawings, and large and small plinths that act as both sculptures for display and sculptures themselves. Wieser will create a new wallpaper for the exhibition undulating with imagery of historic sculpture and architecture, as well as imagery from both popular culture and the lesser-known avant-garde. Collaged together from her vast archive, the combination of textures, surfaces, and spliced imagery allows the viewer to create new histories, and in turn, see themselves both within that history and adding to it. 

Claudia Wieser: Generations; Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (installation view); 2020. Photo: Colin Conces.

Wieser approaches art-making through combining geometric abstraction and found images, asking her viewers to look at ourselves looking, and what that means in the self-reflexive time in which we currently live. Through spending time with the work, Wieser’s interest in narrative emerges as she “attempts to find forms and arrangements which narrate more than concrete material and forms you can see.”1 The artist uses abstraction not only as a process tool but as a conceptual one as well. By stitching a constellation of elements together through kaleidoscopic forms, Wieser aims to change the visual interpretation of the viewer and give them a vastly new experience.

Claudia Wieser: Generations; Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (installation view); 2020. Photo: Colin Conces.

Claudia Wieser: Generations; Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (installation view); 2020. Photo: Colin Conces.

Claudia Wieser is a Berlin-based artist known for her Modernist-inspired geometric constructions. Influenced by the work of Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee, who embraced spirituality as part of their aesthetic process, Wieser broadens their ideals to consider the coexistence of abstraction and physiological experience. The artist’s hand is readily evident in a multimedia process that is both meticulous and delicate, as seen in her fine colored pencil and gold leaf drawings. Through an early apprenticeship as a blacksmith at Bergmeister Kunstshmiede, Wieser honed her understanding of art and the object, the aesthetic and the functional. This studied craft informs her approach to the technical drafting of her multi-faceted mirrors, hand-painted and patterned ceramics, and carved wooden sculpture.

1 Claudia Wieser in conversation with Joanna Kleinberg, Feb 15, 2010.

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Claudia Wieser: Generations is on view at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago September 22–December 13, 2020.

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
724 South 12th Street
Omaha, NE 68102
Admission and Parking: FREE
Phone:: 402.341.7130
E-mail: info@bemiscenter.org