May 7, 2016 - The Phillips Collection - Bettina Pousttchi: Double Monuments
May 7, 2016

The Phillips Collection

Bettina Pousttchi, Double Monuments for Flavin and Tatlin, 2010. Powder-coated crowd barriers and neon. Courtesy of the artist and Buchmann Galerie Berlin. 

Bettina Pousttchi: Double Monuments
June 9–October 2, 2016

The Phillips Collection
1600 21st Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
United States

T +1 202 387 2151

www.phillipscollection.org
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Bettina Pousttchi: Double Monuments
June 9–October 2, 2016

The Phillips Collection
1600 21st Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
United States

T +1 202 387 2151

www.phillipscollection.org
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

This summer, The Phillips Collection presents the work of German artist Bettina Pousttchi, which explores the history and memory of architecture. Double Monuments is part of the Phillips’s ongoing Intersections series that highlights contemporary art and artists in conversation with the museum’s permanent collection, history, and architecture.

Through photography and sculpture, Bettina Pousttchi is interested in altering architectural buildings and monuments as indicators of the past and mediums of remembrance. In her series Double Monuments for Flavin and Tatlin (2010–16), Pousttchi transforms the constraining materials of rails, street barricades, and metal crowd barriers into sculptural forms with spiraling vertical towers and neon light tubes. These “double monuments” reference the work of Russian Constructivist sculptor-architect Vladimir Tatlin from the 1920s and American minimalist artist Dan Flavin from the 1960s.

Five "Double Monuments," ranging from 5 to 12 feet, will be on view at the Phillips, dramatically illuminating the space with neon lights. The sculptures will be paired with works from the permanent collection including Naum Gabo’s Linear Structure in Space No. 1 (1943) and black and white photographs from the 1930s and 1940s by Bernice Abbott, Louis Faurer, Alfred Eisenstaedt, and Gjon Mill—images that underline the theme of illuminated space presented in Pousttchi and Gabo’s works.

Best known for his architectural sculptures that emphasize negative space and translucency and suggest skyscrapers and industrial settings, Gabo creates work with a strong kinship to Russian constructivism, a movement which sought to overcome the static and monumental aspects of traditional sculpture and activate the surrounding space. Just as Gabo used glass, metal, and plastic to create fluid, almost transparent sculptures that emphasizes space, line, and movement, Pousttchi employs materials such as neon and powder-coated objects to create installations that address both sculptural form and architectural setting.

Double Monuments is exhibited concurrently with the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s "World Time Clock" series, a group of photographs Pousttchi created in 24 time zones around the globe over the last eight years. Together, these two exhibitions represent Pousttchi’s first museum presentations on the east coast of the United States.

Born in Mainz, Germany, in 1971, Bettina Pousttchi is a Berlin-based artist working in photography, video, and sculpture. She studied at the Kunstackademie Dusseldorf and participated in the Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York from 1999–2000. Pousttchi’s work has been displayed throughout Europe, including Amsterdam, Berlin, Köln, and London. She held her first US solo exhibition at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas, in 2014.
 

Intersections at the Phillips
Inaugurated in 2009 and led by Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Vesela Sretenović, the Phillips’s Intersections series has invited more than 21 artists from the US and abroad to engage with the museum’s collection and architecture. The artists have created diverse projects—both aesthetically and conceptually—and employed various media, from wall-drawing, rubber-painting, and digital photography to video projection and yarn installation. 
Intersections is presented by the University of Maryland.
Additional support is provided by Phillips Collectors Forum members.

About The Phillips Collection
The Phillips Collection, America's first museum of modern art, is one of the world's most distinguished collections of Impressionist and modern American and European art. Stressing the continuity between art of the past and present, it offers a strikingly original and experimental approach to modern art by combining works of different nationalities and periods in displays that change frequently. The Phillips Collection is a private, non-government museum, supported primarily by donations.

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