November 26, 2019 - Haus der Kunst - Interiorities
November 26, 2019

Haus der Kunst

Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Garden Thriving, 2016 (detail). © Njideka Akunyili Crosby. Courtesy the artist, Victoria Miro, and David Zwirner. Photo: Robert Glowacki.

Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Leonor Antunes, Henrike Naumann, Adriana Varejão
November 29, 2019–March 29, 2020

Haus der Kunst
Prinzregentenstrasse 1
80538 Munich
Hours: Wednesday–Monday 10am–6pm,
Thursday 10am–10pm,
Friday–Saturday 10am–8pm

T +49 89 21127113
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Today, the far-reaching effects of global networks—historical, economic, political, and cultural—permeate the everyday life and private sphere of every individual. At the same time, positions based on concepts of a homogenous national and cultural identity are gaining ground. The exhibition Interiorities confronts this development and explores the potential of a cosmopolitan worldview that depends on being conscious about and connected to other parts of the world. Following these global connections, the exhibition draws nearer to a fabric of transnational and fluid identities, and aesthetically formulates new and complex images of a fragmented self.

Inspired by the painterly representation of interior spaces that originally came into fashion in the Netherlands of the 17th century, Interiorities presents four artists who explore the relationship between interior and exterior space. Whether as an imaginary or real setting, as metaphor, or as a concrete site for intimate social actions, each of the artists’ works reveal the potential of the interior to reflect and alter the social and political zeitgeist.

Within her predominately large-format, dynamically patterned paintings on paper, Njideka Akunyili Crosby (b. 1983 in Enugu, Nigeria) negotiates the complex cultural terrain of a life situated between two worlds: her native Nigeria and her adopted home in the United States. Inspired by photography, fashion, architecture, and design, as well as her own family history, Akunyili Crosby’s works often depict domestic spaces. Although these scenes are normally of a private nature, the works nonetheless point beyond personal insight and the private sphere, and instead visualize a cosmopolitan mindset alongside an Afro-political attitude towards life.

Leonor Antunes (b. 1972 in Lisbon, Portugal) focuses on migration, the transformation of forms and ideas, and how they are dispersed across temporal and geographic boundaries. Her elegant conceptual sculptures and interventions are rooted in an examination into the histories of art, design, craft, and architecture. First and foremost, Modernism’s potential for social transformation serves as an inspiration for her work. In particular, female artists and architects of the 1950s and 1960s who have received relatively little attention are especially prominent through the inclusion of their first names or initials within Antunes’s titles, as well as her own formal language.

Adriana Varejão (b. 1964 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) is inspired in part by Baroque architecture, with the ceramic tile appearing as a recurrent formal element within her work. Her oeuvre points to Brazil’s violent colonial history, as well as to the exoticizing fantasies of cannibalism that spread throughout the West during the time of colonialism. Within her anthropologically informed works, however, the cannibal motifs are perceived as metaphorical allusions that reflect upon transnational exchange; referring to the forms of incorporation and transformation which inform the various cultural influences of Brazil. The works evoke organic forces, confronting the observer with physical fractures and eruptions, prompting associations with pain and vulnerability.

The installations by Henrike Naumann (b. 1984 in Zwickau, Germany) rely upon the suggestive power of used items of furniture and home decoration. Many of her works examine the complexity of Germany’s past and the recent rise of right-wing ideology, which is subsequently accompanied by questions of belonging, identity, and its uncertainty. For the Haus der Kunst, Naumann has developed a new installation, Ruinenwert, in which traces of various fascist architectures coalesce around fragmentary details of the interior design of the original "Haus der Deutschen Kunst" ("House of German Art"). The minutely detailed room impressively demonstrates how political ideologies and power structures manifest themselves in design, decoration, and interior furnishings.

Curated by Anna Schneider, assisted by Dimona Stöckle.


An exhibition catalogue will be published by Prestel, with contributions by Briony Fer, Marietta Kesting, Lilia Moritz Schwarcz, Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, and Anna Schneider, as well as interviews with the four artists by Anna Schneider and Raphael Fonseca.

With thanks to Victoria Miro for the generous support of the project. We also thank the Gesellschaft der Freunde Haus der Kunst e.V. for their support.

Haus der Kunst
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