January 20, 2014 - TENT - Anne Wenzel
January 20, 2014

Anne Wenzel

Anne Wenzel, Bright Solitude (chandelier), 2007. Ceramics, metal. Collection: Stedelijk Museum’s-Hertogenbosch. Photo: John Stoel.

Anne Wenzel
The Opaque Palace

6 February–5 May 2014

Opening: 6 February, 20h

Witte de Withstraat 50
3012 BR Rotterdam
The Netherlands
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11h–18h

T +31 (0) 10 413 5498
info [​at​] tentrotterdam.nl


The Opaque Palace transforms the exhibition spaces of TENT into an installation in which the monumental sculptures of Anne Wenzel (DE, lives and works in Rotterdam) provide a coherent representation of the major themes in her work—power, destruction, heroism, history—and a new series of sculptures are introduced. Daria de Beauvais, from Palais de Tokyo, Paris, has curated the exhibition. With Anne Wenzel’s solo exhibition, her largest yet, TENT celebrates the re-opening of its newly renovated building. 

The Opaque Palace
The exhibition unfolds as a route through an abandoned palace laden with old, long forgotten stories. A palace where light enters through a broken window, and a net curtain is stirred by the breeze. For her largest solo exhibition yet, Anne Wenzel uses works from the past decade to construct a mental puzzle in TENT. With every space you enter, the function, symbolism, and impact of the objects seem to be further derailed, until they seemingly dislodge from their traditional meaning: Sculptures become trophies (or quite the opposite), either paying tribute to heroes or denying heroism altogether. Anne Wenzel’s work resists any interpretation lurking behind their undeniable physicality. 

In the monumental emptiness of the main hall, which could be interpreted as a ballroom, a black chandelier has slumped before a wall of shiny gold; the object of light becomes an extinguished mass. In TENT’s back space, Wenzel presents her latest series of works, Attempted Decadence: a group of lavishly decorated ceramic flower sculptures. What life remains—temporarily saved by the art—is already a witness to its own decline. In this Opaque Palace, everyone is free to reinvent the past that made visions like this possible. 

Anne Wenzel
From a strong historical sense and with great political engagement, Anne Wenzel puts the role of art in the portrayal of power, heroism, and violence in another light. She is renowned for her self-determined approach to handling materials and technology. Experimenting with extremes of scale, chemical additions, and radical deformation, she seeks out the boundaries of the sculptural medium. Wenzel draws inspiration for her monumental ceramic sculptures from historical sources, film, and literature, as well as from the media and its newsworthy images of natural disasters, conflict, and acts of war. Her attention to universal subjects connects her to a growing number of artists who transcend post-modern irony and are not afraid to address existential themes.

Wenzel lives and works in Rotterdam since 1999. Her work is included in museum collections (Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Stedelijk Museum ‘s Hertogenbosch, S.M.A.K. Ghent, et al.) and in many private collections. She is represented by gallery AKINCI in Amsterdam, Galerie Tatjana Pieters in Ghent, and Galerie Suzanne Tarasieve in Paris.

Anne Wenzel – Prospects of Perception
Accompanying the exhibition is an extensive monograph, Anne Wenzel – Prospects of Perception, published by Lecturis in collaboration with TENT and designed by 75B. It includes texts by Philippe Van Cauteren (director S.M.A.K. Ghent), Sjarel Ex (director Museum Boijmans van Beuningen), Daria de Beauvais (curator Palais de Tokyo, Paris) and Mariette Dölle (artistic director TENT), and photographs of her most important sculptures and installations from the past decade. ISBN: 978-94-6226-057-3

Guest curator Daria de Beauvais
The Opaque Palace is curated by Daria de Beauvais, curator at Palais de Tokyo in Paris and freelance curator.

Opening during Art Rotterdam
The opening of Anne Wenzel’s solo exhibition takes place during the art fair Art Rotterdam on Thursday 6 February at 20h, with an extensive evening programme until midnight, including a performance by the East German band Lulu and a party at WORM.

Public programme 
For this exhibition, a public programme has been compiled of lectures, walks, and workshops. An educational project for secondary school students has been developed in collaboration with Ro Theater, Rotterdam. 

5 February–9 February
TENT at Art Rotterdam 

Thursday 27 February, 20h
Book launch: Anne Wenzel – Prospects of Perception

Sunday 6 April, 15h
A walk with Daria de Beauvais

Thursday 17 April, 20h
Material Forces (the power to resist)

With thanks to Centrum Beeldende Kunst Rotterdam, VSBfonds, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Goethe-Institut Niederlande, Stichting Bevordering van Volkskracht, Stichting Elise Mathilde Fonds, and Mondriaan Fund.


Anne Wenzel at TENT
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