Katinka Bock, Michael E. Smith, Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys

Katinka Bock, Michael E. Smith, Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys


View of the exhibition by Katinka Bock, “Personne”. Foreground: “Winterlandschaft mit Hut,” 2011.
Courtesy Meyer Riegger, Karlsruhe/Berlin; background: “Lisbon Border,” 2012 – Courtesy Galerie Jocelyn Wolff,
Paris. Photograph: Kristien Daem.

April 8, 2012

Katinka Bock
24 February–13 May 2011
Culturgest, Lisbon

Michael E. Smith
24 February–13 May 2012
Culturgest, Lisbon

Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys
Objects as Friends
3 March–19 May
Culturgest, Porto


Katinka Bock, Personne
Curator: Miguel Wandschneider

The sculptural work of Katinka Bock (Frankfurt am Main, 1976) is marked by her preference for simple materials and a strict economy of gestures and procedures in their manipulation. In her pieces, she repeatedly uses ceramics and basic building materials, such as wood and steel, but also fabric, bronze, stone, lead, glass and sand, among others. In some of them, she works with just one material, while others highlight her extraordinary capacity to bring about an encounter, or an interaction, between two or more materials. The procedures and gestures that she brings into play in their transformation are always very discreet, sometimes even minimal.

Simple and frequently austere in their materials and forms, and endowed with an intense energy and a subtly evocative force, Katinka Bock’s sculptures realise and condense the thought process that lay at their origin. The resonances and meanings produced or favoured by her works depend, above all, on their physical and formal properties, but also on the relationship established between the works in a particular exhibition space. Whatever the case, her works are highly introspective, inducing the spectator into a state of inner retreat.

Michael E. Smith
Curator: Miguel Wandschneider

Michael E. Smith (Detroit, 1977) grew up and has lived most of his life in a city which, as a result of the collapse of its traditional industrial sectors (particularly the automobile industry), has been declining at a fast rate and is wrought with extreme poverty. This fact provides us with an important key to approaching his work. Further knowing that the artist became deeply immersed in the hip-hop culture from a very early age provides us with yet another clue to understanding the creative combustion, some oblique references and the attitude that materialise in his work.

Michael E. Smith frequently uses everyday objects (namely objects related with the body, such as clothes, hats and caps, basketballs) and industrial materials (for example, plastic, foam, electric wires, pipes, magnets), manipulating them sometimes rather harshly, sometimes more subtly, in order to construct shapes and surfaces. His creative process finds its culminating moment in those short and intense periods when he is displaying his work in the exhibition space, which for him amount to a kind of eruption: it is then when, with his keen sense of improvisation, he decides upon the final form he wishes to give to many of his works. His modus operandi is extremely intuitive and flexible, akin to tactical manoeuvring, rather than to strategic thought.

Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys, Objects as Friends
Curator: Miguel Wandschneider

Jos de Gruyter (Geel, Belgium, 1965) and Harald Thys (Wilrijk, Belgium, 1966) have worked together since the late 1980s. Over the years, they have produced countless videos, for which they are best known, but their work also frequently includes photographs, sculptures and drawings. Seeking their inspiration in everyday reality, and making use of an absurd humour, Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys offer a merciless (and caricatural) portrait of the human condition.

After their exhibition at Culturgest in Lisbon, in 2009, the artists are now presenting a very extensive series of colour photographs, strange compositions of everyday objects, captured against a grey background and under a harsh light. In this way, they pursue their construction of parallel and largely indecipherable worlds.

This exhibition is organised in association with Kestnergesellschaft, in Hannover, and Mu.ZEE, in Ostend.

Culturgest, Lisbon
Edifício-sede da Caixa Geral de Depósitos 
Rua Arco do Cego
1000-300 Lisbon, Portugal 
T +351 217905454
culturgest [​at​] cgd.pt

Culturgest, Porto
Edifício Caixa Geral de Depósitos
Avenida dos Aliados, 104
4000-065 Porto, Portugal
T +351 222098116

Culturgest presents Katinka Bock, Michael E. Smith, Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys
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April 8, 2012

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