September 25, 2009 - Modern Art Oxford - Karla Black And Cova Macias
September 25, 2009

Karla Black And Cova Macias


30 September – 29 November 2009

30 Pembroke Street
Oxford OX1 1BP
Tel. 01865 722733
info [​at​]

30 September to 29 November 2009

Upper galleries

This autumn Modern Art Oxford presents the most comprehensive UK exhibition to date of work by Glasgow-based artist Karla Black. Black has come to public prominence in recent years with her expansive floor-based and hanging sculptures created from materials that suggest both a sensory recollection of childhood: powder-paint, crushed chalk and sugar paper; and a distinct feminine association: lipstick, nail varnish and body cream.

Working in response to the given space, Black often combines large blocks of colour created from her particular choice of materials: chalk dust mixed with plaster and slabs of Vaseline coloured with acrylic paint, with those that are barely visible to the naked eye: cellophane and cling film. The artist’s use of cosmetic products and the processes of her art-making viscerally evokes the ‘body’ and ‘landscape’.

Many of her works literally ‘wear’ make-up, and the interplay between the cosmetic and surface, form and formlessness, is ever-present. Black’s sculptures appear to be as much a reference to Minimal and performative practices of the late 1960s, and the anti-form works of Eva Hesse and Robert Smithson, as they are to a historical sculptural tradition that resonates as far back as Bernini’s Ecstasy of St. Theresa for instance.

Supported by the Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation and The Henry Moore Foundation.

30 September to 29 November 2009

Lower Gallery

Cova Macías’ practice focuses on young people, how they construct their identity and present themselves. For the last six years she has made videos that intimately explore this territory, creating compelling portraits of her subjects and collaborators. Challenging the conventions of representation, these works often blur the line between documentary and fiction.

This exhibition presents three works, centring on Macías’ most recent piece, La révolte intime (The intimate revolt), 2009. Made with young inhabitants of Paris’ 19th district, it is part-biography of the protagonists and part-social documentary about this ethnically and culturally diverse area. Rehearsed and prepared over many months in a way that has come to characterize Macías’ work, the young people speak to the camera about their lives with disarming frankness and poise.

Cova Macías lives and works in Madrid. This is the first presentation of her work in the UK.

Supported by SEACEX.


Thursday 12 November, 6pm
Cova Macías in conversation with Chus Martinez, Chief Curator, MACBA, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona. Booking essential.

Thursday 26 November, 6pm
Karla Black in conversation with Michael Stanley, Director. Booking essential.

Modern Art Oxford, 30 Pembroke Street, Oxford OX1 1BP, Tel. 01865 722733, Email.,

Open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sunday 12pm to 5pm, Closed Mondays.

Admission Free.

Image above:
Karla Black
Principles Of Admitting (Detail), 2009
2 parts, plaster powder, powder paint, sugar paper, spray tan, chalk, concealer stick
Installation view, migros museum für gegenwartskunst, Zürich
Image courtesy The Artist; Mary Mary, Glasgow; Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne; migros museum für gegenwartskunst Zürich Sammlung migros museum für gegenwartskunst Zürich
Photography: A. Burger, Zürich

Modern Art Oxford

Modern Art Oxford
Share - Karla Black And Cova Macias
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York