May 17, 2008 - Westfälischer Kunstverein - Martin Boyce
May 17, 2008

Martin Boyce

Martin Boyce, This Place is Close and Unfolded, 2008
Installation view Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster

Martin Boyce
This Place is Close and Unfolded

April 19 – June 8, 2008

Domplatz 10
D-48143 Münster
T +49-251-46157
F +49-251-45479

Martin Boyce, one of the most important and internationally acclaimed sculptors of his generation, has developed a new large-scale project for the Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster. The group of works, entitled ‘This Place is Close and Unfolded’ takes the Kunstverein’s exhibition space of the 1970s as a starting point to create once again a symbiosis of an atmospheric urban landscape and a new piece of autonomous sculpture.

In his oeuvre, Boyce explores the heritage of modern design and architecture of the first half of the twentieth century, a legacy inhabited by the dream of a better world. These utopian promises – broken today – left behind a residue of Modernist forms and ideas that Boyce uses as a basis for his sculptures, installations and murals. Individual works draw on the visual language and fabrication of iconic Modernist designs, and Boyce is interested in the lives of these objects — the extent to which they are informed by the context of their original manufacture, and the alternative life they might lead if separated from that meaning.

Specifically, a photograph found in a book on French Modernist gardens, an image of four concrete trees created by Joël and Jan Martel for the 1925 Exposition des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, has emerged as an important reference. These he says, “represent a perfect collapse of architecture and nature,” and are emblematic of his ongoing exploration of the oppositional elements of contemporary urban existence: the natural versus the constructed, the populated versus the uninhabited, the old versus the new.

Boyce used this element as a ground structure for We Are Still and Reflective, 2007 as his contribution for sculpture projects münster 07 with which he created a concrete piece, as meditative as it is urban, on the grounds of the former zoological garden in Münster.

The tree element now develops into a new group of objects, silkscreen prints and wordings. The room in the Kunstverein, structured by two tree-like pillars, becomes a breathing space by opening skylights and leaving air and rain in. ‘This Place Is Close and Unfolded’ is like a stroll through a tale, recollecting walks through forlorn cityscapes with weathered elements of civilization. Estranged from their original purpose, Boyce’s sculpture group forms a cohesive and immersive environment, an imagined or dreamed landscape that is both eerie and liminal.

A publication in cooperation with Ikon Gallery, Birmingham and the Frac des Pays de la Loire, Carquefou will be published by JRP/Ringier in autumn 2008.

Martin Boyce. This Place is Close and Unfolded. is generously funded by The Henry Moore Foundation and the British Council.

Martin Boyce. This Place is Close and Unfolded
April 19 – June 8, 2008
open Tues – Sun 10am – 6pm, Thursday 10am – 9pm

Westfälischer Kunstverein
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