Günther Uecker in the Four Domes Pavilion
25 October 2020 – 25 April 2021
Curators of the exhibition: Iwona Dorota Bigos, Konstanze Rudert
Both artists, Günther Uecker and Magdalena Abakanowicz († 2017) were born in 1930. Their art in many planes of its interpretation dwells on significant and existentially important themes. The issues of the human condition and the place of humankind in today’s world which since the 1980s have been in the centre of attention for artists of that generation, remain even more relevant in this day and age.
The Albertinum in Dresden (SDK) is exhibiting the jute sculptures by Abakanowicz from the collection of the National Museum in Wrocław, while the Four Domes Pavilion in Wrocław (MNWr) is hosting an installation created by Günther Uecker and lent by the artist – who lives in Düsseldorf – and whose monograph is now being prepared by the team from the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (the State Collections of Art in Dresden) in cooperation with the Uecker Archives.
The enslavement of humanity, its anguish, entanglement and weakness in the face of violence, and at the same time its capacity for destruction, are the subjects explored both by Magdalena Abakanowicz and Günther Uecker. His installation Sand Mill (Sandmühle) – shown in the Four Domes Pavilion – is one of his early works, and the artist has been returning to this subject ever since 1966. The monotonous turning of the wheel brings to mind people and animals in a yoke, forced to walk for hours in order to keep moving millstones and cranes. This piece can also be interpreted as an expression of Uecker’s solidarity with those who are being used and exploited.
A revolving mechanism leaves grooves in the sand, which then disappear and are made anew, thus evoking the associations with the Eastern symbol of mandala continuously created and destroyed, in reference to passing and being reborn in the eternal cycle of life. This kinetic piece depicts time as a constantly progressing silent process, whilst also emanating unique energy – similar to the power of marching masses or the torment of a person locked in a cage.
Both exhibitions are presented simultaneously in Dresden and in Wrocław with the same title and are accompanied by an extensive educational programme.
The works of Magdalena Abakanowicz Crowd and Cage will be available at the Albertinum in Dresden from 2/10/2020 to 10/01/2021.
Co-organised by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.