Karla Black

11 November - 22 December 2010

Gisela Capitain and Friedrich Petzel are delighted to announce the opening of the first solo exhibition by Karla Black at Capitain Petzel.


Karla Black (born 1972), who works primarily with sculpture, has produced a body of sixteen new works for this exhibition. These include smaller, floor-standing and hanging works created in the studio, as well as large-scale sculptures which were made on-site at the gallery. The result is a show with much visual complexity and many visual interactions. Wide variations in scale, density and surface create multiple layers and landscapes and the works appear to delimit their own physical extent, as well as inviting close examination.


A fascination with the psychological implications of mess and chaos, in particular psychological disorder and the way in which the mind deals with this, often through, or resulting in, neuroses and psychosis, forms a strong influence in Black’s work. She sees her work as having links to feminism and psychoanalysis, in particular Kleinian psychoanalysis. She takes inspiration from diverse moments in Art History, such as Abstract Expressionism, Land Art, Viennese Actionsim and the feminist performances of Carolee Schneemann.


The artist utilizes the products which most of us regard as having merely a practical, commercial use to explore the form and meaning of sculpture and Art production. This visual investigation forms a physical vehicle for a further, ongoing inquiry into psychological and emotional states of mind.


Black knows and utilizes the meanings of her materials, the masculine overtones of plaster, household paint and turf, the femininity of make up, glitter, soap and household products. Yet these products create an effect which goes beyond this obvious connotation. ‘Feminine’ materials are used on works of structure and solidity and ‘masculine’ ones are able to express softness and delicacy.


Karla Black has exhibited widely in the UK, Europe and The United States. Recent solo shows include The Kunsthalle Nürnberg, 2010 and the Kunstverein Hamburg, Migros Museum, Zürich, Modern Art, Oxford and Inverleith House, Edinburgh in 2009. Black will represent Scotland at the Venice Biennial in 2011.

Installation Views