‘Female Minimal: Abstraction in the Expanded Field’

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London
Curated by Anke Kempkes & Pierre-Henri Foulon

29 October - 18 December 2020

Female Minimal: Abstraction in the Expanded Field brings together pioneering female artists from Europe and the Americas who each contributed in her own original way to expanding the orthodox category of Minimal art.The artists on display expand on the traditional concept of minimalism to explore possibilities of the ‘minimal’ as a guiding force in their work – whether in their process, use of materials, or as forming the basis of their approach.

Featuring 13 artists from ten different countries, the exhibition will present a large selection of paintings, photography, installation and works on paper ranging from the 1920s to the early 1980s. Including some of the earliest examples of animation, algorithmic and kinetic art, alongside pieces from the fields of Neoplasticism, Concretism, (Post)Minimal and Land art, the display will show how these artists occupied a central position amongst period-defining groups such as Zurich Concrete in Switzerland, Abstraction-Création in Paris and Los Diez Pintores Concretos in Cuba. The history of abstraction is also a history of global turmoil, migration and transnational exchange, and many of the exhibiting artists were written out of art history due to gender inequalities and the politics of their time.

‘Body Double: Evelyne Axell’

Muzeum Susch, Switzerland
Curated by Anke Kempkes & Krzysztof Kościuczuk
2 August 2020 - 2021

Muzeum Susch presents Body Double, a retrospective exhibition of the Belgian Pop-Surrealist Evelyne Axell (1935-1972). With her original feminist approach in the 1960s Axell became one of the pioneers of Pop Art in Europe. Her distinct body of work is populated by an all-female universe, transcending the established iconography of Pop Art at the time and reclaiming the discourse of women’s sexuality.

Co-curated by Anke Kempkes, international curator, art historian and art critic and Krzysztof Kościuczuk, artistic director of Muzeum Susch, this exhibition will present an overall of sixty exhibits spanning the broad spectrum of the artist’s entire oeuvre. Body Double brings together a large selection of collages, drawings, relief paintings, sculptures, filmic and photographic works - many of which have not been on view in decades. Axell experimented with novel artificial materials, such as her signature technique of car enamel paint on plastic. This exhibition is the largest museum retrospective of Axell’s work staged outside of her native Belgium, after an exhibition organized at Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach in 2011.

‘Dimensions of Reality: Female Minimal’

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Pantin, Paris
Curated by Anke Kempkes & Pierre-Henri Foulon
23 February - August 2020

With works by Feliza Bursztyn, Rosemarie Castoro, Maria Lai, Liliane Lijn, Verena Loewensberg, Mary Miss, Kazuko Miyamoto, Lucia Moholy, Vera Molnar, Marlow Moss, Lydia Okumura, Lolo Soldevilla, Magdalena Wiecek, Shizuko Yoshikawa.

This exhibition brings together fourteen pioneering women artists from Europe and the Americas, who each contributed in their original and uncompromising way to expanding the scope of the minimal aesthetics beyond the orthodox category of Minimal Art.

Through a large selection of sculptures, installations, paintings and works on paper dating from the 1920s to the early 1980s, Dimensions of Reality: Female Minimal explores new perspectives and genealogies in the field of geometric abstraction, highlighting the complex and often subtle relationships between formalism and identity politics.

‘On the Politics of Delicacy’

Capitain Petzel, Berlin
Curated by Anke Kempkes
24 January - 22 February 2020

Capitain Petzel is pleased to announce the group exhibition On the Politics of Delicacy conceived around the Robert Anton Theatre Collection. In the early 1970s Robert Anton (1949-1984) created a surreal miniature theatre which quickly achieved cult status and fascinated audiences both in the US and Europe.

At Capitain Petzel, curator Anke Kempkes contextualises the oeuvre of Robert Anton for the first time by unfolding thematic trajectories that resonate with his work, namely the politics of the home theatre, surrealist political theatre, the concept of ‘monstrosity’ in postwar female avant-garde sculpture, a new female painterly symbolism, and queer performativity in times of political polarization.

With such specific trajectories in mind, a dynamic dialogue takes place between Anton’s oeuvre and works permeating both genre and epoch by German Dada artist Hannah Höch and Spanish poet and theatre director Federico García Lorca; Anton’s theatre pioneer contemporary Tadeusz Kantor and scenographer Kazimierz Wisniak; works by Wanda Czelkowska and Liliane Lijn; post-modernist and queer artists from East and West, Duggie Fields, Jimmy De Sana, Krzysztof Jung, Raúl Martínez and Zoe Leonard; and contemporary artists Yael Bartana, Joanna Piotrowska, Stanislava Kovalcikova, Karolina Jablonska, Mikolaj Sobczak, Nicholas Grafia and Billy Morgan.

‘Puppets: Theatre, Film, Politics’

Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw
Curated by Joanna Kordjak
19 March - 30 June 2019

Exhibition design in collaboration with Maciej Siuda Pracownia.

The exhibition situates puppet theatre within the field of art history and within the broader context of the artistic, social, and political changes taking place in Poland in the 1950s and 1960s. During that time, creative exchanges between art and puppet theatre intensified and the latter embarked on a path of self-discovery, its artists no longer trying to imitate ‘live theatre’ but instead revealing the backstage of their craft to demonstrate the until-then concealed creative process.

The puppet-theatre shows staged in Poland after 1945 — whether oriented at young or adult audiences — were interdisciplinary endeavours involving outstanding painters, sculptors, and composers, and combining experimental visuals and sounds with avant-garde pedagogical concepts.