7 x 7 x 7 cm approx [2.8 x 2.8 x 2.8 inches approx]
Series of 10, each unique, accompanied by signed certificate.
About the work
For the Whitechapel Gallery, Paloma Varga Weisz has produced a series of glazed ceramic sculptures. Each portraying a small head, the works are no larger in scale than the size of the artist’s hand.
As with all of her works, the series is made by the artist herself. Each piece is modelled by hand, with thumb marks left visible and the texture of the clay left unsmoothed. Bodily labour is evidenced in the works, as referred to by Amelia Jones as the ‘having been made’. This is important to Varga Weisz who sees the process of creating a sculpture to be like a journey. The artist’s engagement with the material transforms it into something more flesh-like, more corporeal.
The series of heads are ghostly in their muted tones of grey and blue. Each has an individual look, a distinct and unique character, yet their features are not fully formed. When looking at them, one attempts facial recognition but feels lost, like trying to recall a distant memory. Varga Weisz, who is inspired by the work of Surrealist painters, often explores the crossover between the imaginary and reality in her sculptures. The heads are both familiar and uncanny, like a ghost from one’s past.
Untitled (Heads) was produced and generously donated by the artist to accompany her work in the Whitechapel Gallery exhibitions, ISelf Collection: The End of Love (30 August – 26 November 2017) and ISelf Collection: Bumped Bodies (10 April – 12 August 2018). The latter takes it’s exhibition title from a sculpture by Paloma Varga Weisz.
About the artist
Paloma Varga Weisz (b. 1966, Mannheim, Germany) trained as a traditional wood carver before studying at the Dusseldorf Academy in the early 1990s. The human body has preoccupied Weisz, who often references her own or those of people she is close to in her sculptures and works on paper. The surreal figures that she creates in watercolour, bronze or silver combine influences from European Renaissance painting, medieval carvings, folklore and contemporary culture.
Paloma Varga Weisz lives and works in Dusseldorf, Germany.
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