Working primarily in sculpture and installation, Berlin-based artist Alicja Kwade explores structures of reality such as time and space, as well as systems of value, that determine how we perceive the world and decide what constitutes the real. She is best known for her sculptural works which use common, yet symbolically resonant materials like rocks, lamps, and clocks. Typically working in a site-specific mode, viewers encounter these and other found objects transformed by Kwade to mysterious effect. Roadside pebbles are cut and polished like precious gems. Lit and unlit lamps mysteriously channel light across glass walls. Normally obdurate building materials droop and sag. Kwade’s alchemical treatment of familiar things complicate, and at times cast suspicion on, our perceptual faculties. Throughout her work, she strategically blurs received distinctions between past and present, fact and fiction, and high and low value.
For her List Center exhibition In Between Glances, Kwade has realized Light Touch of Totality (2019) a major new sculptural commission. Comprised of five stainless steel rings each with a diameter of approximately 16 feet and positioned at varying angles, the sculpture is adorned with over 1,400 strands of beads made from wood and lapis lazuli, which create a curtain-like effect on portions of its imposing frame. This ambitious new work is presented alongside a focused selection of recent sculptures that illustrate Kwade’s current inquiries into processes of transformation that act on matter and information, as well as her ongoing investments in the concepts of parallel worlds and non-linear time.