The exhibition introduces the general public to the figurative oeuvre of this artist from Düsseldorf, who though largely unknown in the Netherlands is steadily gaining an international reputation. While Varga Weisz' woodcarving and ceramics embrace art history, she practices at the heart of current affairs and does not avoid addressing uncomfortable and intimate subjects. In Bumped Body the Bonnefantenmuseum is presenting a personal and penetrating oeuvre, with works never shown before and her key work Galgenfeld (2003).

Enchanting 

In her work, Varga Weisz operates smoothly between woodcarving and ceramics, drawings and watercolours, theatrical environments, and film and sound works. In Bumped Body, she uses these disciplines and media to evoke an enchanting world of masquerades, disguises and role reversals, where the tone is set by distinctive creatures. Bodies, whether male or female, have no fixed shape in this Alice-in-Wonderland universe. In Wilde Leute (1998), which the Bonnefantenmuseum is showing to the public for the first time, the small terracotta figures represent curious creatures; androgynous people with animal ears. The work from 1998 shows that even in the early days of her practice Varga Weisz was trying to distance herself from identities and role patterns.

Themes

The symbolic universe of Paloma Varga Weisz is based on her personal life and experiences in a domestic, family situation. Her work raises questions about identity and feminism, such as historical stereotyping and objectification of the female body, creativity and motherhood. In addition, Varga Weisz creates new female symbols on universal themes. Her work is filled with echoes of the artistic and cultural history of the Maas-Rhine Euroregion. Its material, cultural-historical and iconographic traditions are reflected in her choice of materials and craftsmanship, symbolic visual idiom and existential themes. Bumped Body is in line with the Bonnefantenmuseum's chosen direction, which is distinguished by its regular focus on lesser known, yet influential artists and by forging links between our own heritage and global and Euroregional developments, thus building a bridge between old and new, and past and present.

Publication

The exhibition is accompanied by an artist's book entitled Bumped Body. The book is available at the Bonnefantenmuseum and comes with an exclusive essay by senior curator of contemporary art, Paula van den Bosch. ISBN 9789072251824.

Note for the press: For more information and visual material, please contact Justin Livesey through pressoffice@bonnefanten.nl or on +31 (0)43 3290109 | +31 (0)6 53226816