Sol Calero – at Dortmunder Kunstverein
Sol Calero transforms space. The immersive installations of the artist appear almost like a Gesamtkunstwerk: vibrantly coloured, rich in decorative, but also useable objects and furnished with paintings, furniture, fabrics she designed herself, and video installations. Thus Calero transforms neutral into functional and communicative spaces – art galleries became hairdressing saloons or internet cafés, a museum has been turned into a wellness area.
For Interiores, Sol Calero’s first major institutional solo exhibition in Germany, she has abandoned all functionality to devote herself exclusively to painting and its formal aspects. Apart from some readymade elements – such as the curtains she designed, the metal gates, or the vinyl floor – everything is painting. The walls are either painted in monochromes or covered with wall paintings that imitate architectural elements. Additionally, wooden panels are standing freely throughout the space, painted on both sides with motifs reminiscent of nature – referring to Calero’s previous painterly practice on canvas. In Dortmund, Calero developed a concept of associating painting and space, to give the former volume. The wooden panels she designed correspond to the various layers that she usually applies to the canvas. The outlines of the wood panels reveal oversized vases or hanging leaves and other organic forms. The panels are partly covered with painted cut-outs, in the shapes of tropical fruits such as bananas, melons or lemons.
The individual surfaces overlap in space, depending on the visual axis. As the viewer passes through the room, new image combinations are appearing – as if looking through a kaleidoscope. As such, the painting frees itself from its two-dimensionality, interfering with the space and even merging into it. Similar to the architecture of the Renaissance or the Baroque period, where sculptures, painting and spatial decoration form a unity to recharge spaces with atmosphere and meaning, Sol Calero combines these artistic objects with diverse tropical motifs and an opulent aesthetic. And so, Interiors shows a spacial landscape that moves between garden aesthetics and interiors, while challenging our cliché-afflicted concept of the exotic and thereby the construction of identity, nationality and the unfamiliar.
4 March – 7 May 2017
Park der Partnerstädte 2
Courtesy of the artist and Dortmunder Kunstverein
Photography: Simon Vogel