Frieze: Katja Strunz

By Kristy Bell

The potential effects that a change of gallery context can have on an artist’s work are always a subject of speculation, and ‘Einbruchstellen’ (Points of Rupture), Katja Strunz’s first solo show in the newly adopted quarters of Contemporary Fine Arts in her home town of Berlin, is a case in point. It is hard to imagine how Strunz’s finely tuned appreciation of the subtleties of scale and material will fare in this expansive, slick gallery designed by star architect David Chipperfield. What will happen to a body of work that concerns itself with the delicate resonances of history and time fading – with what the artist terms ‘aftermath’– in this flawless palace of concrete, glass, bright lights and smooth new walls?


Visible through the windows of the ground-floor gallery space, a gathering of box-sized black metal cubes cluster and spread across the wall. A familiar motif in Strunz’s work over the last few years, the cubes in Memory Wall (all works 2008) cleave at first to a regularly spaced grid pattern – some as square panels that lie flat against the wall, others in various stages of emergence – before they veer away and float off towards the ceiling. These are denser, larger and less tentative than the rusty, bird-like flocks that peppered walls in previous installations, but serve as a bold introduction to an exhibition that revisits several recurrent themes and forms in Strunz’s work.


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March 12, 2009