Towner Contemporary Art Museum Announces Franziska Furter. stray currents

Towner has commissioned Swiss artist Furter to make a series of sophisticated new conceptual works for her first solo show in a UK public gallery. Graphite drawings and ephemeral sculptural works form an ambitious sculptural installation that at once fills and seamlessly becomes part of our 400 sq m Exhibition Gallery space.

Towner Contemporary Art Museum

Weather – that most fundamental yet ethereal of processes – has long captured Furter’s imagination. Perpetually shaping and sculpting nature and humanity, it also lends us an entire language of metaphor. Two of Furter’s solo shows in Paris in 2010 took their names from climatic conditions: bow echo and squall lines. Meteorology goes hand in hand with movement, density and shape.

New work Kamikaze (literal translation: divine wind) is a wire mesh installation from very thin silver wire. The installation is almost invisible from a certain perspective, yet may appear like a shiny landscape or glowing snakeskin from another vantage. It is like a breeze taken form, evanescent and suspended in the moment – as still and timeless as the gallery space.

Black pennants and knots of nylon threads form three-dimensional drawings that extend into the space, simultaneously invoking foreboding and fragility. From the corner of your eye is reminiscent of tumble weeds and rose bushes – their spiky forms belying the medium of soft black plastic.

Spread across the gallery, the works stand on plinths, occupy the floor, grace the walls or hover, suspended in the space itself. The contrast of their aggressive appearance and extreme fragility contributes to a strong statement against the gallery’s semi-industrial architecture.

Matthew Rowe, Artistic Director, Towner, said “We are very excited to have commissioned Furter to produce this new, site-specific body of work. Having seen her work in other galleries, we were sure that she would respond well to our vast gallery space and produce an ambitious installation that transforms it once again.

“This will be Furter’s first solo show in a UK public gallery. She has visited Towner a number of times and has been driven by the scale of the gallery space and the award-winning architecture of our building.”

The scale of Towner’s Exhibition Gallery – the largest Furter has exhibited in as a solo artist – both drove the new body of work and presented a challenge that allowed her to extend her practice in new directions. For Furter, the space is as much a part of the exhibition as the installation; akin to a Japanese garden, in which individual elements each evoke their own associations, but interplay with their surroundings to become a self-contained world with its own atmosphere.

Furter was born in 1972 in Zurich. She studied at the Sculpture Department of Basel Art School from 1994-1997, and now lives and works between Berlin and Basel. She has had solo exhibitions across Europe including: Hyle, Galerie Lullin+Ferrari, Zürich; bow echo, Galerie Schleicher + Lange, Paris, 2010; Squall lines, les modules, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2010; Spark Erosion, doggerfisher, Edinburgh, 2008; Shades, Galerie Friedrich, Basel, 2006: Elastic, Malmö, Sweden, 2005

Selected group exhibitions include Voici un dessin suisse, 1990-2010, Kunsthaus, Aarau, 2011; En Piste!, Centre d’art contemporain, Chamarande, 2011; Ellipse / Eclipse, Galerija Gregor Podnar, Berlin, with galerie schleicher+lange, 2010; Anna Amadio – Franziska Furter – Edit Oderbolz: Traces and Impressions, Lullin + Ferrari, Zürich, 2009; soft spot, 0047, Oslo, 2008; Nowhere is here, The Drawing Room, London, Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth, Fruehsorge Contemporary Drawings, Berlin, 2008.

Towner is grateful to Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Cultural Fund in Britain, Abteilung Kultur Basel-Stadt, and Ernst und Olga Gubler-Hablützel Stiftung for their support of this exhibition.

Towner the contemporary art museum
Devonshire Park, College Road, Eastbourne BN21 4JJ +44 (0)1323 434670

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