Gladstone Gallery is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition in New York of German artist Alexandra Bircken. Bircken’s sculpture combines found objects from nature, such as branches and stones, with wool, plastic, wax, and concrete to form works that are both delicate and sturdy. Often the works evoke aspects of both natural and urban landscapes, perplexing the viewer with the arcane correlations between materials and their abstract referents, as well as teasing out the internal tensions of an object made of discontinuous media. For this exhibition, Bircken’s constructions of wool and wood expand upon her unique take on abstract sculpture and its relationship to the concrete figurations that surround us.
A prominent aspect of Bircken’s work, though, remains how the roughhewn and almost precarious structure so eloquently evokes the happenstance interactions between the natural and inorganic spheres. The geometries of her bricolage reconstruct the patterns of life often overlooked: the interruption of plant life into the monotony of paving stones, vines creeping up and overcoming the rails and posts of a fence. Whether carefully covering twigs in knit sheaths, pitching pigmented wax against formal structure, or expertly balancing stacks of various natural objects, Bircken strives to make formal and technically precise echoes of the happy disorganization that surrounds us. Her seemingly rudimentary materials, which at first glance take on the look of detritus, belie their simplicity of appearance and relate the artist’s sophisticated and sympathetic observation of both the natural and urban worlds.
Alexandra Bircken currently lives and works in Köln, Germany. She has had solo exhibitions at BQ Gallery in Köln and Herald St. in London. In addition she has been included in many group exhibitions, such as “Dereconstruction” curated by Matthew Higgs at Gladstone Gallery and “5 Sculptors” at Westfälischer Kunstverein in Münster, Germany. This fall she will be included in “Unmonumental” the inaugural exhibition at New York’s New Museum.