DRAWINGS 1986–2012

DESIRE DESIESE DEVISE is the first anthological exhibition of Monica Bonvicini’s prolific production of drawings, collage and textual work, a discrete body of work within her oeuvre.
Monica Bonvicini, renowned for striking installations, works for public space, sculpture and video productions, ranks among the outstanding artists of her generation. Her preoccupation with the graphic medium is hence a most fascinating endeavour. It encompasses illustrative, cartoon-like motifs, a heterogeneous range of textual work and collages, and a great number of filigree sketches and constructions on paper, many of which have morphed into sculpture or installation while many others – because merely a fleeting notion – have been jettisoned. The exhibition showcases the incessant evolution of the work of Bonvicini, who initially spent several years studying painting at Berlin University of the Arts.The drawings range in expression from ‘ephemeral’ to ‘muscley’ – yet are contemporaneous and on a par. The ‘gripping’ and ‘violent’ aspects of her large format monochrome works in tempera, the resilient expressiveness of the graphic medium itself are as much in evidence asare an engaging sense of humour and sensitivity in these sketches, some of which have never before been shown. 

Bonvicini’s preliminary work for installations often comprises detailed sketches and rough notes, in which her image of the project’s development, its proposed location, the exhibition space and potential interaction with the public are all palpably present. At other times, series of collage works offer an intimate insight into the themes explored later in installations: architecture, sexuality and fetishism, inter alia.Bonvicini’s eclectic interests are reflected in her choice of diverse styles and materials: quotations from advertising, from the history of art and architecture, and from music and poetry are interwoven with virtuosity,between the poles of elegance and punk. 

Monica Bonvicini has designed her own exhibition architecture for this occasion, in cooperation with the Museum Abteiberg. Wall elements were installed so as to create cabinets within the open-plan exhibition space, a progression of open and closed structures that underscores the particular character of each work series. Altogether, the exhibition encompasses over 300 works. 

A comprehensive book of Monica Bonvicini’s drawings, published on the occasion of this exhibition by Distanz-Verlag, will be presented in April. The exhibition is co-curated by the Museum Abteiberg in Mönchengladbach and the Deichtorhallen Hamburg / Falckenberg Collection, and will be shown in the Phoenix-Hallen, Hamburg-Harburg, from 24th August to 18th November 2012.

Supported by Hans Fries-Stiftung and Sammlung Rheingold.