Metro Pictures presents the first exhibition by Berlin-based artist Judith Hopf with the gallery. Comprised of three different sculptural series––Walls, Tongues, and Pears––the works on view further Hopf’s practice of employing everyday construction materials and common manufacturing processes to investigate the social dynamics of the contemporary built environment and its influence on human behavior.
Fluctuating between the sculptural and the architectural, the Walls and Pears on view are an extension of Hopf’s recent series of large red brick works. In the front gallery, a six-by-seven-foot brick wall appears to have had a chunk bitten off the top and a very large hole drilled through the middle. The cut-out brick circle and missing corner are presented nearby on the gallery floor, provoking one to question if what is missing is just as or more important than what remains. Elsewhere, three oversized pear shapes have been mechanically carved from solid brick cubes. Similar to the wall, two round holes have been cut through one of the pears. In a contradictory combination, Hopf challenges our habitual views of the world by representing this easily bruised, perishable fruit in one of the most sturdy, long-lasting building materials.
In the back gallery, a group of bright red tongues made from aluminum take over the space, mimicking the gestures a tongue might make when emerging from a mouth. To Hopf, these comical, oversized tongues symbolize the lack of daily conversation about the conditions of life in cities. Installed with a new wall painting, they also serve as a set of surreal architectural elements, windows and doors to a secret hidden space.
Judith Hopf lives and works in Berlin. She is Professor and Vice-Rector of Fine Arts at the influential Städelschule art academy in Frankfurt. Coming to prominence among a generation of artists working in Berlin in the 1990s, she famously arranged a series of salons with fellow artists and other creative producers at b_books, a well-known bookstore in the Kreuzberg neighborhood of Berlin. In 2018, she was the subject of a one-person exhibition at Berlin’s KW Institute of Contemporary Art, an institution inextricably linked to Hopf’s generation. That same year she opened her survey OUT at the National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen. She has also had one-person shows at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museion, Bolzano, Italy; Neue Galerie, Kassel; Maumaus, Lisbon; PRAXES Center for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Malmö Konsthal, Sweden; Studio Voltaire, London; and Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe. She has participated in Documenta XIII, La Biennale de Montréal, and the Liverpool Biennial.
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