Greene Naftali is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Berlin-based artist, Amelie von Wulffen. This is the artist’s second solo show with Greene Naftali.
Through a mixture of large-scale works on paper, wall murals and hand-painted furniture, von Wulffen reflects on the uncertainties between the writing of one’s identity and the writing of cultural and social history. By mapping the surface of her work with an almost dream-like connectivity, von Wulffen depicts a social world of domestic conviviality, Old World ornamentation and theatrical self-portraiture.
Despite these elements, von Wulffen’s technique precludes direct narrative. Instead, von Wulffen offers various fragmented scenes that portray a psychological overlap of interior and exterior space, very similar to the painterly and literary models of early 20th century Expressionism and 19th century Romanticism. This inundation of the familiar world into the propensity of one’s psyche is demonstrated by her method of expanding photographs of everyday activity into expressively gestured paintings and decorative embellishments to the architectural space of the gallery, such as a pair of brilliantly colored couches. Their unique, handcrafted design—conceived by von Wulffen and artist Lucio Auri—further emphasize the convergence of individual and collective space as it simultaneously invokes a waiting-room bench, a psychoanalyst’s couch and a bed on which to dream.
The overflow of von Wulffen’s ideas into functional space call to mind not only the socially unifying design efforts of Art Deco, Art Nouveau and early Bauhaus but also their historical successor: the far out and often gaudy style of post-war liberal culture. The memories of these cultural initiatives—with their social idealism and ties to radical politics—linger in her work, reminding viewers that these seemingly neutral, domestic scenes are the unconscious stage upon which social transformation unfolds.
Aside from her previous show at Greene Naftali in 2004, von Wulffen’s work has been exhibited internationally; such as recent solo exhibitions at Le Centre George Pompidou in Paris, the Kunstmuseum Basel and the Kunstverein fur Rheinlande und Westfelan in Dusseldorf, as well as participating in the 3rd Berlin Biennale in 2004 and the Venice Bienniale in 2003. She presently holds a teaching position at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna.