Katja Strunz: Lazy Corner and The Suicide Walls
KATJA STRUNZ: LAZY CORNER
The Modern Institute, Glasgow, until 4 Aug
SCULPTURE AND PRINT
The best avoided gallery text informs the ‘reader’ of Berlin-based Katja Strunz’ work that her sculptures and prints should be understood as ‘room language’ or ‘neologistic sentences’. The term ‘coals to Manchester’ comes to mind. Black square modernism makes a return to Glasgow, with new misunderstood versions of lessons that American minimalism learnt from High European Modernism.
Strunz’ cuboid sculptures treat the wall as a picture plane, with Malevich-ish forms that have been punched into the third dimension cascading down the surface, or huddled up like well-behaved universals in neat groups. The materials that are used fluctuate between exposing their own brute reality or are covered in black and white paint. A few of the bashed boxes are covered in rust, creating an intentionally trite sense of nostalgia, and forcing us to read a history into these dead shapes.
Are these leftovers, bits of Modernist junk that have been left out in the cold and rain? Although the sculptures seem theoretically weak, it is interesting that the viewer is forced to project such silly narratives at the work. But Stunz’ sense of humour is not enough to hold this together. The work comes across like an undigested hotchpotch of learning and influences; it looks serious but is just a bit of fun, really.