Gerhardsen Gerner

Monica Bonvicini Previous Shows Monica Bonvicini

Monica Bonvicini


Monica Bonvicini (2017)


Monica Bonvicini

Exhibition duration: May 16– August 2017

Gerhardsen Gerner Oslo is very pleased to announce the first solo exhibition with the Berlin-based artist Monica Bonvicini. Bonvicini is one of the most acclaimed artists to have emerged from the contemporary art scene over the past 20 years.

At the centre of Bonvicini’s work are architecture and public spaces, the world of labour, gender and sexuality, as well as control, politics, power and representation, whose close connections she reveals. The artist investigates the inner logic of public and private spaces, examines the interrelationship between physical and social space, and deconstructs the connection between function, addressee and aesthetics in architecture. In this investigation, the identity-defining aspect of people’s perception of the space surrounding them plays a key role. In Bonvicini’s eyes, buildings as well as urban and suburban infrastructure are by no means neutral, but on the contrary obsessive, politically ideological, and sexualised.

Since the 1990s Bonvicini’s works have circled around the world of construction. Industrial materials, tools, construction site supplies have been used and transformed into large installations or sculptures. One of her most distinct permanent public work is “She Lies”, floating on the water in front of the Oslo Opera House since 2010.

The exhibition at Gerhardsen Gerner, Oslo will show a body of Bonvicini’s recent work, including Prozac (2009), a chromed chain spelling the title; NeedleKnows (2012), a series of red embroidery on paper; Diener #1 black (2016), a jack post usually used on construction sites to support concrete walls; Satisfy Me Flat (2009), a stainless steel table with an inlay of mirror letters; or Latent Combustion #5 (2015), from the series of the hanging sculptures the artist has presented at the 56th Venice Biennial “All the World’s Futures”. Also on view is one of her recent black and white paintings depicting destruction of landscapes and urban spaces due to global warming, entitled “Wildfire Kern 2014” (2016).

Bonvicini’s work is mesmerizing and powerful as well as sinister but always witty: "…The humour in my work has a lot do to with teasing, both the audience and myself. It’s not about a statement or a joke that’s perfect for the weekly news, but about, at least in the good cases, creating a state of timeless instability, or of non-judgment, or even something very close to embarrassment. I believe that humour is important and even necessary in order to avoid art’s falling into didacticism or arrogance… And yet, humour isn’t something that’s very easy to explain. It’s probably the most unspeakable, inarticulable thing there is in social interaction.” 
(Interview excerpts from the monograph „Monica Bonvicini“, Phaidon Press, London 2014) 

Monica Bonvicini (*1965, Venice) lives and works in Berlin. She studied at the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin and at the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA. Since 2003 she has been a professor of performing arts and sculpture at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna. Bonvicini was awarded with the Golden Lion for the best pavilion at the Venice Biennale 1999 and she was honoured with the Nationalgalerie Prize for Young Art, Berlin 2005.

Bonvicini’s work has been presented in many important biennials all over the world and has been featured in a large number of international institutions. She has had solo exhibitions at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2002), Modern Art Oxford, England (2003), Secession, Vienna (2003), Staedtisches Museum Abteiberg (2005, 2012), Sculpture Center (2007), the Art Institute of Chicago (2009), the Kunstmuseum Basel (2009), Frac des Pays de la Loire (2009), the Kunsthalle Fridericianum in Kassel (2011), Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Malága (2011), Deichtorhallen Hamburg (2012), Kunsthalle Mainz (2013) and BALTIC Center for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (2016).

In September 2017 the Berlinische Galerie will open a solo show dedicated to her work. This same year her work will also be included to the 15th Istanbul Biennial “a good neighbor”, curated by the artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset.

For further information please contact Maike Fries, Gerhardsen Gerner, Berlin: 
T: +49-30-69 51 83 41, or visit our website at