Andreas Slominski presents an installation comprising new wall reliefs and portable plastic toilets in his fourth exhibition at Metro Pictures. Well known for his subversive approach to art and exhibition making, Slominski creates works that evoke a compelling reticence at once charming and provocative.
On view for the first time in the United States, Slominski’s wall reliefs are constructed from the colorful side paneling of a specific model of German portable plastic toilet. Taking over the factory’s production line, the artist vacuum-formed maternal-themed found sculptures and symbolic natural and utilitarian objects, like rope and wood, into the high-density polyethylene panels. In one work the profile of a veiled young woman emerges from a single red panel surrounded by wood and pinecones in an asymmetrical composition. This group of symbols, with their religious and naturalist overtones, alludes to themes of purity, conception, and fertility. The works not only obscure the line between mass-produced and art objects, but also conflate canonical art historical imagery with fetish motifs.
The complete, assembled toilets, the same model whose paneling is used for the artist’s wall reliefs, are unconventionally installed throughout the gallery. With their contrasting white pitched roofs and black bases, the toilets, especially in the bright primary colors chosen by Slominski, transform from ordinary utilitarian objects into playful sites of refuge. In their pristine state, shipped directly to the gallery from the manufacturer, they are imbued with a seductive materiality that belies their intended function.
For a major 2016 exhibition at the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg, Slominski made a stunning color-coordinated installation of over one hundred portable toilets arranged throughout the space. Further one-person exhibitions include Museum Jorn in Silkeborg, Denmark; Serpentine Gallery, London; Fondazione Prada, Milan; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Museum Boijmans van Beuningin, Rotterdam; Kunsthalle Bremen; Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin; and Kunsthalle Zürich. His work has been included in group exhibitions at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo; and Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam. Slominski participated in the 2003, 1997, and 1988 Venice Biennales.