Metro Pictures presents a selection of new sculptural work by Berlin-based artist Nina Beier in her second exhibition at the gallery.
Known for incorporating found objects, Beier furthers her ongoing investigation into the multiple layers of meaning embedded into objects––from their production and intended usage to what we project onto them. Considering the space between object, representation and interpretation, Beier ingeniously transforms recognizable materials into anthropomorphic figures throughout the exhibition.
The eponymously titled series Baby comprises large waterbed mattresses suspended from the wall. Filled with gravel, coins and water, the pale-yellow mattresses bulge and sag toward the ground in a distorted manner that recalls something between a pregnant stomach and bloated beer belly. In the series Plug, bathroom sinks rise up from the floor and hang from the walls of the gallery, adorned by cigars that have been hand-rolled to fit perfectly and suggestively into their drain pipe openings. As writer Patrick Armstrong said of her work in a recent essay, “a cigar is never just a cigar.”
Both humorous and unsettling, Beier’s unexpected combinations of materials––remote controlled cars and human hair, grand marble lions and sopping wet baguettes, Mars bars and slabs of asphalt freshly cut from the street––push these objects well beyond their commonplace statuses. The works on view in Baby test how value is both constructed and undone, serving as a meditation on the multitude of power structures that make up our present reality.
Beier’s collaborative project Wintry Mix, with John Miller, is on view through January 18 in the windows of NYU’s 80WSE Gallery, located on Broadway and Washington Square Park. Her one-person exhibition Food Chain Café at Kunstforeningen GL Strand in Copenhagen is open through January 20.
Previous one-person exhibitions include Spike Island, Bristol, United Kingdom; Kunstverein, Munich; Kunstverein Hamburg; David Roberts Art Foundation, London; Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp; Kunsthaus Glarus, Switzerland; Nottingham Contemporary, United Kingdom; Mostyn, Llandudno, United Kingdom; Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco. Beier has been represented in exhibitions at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Tate Modern, London; CCA Wattis, San Francisco; Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Artists Institute, New York; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; and the Power Station, Shanghai.
Her performance-installation Anti-ageing was commissioned by Performa 15 and staged at the Swiss Institute, New York, and then reprised as part of ICA London’s Art Night in 2016. That same year her work was included in 13th Biennale de Lyon and the 20th Biennale of Sydney. Beier is the recipient of Germany’s prestigious Prize of the Böttcherstraße.all images © the gallery and the artist(s)