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Berlin-based artist Kathrin Sonntag exhibits at the Aspen Art Museum
Installation view of the exhibition Mühsam ernährt sich das Einhorn (October 1 – December 30, 2011) at Kunstverein Hamburg. Image courtesy of the artist and Galerie Kamm, Berlin.

ASPEN, CO.- The Aspen Art Museum presents Berlin-based artist Kathrin Sonntag’s exhibition Green Doesn’t Matter When You’re Blue, on view February 14 through April 21, 2013. Sonntag’s practice—encompassing photography, film, sculpture, and installation—reveals an uncanny world of odd angles, unexpected likenesses, and visual puns where nothing is ever quite how it first appears; encouraging the viewer to question assumptions about how and what we see. In her photographs and slide installations, seemingly casual arrangements of quotidian objects turn out to be carefully orchestrated compositions staged for the camera, while other works focus on aspects of language such as onomatopoeias, slips of the tongue, and other moments of linguistic mimicry and substitution. Kathrin Sonntag: Green Doesn’t Matter When You’re Blue is the artist’s first major U.S. museum exhibition, and features both new and previously shown works.

Sonntag’s recent exhibitions have effected a kind of visual transposition of the space of the artist’s studio into that of the gallery through the use of trompe l’oeil wallpaper, colored gels, and sculptural objects. Architectural and photographic space blend into one another, as objects and images variously reflect, distort, and intersect in seemingly impossible configurations. In her most recent series of photographs and videos, Sonntag juxtaposes various objects with cut-paper silhouettes of similar forms, playfully acknowledging one of the primary conditions of photography itself: namely, the mapping of a three-dimensional form onto a two-dimensional matrix. Often backlit, so the objects themselves are seen in silhouette as well, these works evoke Plato’s famous “Allegory of the Cave,” whose prisoners are unable to distinguish between the reality behind them and its cast shadows on the cave wall before them.

Kathrin Sonntag was born in Berlin in 1981, where she currently lives and works. She received her BA and MA from the University of the Arts, Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include the Kunstverein Hamburg; Kunstraum Walcheturm, Zurich; Swiss Institute, New York; and Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst GAK, Bremen. Her work has been included in recent group exhibitions at the Kunstverein Hannover; the Third Moscow International Biennial for Young Art; Städtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach; and SculptureCenter, New York; among others. In 2009, Sonntag received the Swiss Art Award from the Dr. Georg and Josi Guggenheim Foundation. She is currently a finalist for the 2012 Dorothea von Stetten Art Prize at the Kunstmuseum Bonn.

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