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Alicja Kwade debuts public artwork for Art Basel Miami Beach
Alicja Kwade, Pretty Pity, 2022. Photo: Silvia Ros.



MIAMI, FLA.- Kwade takes a new approach on her iconic marble spheres with ‘Pretty Pity’, a large-scale installation at ARCA’s Wynwood showroom. Kwade, a contemporary artist known for her enigmatic sculptures and installations that explore concepts of space, time, science, and philosophy through immersive experiences about discovery confronts viewers to question their perception of reality.

Located in front of the iconic façade of ARCA’s showroom in Wynwood, the artwork titled ‘Pretty Pity’ takes a humorous approach to the use of its natural stone materials sourced from ARCA’s catalog. The monumental installation, featuring four sturdy and beautiful spherical layers of billion- year-old stone —such as Rosa Valencia and Marrón Emperador, from Spain, and Giallo Sienna and Bianco Carrara, from Italy— is shaped into the silhouette of melting ice cream scoops, an overt and ironic nod to the global warming crisis.

‘Pretty Pity’ is an expansion of one of Kwade’s recurring leitmotifs, being marble spheres in all imaginable sizes. This time, Kwade playfully self-quotes herself; from a distance, what first seems to be four well-rounded stone spheres, becomes more visibly imperfect upon closer inspection. The ice cream scoops are slowly melting away on Miami’s hot asphalt, representing a bittersweet commentary on our lifestyle, consumerism and global warming. The irony becomes evident, especially when thinking about the fact that ice cream once was one of the most luxurious desserts at the French Court, that had to be sourced directly from glacier ice from the Alps. And it is exactly that glacier ice that is now gone for most parts, due to our never-ending craving for more.

“My efforts to understand and represent something I can barely grasp, and my failure to do so, bring forth my work.” - Alicja Kwade.

The weight of the marble appears creamy, light and permeable, which is in direct opposition to the material, but the silhouette borrowed from the dessert of which it is mimicking, helps to give to the work a delicate appearance. Ice cream exists in its circular form for only a brief moment, before melting away or being consumed. The installation makes a statement of our reality and existence, through a playful, yet satirical approach.

Alicja Kwade was born in 1979 in Katowice, Poland; she currently lives and works in Berlin. Recent exhibitions include solo shows at Berlinische Galerie, Berlin; Langen Foundation, Neuss, Germany; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge; Dallas Contemporary; Centre de Création Contemporaine Olivier Debré, Tours; Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona; ESPOO Museum of Modern Art; Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; Fondazione Giuliani, Rome; Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich; YUZ Museum, Shanghai; de Appel Arts Centre, Amsterdam; Kunsthalle Nürnberg; Kunsthalle Schirn Frankfurt/Main; Haus am Waldsee Berlin; and on the occasion of the award ceremony of the Hectorpreis 2015, at Kunsthalle Mannheim. She has been included in group exhibitions at the Hayward Gallery, London; 57th Venice Biennale; Madam, Luxembourg; Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach; Kunsthalle Wien; Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; and CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco. She was the recipient of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2019 Roof Garden Commission. In 2015-2016, Public Art Fund commissioned “Against the Run,” an installation in New York’s Central Park. Her works belong to many important international private and public collections.










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