Sabine Hornig

Sabine Hornig
Out Front
April 4 to May 4, 2002


Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is pleased to present its first solo exhibition of work by Sabine Hornig. Entitled Out Front, the exhibition is comprised of new sculpture and photographic work, each provoking an enigmatic discourse between viewer and object. Referencing storefront windows and building façades respectively, the photographs and sculptures set up an ambiguous relationship between visual penetration and physical access - placing the viewer simultaneously within and outside of the work’s frame. Subverting the Modern dynamic between form and function, Hornig’s work releases form to explore the relationship between architecture, perception and imagination.

In the three sculptural works that comprise Out Front, Sabine Hornig presents artifacts of Modernism’s transcendence into a functional, global language - a language of migration, identity and ambiguity. The structures that inspire the works are selected primarily for their formal composition, presented by Hornig as remnants of a utility that is now somewhat unclear – a glass storefront, a building entryway, and a bus stop. Relegating these forms to mere symbols of functionality (but without actual function), Hornig’s work subverts the enslavement of design to serve efficiency, economics and pragmatism. Instead, Hornig explores the nature of these forms as symbolic architecture, or virtual structures. Flat forms are brought forward, from two dimensions to three, and present a series of unfolding ‘fronts’ with no ‘back’ – ‘exteriors’ without ‘interiors.’ Non-specific to locality, the structures are as likely culled from a government housing project as the most exclusive city block from Athens to Los Angeles to New York to Berlin. This anonymity is further emphasized by the rough, stuccoed surface of each piece. As if they were cut from the standard concrete building blocks of the generic international city, they further attest to the hegemony and failed Utopian goals of Modernism.

The photographic works are based on empty storefront window facades, presenting reflections of streetscapes and exploiting the storefront window frames as compositional devices. As such, Hornig further displaces form from function, reconfiguring both to create a new relationship between the two. The street reflections are contrasted by
the emptiness of the interior space, enhancing the dynamic between interior and exterior. And like the building facades, these storefront windows also explore the membranes that divides space, inside and outside, public and private.

Last year, Sabine Hornig was featured in Best of the Season, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT; Skulptur-bienale Münsterland 2001, Galerie Emsdetten; ein/räumen, Kunsthalle Hamburg, Germany. Other recent group shows includeThe Karl-Schmidt-Rottluff-award exhibition, Kunstakademie Dresden and Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Germany; Clockwork 2000, Clocktower Gallery, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York and Double Vision, Nexus Contemporary Art Centre, Atlanta, Georgia.