Christina Kruse: Plasterheads

Will o’ the wisp, 2021 [sculpture only]

Christina Kruse is a New York-based multi-disciplinary artist who works across the fields of photography, painting, and sculpture. Her new show Plasterheads at Helwaser Gallery presents the ongoing body of sculptural works combining brass, lead, marble and wood in standing arrangements that reference geometry. Although grounded in structure, balance and stability, Kruse’s sculptures nevertheless evoke similarities to the human head and face, drawing connections between rationality and the oftentimes more capricious side of human life.

Lunapark, 2021

Over the last decade, Kruse has developed a distinct visual language within her practice defined by a combination of organic, rounded shapes offset by strong rectilinear forms.For this exhibition, Kruse has developed a large-scale installation displayed on a collapsible table, which is likened to a miniature world, where multiple figure-like maquettes are scattered across various miniature architectural elements. Rendered in different positions and poses, the maquettes resemble human figures caught in various acts: climbing in and out of the structure, looking up or down, in search for something. Yet, the figurines don’t interact with each other. Described as a metaphorical playground of the inner psyches, Lunapark (2021) attests to the artist’s interest in the deeper psychological states that motivate and shape the world that their human counterparts inhabit. For Kruse, each of the elements within the entire installation, including its materials, serve as a deeper metaphor that expresses the structure of the world that we inhabit. By choosing to use plaster and soapstone as primary materials to construct the maquettes, both of which are easily shaped, Kruse highlights the very malleability of human nature itself. Set against the infinite expanse of the table construction, these maquettes seemingly capture the endless permutations of behavior that result when they are connected by space and time.

Will o’ the wisp, 2021 [installation view]

Also on view is a second installation consisting of a group of four sculptures. Presented in the second room of the gallery, Will o’ the wisp (2021) evokes the imagery of a still landscape. In contrast to the thin, elongated forms found in Lunapark, these sculptures engender a feeling of solidity through their volume and weight. Created through the use of materials such as wood, marble, plaster, and soapstone, these sculptures poetically underscore a sense of settlement, steadiness, and fixity. Accompanying these sculptures are also a second freestanding sculpture The Directionalist (2021), and a hung wall sculpture Intermission (2021). These works expand on the formal and metaphorical binaries that can be found between the dynamics of the two antimonious installations —play/rest, chaos/order, and instability/balance. Building on her fascination with interior and exterior states of being, Kruse’s latest works trace a connection between the formal practice of sculpture, and the psychological conditions of continuous becoming.
Intermission, 2021

Name : Christina Kruse

Birthplace : Germany

Métier : Artist

Sources of inspiration : Everything.

The Directionalist, 2021

Sources of motivation :  Partly a mystery to me and partly a preference to not end up under the bridge.

What makes you happy : When my son is happy and work goes well.

Favorite reads : Martin Heidegger’s On the Essence of Truth

Favorite tunes : Changes all the time.

Favorite foods : Watermelon.

Beauty tips : Kat Burki skin care

Lunapark, 2021 [detail]

Favorite ways to unwind : Watch British crime shows.Favorite part of living in NYC : My friends.

What gets you in a working flow : An alarm clock.

What are you working on now : Yet another idea 😉

Favorite motto / quote : Understand what needs to be done and get it done – or at least try.

Plasterheads at Helwaser Gallery will be on view through July 30th, 2021