Scottish artist Karla Black (b. 1972) creates her ephemeral works out of materials you might well find under your kitchen sink or in your toiletry bag. She uses familiar scents and textures – like plastic wrap, petroleum jelly, talcum powder, cosmetics and flour – to evoke an atmosphere of intimacy and appeal to the viewer’s memory and subconscious. The first ever Dutch exhibition of Black’s work opens at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag on 18 January. It includes a new installation created especially for the museum and made of cellophane, plaster and tape. This major work will be on show in the Projects Gallery, together with eight smaller pieces.
“Traditionally, painting offered an optical escape from this World, by providing a window onto another. Sculpture can offer some sort of escape, too, through an actual engulfment in the physical.” As this quote shows, Black is interested primarily in the way her sculptures are physically experienced and how they relate to the viewer and his or her mind. This priority connects with her interest in the psychoanalytical theory of Sigmund Freud, which centres on the relationship between body and mind. Visitors are meant to experience a physical and emotional confrontation with Black’s work.