Maria Loboda channels poetic and historical research into formal equations of language and materiality, examining how they act and interact, and what they can express beyond their common readings. She investigates codes of all kinds and the grammar of materials in various forms, using elements such as stones, language, and plants as artistic material. Last July, Ludlow 38 presented Loboda’s A Guide to Insults and Misanthropy (Garden Version) (2012), a small garden that manifested bitter and sad feelings through the Victorian language of flowers. With its “reading” of flowers, it was a unique take on this year’s theme of translation at the gallery.
In The Tempest, Loboda presents her observations of New York in new works. Arriving just a few months ago, she saw the city as a place where public and private spaces can be inside out, where facades cover and reveal at the same time—a place where the seeming antagonism of withdrawal and nervous output merge. She began her exploration at the General Electric Building in midtown Manhattan, an architectural sculpture which brought her to think about electricity, itself a form of controlled nervousness. The Tempest extends Loboda’s observation of New York’s layers of apparent contradiction. The exhibition includes levitating everyday objects, collages, and a writing piece embracing the friction of counter-dynamic qualities such as nervousness and retreat, public and private. It will feature a large beach umbrella with a nervous, crystalline Art Deco pattern, covering half of the exhibition space and shielding another work. This piece traces back to Greta Garbo, who retreated to New York following the end of her film career and hid from photographers through the most dynamic gestures and the usage of everyday objects. A chain of moments held in an instant which can quickly change, fall apart, or reveal another mystery: The Tempest explores these concepts in a poetic yet abstract form.
The exhibition is accompanied by a publication including a conversation between Meister and Loboda as well as an essay by Isobel Harbison.
Maria Loboda was born in Krakow, Poland, in 1979. She completed her studies in 2008 under Mark Leckey at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. Loboda has received studio scholarships from the Kulturstiftung der Dresdner Bank, Institut Français/Ville de Paris Résidences Internationales aux Recollets, the Hessische Kulturstiftung, as well as the 2011 Edward Steichen Award, which includes a six-month residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) in Brooklyn. Her work has been shown in various group and solo exhibitions at ICA London, Palais de Tokyo, Bielefelder Kunstverein, Maisterravalbuena, and Galerie Schleicher+Lange, among others. Loboda participated in this year’s dOCUMENTA (13). She lives and works in New York.
Curated by Clara Meister