Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua

 

Andro Wekua (*1977) works in a range of media, including collage, painting, sculpture, installation and film. The Georgian-born, Berlin-based artist has built a personal cosmos in which he stages fragmented memories, personal and political, through assemblage-like visual strategies. The artist illuminates the dark, interstitial spaces of emotion with subtle symbolism and intuitive elegance, highlighting the ambiguities of history.

 

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Wekua’s work is distinguished by a highly affective resonance. This resonance is most prominently seen in the mannequin figures that permeate his entire work, appearing alongside other visual motifs such as houses, landscapes, faces and machines. They emerge in the form of photographs in collages or come to life as sculptures. The mannequin figures in installations such as Get out of my room (2006) seem to derive their origins less from art history than from the design language of shop-window dummies or cyborgs from the worlds of science fiction. Their expressionless faces—which can at best be described as generic—are sometimes completely obliterated in the collages. The sculptures, such as the twitching figure in Untitled (2014), shown in the exhibition Some Pheasants in Singularity, are often seen wearing contemporary clothing like tank tops or sneakers. For all their overt artificiality, these mannequin figures seem endowed with a psychological life of their own. Defying all probability, they seem strangely alive, even realistic. They are figures that emanate a disturbing power.

Wekua’s exhibitions usually consist of elaborately-staged configurations executed with great attention to detail. The artist uses architectural interventions to create spatial and atmospheric scenarios, mise en scènes invoked by the curated rhythm of sculptures and paintings, choice of wall color, floor covering and lighting. This desire to stage is also brought to bear in his moving-image works. The artist’s films are enigmatic, at times surreal visual compositions; his manipulation of visual material, color, editing and music create metaphorically dense, quasi-hypnotic atmospheres with a powerful draw on the viewer.

Some of Wekua’s two-dimensional images are idiosyncratic abstractions with a similar affective undertow. Other pictorial works, such as Levan Portrait (2017) and E. Mirrored Window (2018), are based on the strategies of assemblage and draw from photographs as a point of departure—images that appear personal in nature. Wekua uses these photos like fragments of visual memory. First they find their way into paper collages. In a further step, these collages are transferred via a silkscreen process to aluminum panels. Wekua creates the finished work by continuously applying and removing bright, richly-pigmented oil paints from the surface of these panels, changing backgrounds, blurring or adding details. The process allows the artist to compress several layers of time into one image and to counter the past with a new poetic reality. The works testify to a desire to visually and conceptually capture something that cannot be captured.

Wekua’s paintings, sculptures and films often have an almost magnetic quality that oscillates between seduction and repulsion, creating aesthetic experiences that have the logic of dreams. Viewers often have the impression that they are entering a space governed by a dimension of time distinct from everyday life. It is a space that foregrounds the unknown or indefinable and redraws the boundaries between naturalness and artificiality, past and present. In doing so, Wekua exposes the inherent instability of not only any form of representation, but also of perception itself.

 

Andro Wekua: Dolphin in the Fountain
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, March 17–May 21, 2018
© Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow

Works
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua
All is Fair in Dreams and War, 2018

Andro Wekua
All is Fair in Dreams and War, 2018
Single channel projection, color, stereo
5:05 min

More views
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua
Untitled, 2013/14

Andro Wekua
Untitled, 2013/14
Oil, oil pastel, oil crayon, paint stick on linen
56.2 × 50.4 cm
22 1/8 × 19 7/8 inches

Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua
Wave (Black Sea), 2015/2016

Andro Wekua
Wave (Black Sea), 2015/2016
Oil, oil crayon and pastel crayon on canvas
120.5 × 130.5 cm
47 3/8 × 51 3/8 inches

More views
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua
Dolphin in the Fountain, 2017/2018

Andro Wekua
Dolphin in the Fountain, 2017/2018
Nickel silver, hand-painted bronze casts, steel, corian, fountain mechanism with pump and UVC lamp
Figure: 153 × 44 × 65 cm
Fountain: 250 × 480 × 27 cm
Figure: 60 1/4 × 17 × 1/4 × 25 5/8 inches
Fountain: 98 3/8 × 189 × 10 5/8 inches

More views
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua
E. Mirrored Window, 2018

Andro Wekua
E. Mirrored Window, 2018
Oil paint, wood, silkscreen ink and varnish on aluminium panel
127 × 87 cm (framed)
50 × 34 1/4 inches (framed)

More views
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua
Yellow Hold, Portrait, 2018

Andro Wekua
Yellow Hold, Portrait, 2018
Oil paint and silkscreen ink on aluminium panel
142 × 202 cm (framed)
56 × 79 1/2 inches (framed)

More views
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua
Untitled, 2014

Andro Wekua
Untitled, 2014
Wax, bronze, aluminium, silicone, natural hair, fabric, steel
50 × 81 × 24 cm
19 3/4 × 32 × 9 1/2 inches

More views
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua
Untitled, 2014

Andro Wekua
Untitled, 2014
Fake hair, silicone, wax, polymer plaster, PU foam, steel, glass, synthetic rope, aluminium cast, fabric, motors, electronics, mechanics
168 × 60 × 161 cm
66 1/8 × 23 5/8 × 63 3/8 inches

More views
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua
A. Portrait Spectator, 2018

Andro Wekua
A. Portrait Spectator, 2018
Oil paint, silkscreen paint and varnish on aluminium panel
142 × 127 cm (framed)
56 × 50 inches (framed)

More views
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua
Gott ist tot, aber das Mädchen nicht, 2008

Andro Wekua
Gott ist tot, aber das Mädchen nicht, 2008
Wax, hair, colored plexiglass, brass coating
150 × 203 × 103 cm
59 × 80 × 40 1/2 inches

Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua
Levan Portrait, 2017

Andro Wekua
Levan Portrait, 2017
Oil and silkscreen ink on aluminium panel
100 × 70 cm
39 3/8 × 27 1/2 inches

Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua
Yellow Hold, 2017/2018

Andro Wekua
Yellow Hold, 2017/2018
Ceramic, hand-painted aluminium casts, aluminium, bronze, wire
142 × 77 × 30 cm
56 × 30 1/4 × 11 7/8 inches

More views
Details
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
All is Fair in Dreams and War, 2018
Single channel projection, color, stereo
5:05 min

Andro Wekua
All is Fair in Dreams and War, 2018
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
All is Fair in Dreams and War, 2018 (film still)

Andro Wekua
All is Fair in Dreams and War, 2018
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
All is Fair in Dreams and War, 2018 (film still)

Andro Wekua
All is Fair in Dreams and War, 2018
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
All is Fair in Dreams and War, 2018 (film still)

Andro Wekua
All is Fair in Dreams and War, 2018
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Untitled, 2013/14
Oil, oil pastel, oil crayon, paint stick on linen
56.2 × 50.4 cm
22 1/8 × 19 7/8 inches

Andro Wekua
Untitled, 2013/14
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Wave (Black Sea), 2015/2016
Oil, oil crayon and pastel crayon on canvas
120.5 × 130.5 cm
47 3/8 × 51 3/8 inches

Andro Wekua
Wave (Black Sea), 2015/2016
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Wave (Black Sea), 2015/2016 (detail)

Andro Wekua
Wave (Black Sea), 2015/2016
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Dolphin in the Fountain, 2017/2018
Nickel silver, hand-painted bronze casts, steel, corian, fountain mechanism with pump and UVC lamp
Figure: 153 × 44 × 65 cm
Fountain: 250 × 480 × 27 cm
Figure: 60 1/4 × 17 × 1/4 × 25 5/8 inches
Fountain: 98 3/8 × 189 × 10 5/8 inches

Andro Wekua
Dolphin in the Fountain, 2017/2018
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Dolphin in the Fountain, 2017/2018 (detail)

Andro Wekua
Dolphin in the Fountain, 2017/2018
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Dolphin in the Fountain, 2017/2018 (detail)

Andro Wekua
Dolphin in the Fountain, 2017/2018
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Dolphin in the Fountain, 2017/2018 (detail)

Andro Wekua
Dolphin in the Fountain, 2017/2018
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Dolphin in the Fountain, 2017/2018 (detail)

Andro Wekua
Dolphin in the Fountain, 2017/2018
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Dolphin in the Fountain, 2017/2018 (detail)

Andro Wekua
Dolphin in the Fountain, 2017/2018
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Dolphin in the Fountain, 2017/2018 (detail)

Andro Wekua
Dolphin in the Fountain, 2017/2018
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
E. Mirrored Window, 2018
Oil paint, wood, silkscreen ink and varnish on aluminium panel
127 × 87 cm (framed)
50 × 34 1/4 inches (framed)

Andro Wekua
E. Mirrored Window, 2018
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
E. Mirrored Window, 2018

Andro Wekua
E. Mirrored Window, 2018
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
E. Mirrored Window, 2018 (detail)

Andro Wekua
E. Mirrored Window, 2018
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
E. Mirrored Window, 2018 (detail)

Andro Wekua
E. Mirrored Window, 2018
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
E. Mirrored Window, 2018 (detail)

Andro Wekua
E. Mirrored Window, 2018
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
E. Mirrored Window, 2018 (detail)

Andro Wekua
E. Mirrored Window, 2018
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Yellow Hold, Portrait, 2018
Oil paint and silkscreen ink on aluminium panel
142 × 202 cm (framed)
56 × 79 1/2 inches (framed)

Andro Wekua
Yellow Hold, Portrait, 2018
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Yellow Hold, Portrait, 2018 (detail)

Andro Wekua
Yellow Hold, Portrait, 2018
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Yellow Hold, Portrait, 2018 (detail)

Andro Wekua
Yellow Hold, Portrait, 2018
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Yellow Hold, Portrait, 2018 (detail)

Andro Wekua
Yellow Hold, Portrait, 2018
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Untitled, 2014
Wax, bronze, aluminium, silicone, natural hair, fabric, steel
50 × 81 × 24 cm
19 3/4 × 32 × 9 1/2 inches

Andro Wekua
Untitled, 2014
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Untitled, 2014 (installation view)

Andro Wekua
Untitled, 2014
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Untitled, 2014
Fake hair, silicone, wax, polymer plaster, PU foam, steel, glass, synthetic rope, aluminium cast, fabric, motors, electronics, mechanics
168 × 60 × 161 cm
66 1/8 × 23 5/8 × 63 3/8 inches

Andro Wekua
Untitled, 2014
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Untitled, 2014 (detail)

Andro Wekua
Untitled, 2014
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Untitled, 2014 (detail)

Andro Wekua
Untitled, 2014
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Untitled, 2014 (detail)

Andro Wekua
Untitled
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Untitled, 2014 (detail)

Andro Wekua
Untitled, 2016
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Untitled, 2014 (installation view)

Andro Wekua
Untitled
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
A. Portrait Spectator, 2018
Oil paint, silkscreen paint and varnish on aluminium panel
142 × 127 cm (framed)
56 × 50 inches (framed)

Andro Wekua
A. Portrait Spectator, 2018
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
A. Portrait Spectator, 2018 (detail)

Andro Wekua
A. Portrait Spectator, 2018
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
A. Portrait Spectator, 2018 (detail)

Andro Wekua
A. Portrait Spectator, 2018
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
A. Portrait Spectator, 2018 (detail)

Andro Wekua
A. Portrait Spectator, 2018
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Gott ist tot, aber das Mädchen nicht, 2008
Wax, hair, colored plexiglass, brass coating
150 × 203 × 103 cm
59 × 80 × 40 1/2 inches

Andro Wekua
Gott ist tot, aber das Mädchen nicht, 2008
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Levan Portrait, 2017
Oil and silkscreen ink on aluminium panel
100 × 70 cm
39 3/8 × 27 1/2 inches

Andro Wekua
Levan Portrait, 2017
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Yellow Hold, 2017/2018
Ceramic, hand-painted aluminium casts, aluminium, bronze, wire
142 × 77 × 30 cm
56 × 30 1/4 × 11 7/8 inches

Andro Wekua
Yellow Hold, 2017/2018
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Yellow Hold, 2017/2018

Andro Wekua
Yellow Hold, 2017/2018
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Yellow Hold, 2017/2018

Andro Wekua
Yellow Hold, 2017/2018
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Yellow Hold, 2017/2018 (detail)

Andro Wekua
Yellow Hold, 2017/2018
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Yellow Hold, 2017/2018 (detail)

Andro Wekua
Yellow Hold, 2017/2018
Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
Yellow Hold, 2017/2018 (detail)

Andro Wekua
Yellow Hold, 2017/2018
Details
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Exhibitions at Sprüth Magers
Andro Wekua

Andro Wekua
All is Fair in Dreams and War
February 1–April 6, 2019
Berlin

Andro Wekua’s work strides powerfully and forcefully in our direction – while constantly eluding us. As visitors we find ourselves caught between contradictory movements, and the result is a tension that we cannot easily escape. This accounts for some of the intensity and quality of Wekua’s work, but not all. Much of it has to do with the artist’s way of weaving images together and playing them against one another, and the undertow this creates. The draw of this maelstrom is narrative and cinematic in nature, although his films in particular tend toward abstraction.

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Andro Wekua

Dreaming Mirrors Dreaming Screens
Theodora Allen, Slater Bradley, Lucy Dodd, Lizzie Fitch / Ryan Trecartin, Andy Hope 1930, Oliver Laric, Pew Die Pie, Jon Rafman, Pamela Rosenkranz, Sara VanDerBeek, Stan VanDerBeek, Lesley Vance, Andro Wekua
curated by Johannes Fricke Waldthausen / GOODROOM
January 29–April 2, 2016
Berlin

Bringing together the practice of thirteen international artists, the exhibition Dreaming Mirrors Dreaming Screens appeals to the intuitive mind and creativity beyond referential thinking. Departing from the artists' production, it navigates through narratives in the realm of surrealist animation, abstraction and subjects of new materialism embracing the logic of the internet.

Andro Wekua
Some Pheasants in Singularity
October 14–November 15, 2014
London

For his first exhibition with Sprüth Magers, Andro Wekua will transform the London gallery by installing a wall constructed of rough breeze blocks, partially obscuring the view into the space through the large bay window. While from the exterior the blocks will be untreated and exposed, the interior side of the wall will have a smooth white surface as if to disguise it from within, allowing the wall to blend seamlessly into the interior space. Within the gallery, Wekua will suspend from the ceiling a life-sized sculpture of an androgynous adolescent.

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Andro Wekua
Andro Wekua

Rethinking Location
Rosa Barba, Cyprien Gaillard, Andreas Hofer, David Maljkovic, Trevor Paglen, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Sterling Ruby, Paul Sietsema, Taryn Simon, Armando Andrade Tudela, Andro Wekua
May 1–June 21, 2010
Berlin

Evolving from the work of twelve conceptual artists, filmmakers and photographers presenting alternate interpretations of fictional geographies, imaginary sites and "mash-up" destinations, the exhibition Rethinking Location reconsiders the notion of location. In an era characterized by a rapidly changing perception of time and space due to ever increasing mobility, migration and globalization, our understanding of what a location is has significantly transformed.

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Press

Andro Wekua
Artforum International, review by Aaron Bogart, October 2, 2018

Fertig ist es, wenn es nicht weiter geht: Im Atelier von Andro Wekua
Kunstforum International, article by Anneli Botz, June-July 2018

Andro Wekua in Moskau: De profundis
Monopol, review by Daniel Völzke, May 3, 2018

Peripatetic Georgian artist Andro Wekua on work, war and wandering
Wallpaper, interview by Sophie Lovell, April 17, 2018

Dark Matter: Andro Wekua
032c, article by Thom Bettridge, Winter 2014/2015

Biography

Andro Wekua (*1977, Sukhumi), lives and works in Zurich and Berlin. Solo exhibitions include Kunsthalle Zürich, Zurich and Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (both 2018), Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (2016), Benaki Museum, Athens (2014), Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Kunsthalle Friedericianum, Kassel (both 2011), Wiels, Brussels, Museion Bolzano (both 2010), Museum Bojmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2007), and Kunsthalle Winterthur (2006). Selected group exhibitions include: Haus der Kunst, Munich (2019), Fondation Vincent van Gogh, Arles, Albertina Museum, Vienna (both 2018), Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland (2016), the High-Line Art, New York (2015), Pinakothek der Moderne & Brandhorst Museum, Munich (2015),  Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2014),  Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva (2013), New Museum, New York, 54th Venice Biennale (both 2011), Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich (2008),  Centre Pompidou, Paris (2006), and 4th Berlin Biennale, Berlin (2004).

Education
1986–1991 National Art School, Sukhumi
1993–1994 Phil. Institute ‘Gogebaschwili’, Tiblisi
1995–1999 Visual Art School, Basel
Awards, Grants and Fellowships
2011 Nominated for Preis der Nationalgalerie für junge Kunst, Berlin
2006 Manor Kunstpreis, Zurich
2005 Kiefer Hablitzel Preis, Zurich
2004 Atelierstipendium der Stadt Zürich, Zurich
2003 Bundesstipendium für Freie Kunst, Zurich
2002–03 Atelierstipendium Binz 39, Zurich
Filmography
2019 All is Fair in Dreams and War, Screening at Georgian Film Academy Cinema House, Blue Cinema Hall, Tbilisi
2018 Burning Palm, Museum für Moderne Kunst MMK, Frankfurt
2014 Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw
2013 Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
2013 Kino der Kunst, Munich
2012 Projections of the Self, with Charlotte Prodger, Pamela Rosenkranz and others, Institute of Contemporary Art, London
2011 Potluck Screening, with Martha Rosler, Corinna Schnitt, Roman Signer, Uglycute & Andro Wekua and others, Swiss Institute of Contemporary Art New York
2010 Stage, with Jack Smith, Cerith Wyn Evans, Stefan Panhans, Maximilian Zentz Zlomovitz, and Jennifer Bornstein, im Marshall-Haus, ABC-Contemporary, Berlin
2009 Je Est Un Autre…, with Keren Cytter, Maya Deren, Jesper Just, Jen Liu, Markus Schinwald and Andro Wekua, Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius
2009 By the Window, Art Unlimited/Art Basel
2005 Art Film, with Susan Hiller, Debroah Ligoria, Yasumasa Morimura, Nobuyoshi Araki, Markus Schinwald, Andro Wekua, Jonathan Horowitz, Anri Sala and others, Stadtkino Basel/Art Basel
Public Collections
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Astrup Fearnley Museum for Modern Art, Oslo
Centre Pompidou - Musée National d´Art Moderne, Paris
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
Deste Foundation, Centre for Contemporary Art, Athens
Hammer Musuem, Los Angeles
Initial Access Frank Cohen Collection, Wolverhampton
Julia Stoschek Collection, Dusseldorf
Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich
Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Rubell Family Collection, Miami
Sammlung Goetz, Munich
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN