Unearthly yet industrial comes to mind when thinking of Vera Kox’s works. In fact, every time you think of an idea or adjective to describe her art, the complete opposite could also easily be attached: malleable yet dense, porous yet coated…
Kox produces beautiful realities of flux. When first seeing her work, there’s a single word that comes to mind: “Anthropocene”, the new human-driven geological epoch marked by climate change, industrial mining, destruction of biodiversity – in short, altering the Earth’s natural cycles. Kox’s works seem to alter the natural cycles of matter. Mixing pigments, glass, plaster and lately Yum Yum instant noodles into pastel post-minimalist structures, she creates pseudo-scientific patterns and textures in her own unique, formalistic expressions.
Her first duo exhibition with Manor Grunewald at Duve Gallery shows two prominent works from her latest series. One large grey and lilac object hangs on an industrial silver chain above a thick, poised cast of grey non-slip mats. A little further into the room stands a pyramid of pale yellow blocks bound tightly together with service rope. Both of these works are set on a hospital-sanitised blue floor. Hung behind them are the works of Grunewald, huge monumental tarpaulin canvases with abstract details of promotional material from supermarkets and hardware stores in delicate greys. All in all, it’s a rather futuristic landscape, which is satirically taken one step further with the two artists’ joint catalogue Basic Precautions Should Always Be Observed: a collection of images interspersed with snippets of a instruction manual on how to install a basic bathtub.
VERA KOX – BASIC PRECAUTIONS SHOULD ALWAYS BE OBSERVED Through Feb 20 | Duve Gallery, Gitschiner Str. 94/94a, Kreuzberg, U-Bhf Prinzenstr., Tue-Fri 11-18, Sat 12-16
Originally published in issue #135, February 2015