Karla Black at Schinkel Pavillon

The Schinkel Pavillon was built in 1969 by the architect Rikard Paulick and is located at the park of the Crown Prince’s Palace. It gives the impression of being an oversized vitrine, and standing inside it, there are great panoramic views of famous Berlin monuments like the TV Tower, the former School of Architecture of Karl Friedrich Schinkel, and the Berliner Dom.

Karla Black at Schinkel Pavillon Karla Black at Schinkel Pavillon, Photo: Nick Ash. Courtesy of Galerie Gisela Capitain, Köln

The Schinkel Pavillon is an exhibition space showing contemporary sculpture, currently exhibiting the Scottish artist Karla Black (b. 1972). Black generally uses materials we recognize from our households and everyday life, such as soap, Vaseline, plaster powder, make-up, and paper. She uses and combines these different elements to create sculptures and objects beyond simple recognition. Black has extensively exhibited internationally, including at The Saatchi Gallery in London. In addition, she presented a solo show for the Scottish Pavillion at the 54th Venice Biennale 2011.

Karla Black, Schinkel Pavillon Installation view, Photo: Nick Ash. Courtesy of Galerie Gisela Capitain, Köln

The Schinkel Pavillon consists of one room, now filled Black’s site-specific sculpture, which works very well in contrast with the architectural elements of the space. The sculpture is made out of cellophane, plaster powder, nail varnish and powder paint, and it works as a circle that leads the visitors around the room. You can follow the traces of powder on the floor and it is not clear at which point it begins or ends. The sculpture looks both fragile and strong at the same time, as the cellophane has longlasting sense over it. Combined with the pastel powder on the floor, one gets the impression that just a slight breeze would change the whole artwork.

On my visit, a thunderstorm was in full force outside the windows, and while looking at this massive yet sheer sculpture, I felt like a very small visitor in a fantasy world, this despite the ordinary nature of the sculpture’s materials.


Additional Information

Exhibition: Jun. 22 – Aug. 5, 2012
Oberwallstraße 1 (Click here for map)


Blog entry by Marie-Louise Crona in Berlin; Friday, Jul. 13, 2012.

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