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Theresa Lawrenz – ordinary pleasures

Theresa Lawrenz – ordinary pleasures

Location: EMDE GALLERY - Mainz

Theresa Lawrenz – ordinary pleasures

OPENING: Friday, 28th of June, 6:30 pm to 9 pm

The Emde Gallery is delighted to present Theresa Lawrenz's second solo exhibition, entitled "ordinary pleasures", featuring a selection of different new works. On display are both larger installations and smaller sculptural works.

Theresa Lawrenz is known for isolating familiar objects from their usual surroundings, altering them and placing them in new contexts. In this way, the artist succeeds in irritating the viewer's perception and opening up new dimensions of meaning. She achieves this irritation primarily through the use of unexpected materials, such as ceramic hubcaps or concrete shirt collars. Two different materials often enter into a contrasting dialogue. Following a site-specific approach, the question of how the sculptures interact with the space is also decisive for the effect of her works.

In the works shown here in this exhibition, Theresa Lawrenz deals with furnishings and everyday objects such as table legs, chair backs and collar shapes or even everyday routines and questions them in terms of their conventional approach. The work "manners" in the main room of the gallery, for example, conveys an idiosyncratic version of the situation of eating together. The installation consists of a (real) tabletop, attached to four steel supports, which are stuck in ornamentally decorated concrete feet, and plate-shaped objects reminiscent of UFOs are mounted on the tops of each. Several parts of the mouth (dentures) cast in concrete are distributed across the tabletop itself. Rules of behaviour and manners that should be observed during a meal are reflected in the sculpture and questioned in an ironic and humorous way.
As the title "ordinary pleasures" suggests, Theresa Lawrenz's works invite us to rediscover ordinary and everyday things and actions in a new light through means of transformation and recomposition.

Theresa Lawrenz lives and works in Frankfurt am Main and Mainz. She studied at the Kunsthochschule Mainz and graduated in 2020 as a master student of Prof Sabine Groß. Her works have been presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including at the Maison de Rhénanie-Palatinat in Dijon, the Quartier am Hafen in Cologne, the Museum Pfalzgalerie in Kaiserlautern, the Kunsthalle Mainz and the Basis Project Space in Frankfurt am Main. She has already received several prizes and scholarships, including the Emy Röder Prize and the Pfalz Prize for Young Artists. Most recently, works by Theresa Lawrenz were on display as part of the group exhibition "Preis zur Förderung Mainzer Bildender Künstlerinnen und Künstler 2024" at the Landesmuseum Mainz (until 23rd of June).

Theresa Lawrenz – ordinary pleasures, by Dr Gabriele Rasch (art historian and curator)

In recent years, sculptor Theresa Lawrenz has primarily put her focus on urban space. But in her new works, her own household, her own clothes, take centre stage. Concrete and steel remain her favourite materials.
Some of the works currently on display at the Emde Gallery were created as part of her nomination for the 2024 Visual Arts Award of the City of Mainz. Garments from the medieval sculptures in the Landesmuseum inspired her to create her multi-part work "collared". It consists of various collars held by a concrete frame. These are sensitive detailed mouldings of her own garments, focussing on their materiality and form. For her passe-partout-like framing, she has experimented with different materials such as painter's fleece, duct tape and wire, deliberately leaving them visible. Once again, she explores the durability and different surface qualities of concrete.

Theresa Lawrenz is fundamentally interested in the relationship between things. In this case, how does the neck come out of the shirt? In addition to its function, the design of the collar has always played a major role in the manufacturing of clothing. It is an important fashion detail, bound to it’s times, but also a design challenge. It can be soft, flowing, scratchy or stiff. The statement associated with it varies accordingly, from casually sporty to elegantly prestigious. What effect does this have on the wearer's body? What cultural and historical aspects are addressed?

These are questions that the sculptor principally asks herself. As is also the case in her expansive installation "manners". It consists of an oval wooden panel through which four round metal rods are driven, crowned at the top by small concrete caps. Under the table, the rods are stuck in ornamented concrete fragments. "Manners" is a reference to her grandmother's table. She has moulded some of the particularly beautifully designed details, such as the legs. The table is not only associated with childhood memories. According to her, it is above all a place of hierarchy, where rules prevail and manners apply. This place has a top and a bottom and two ends. Idioms come to mind. Images of oversized long tables in golden halls come to mind.

With her sculptural artefacts and installations, Theresa Lawrenz manages to reflect on the relationship of one's own body to its surroundings and thus on general social norms that influence and determine our behaviour.


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