Beastly Arboretum
Monika Stricker

P420 is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in Italy by the German artist Monika Stricker (Düsseldorf, 1978, lives and works in Brussels).

Exhibition Beastly Arboretum
Artists Monika Stricker
Date 24.09.2023 - 04.11.2023
Venue P420 Gallery, Bologna
All images Courtesy by the artist and P420 Gallery

In Beastly Arboretum the artist shows new paintings and sculptures made for this occasion.

Monika Stricker’s paintings have a classical spirit, but her work often conveys a sense of the provisional, while her unexpected subjects never leave the viewer indifferent.
After a number of years in which the artist has painted faceless men with open legs, displaying their anatomy deprived of a penis, a mutilated identity because it is deprived of what identifies power in the patriarchal society, with this show Monika Stricker approaches new subjects, all of which originate, as the artist explains, from the relationship with her anxieties, but also from her fascination with those subjects. Indefinite figures that lose any points of reference, primates seen in the act of brestfeeding, dogs, feet, Stricker’s new subjects are a pretext to talk about intimate relationships, existential condition of human being. “I make art in order to give other people my problems,” says Mike Kelley in a well-known statement that could also apply in a way to the work of Monika Stricker.

In the glazed ceramic works seems to shift, and the artist insists on the suggestion of the male groin, a recurring theme in her practice, with an accentuated polymorphism and glazing in unnatural colors.

The sense of all this has been perceptively grasped by Marta Papini in the critical essay that accompanies the exhibition, noting that “portraying nude men, her own feet, dogs or primates, Stricker’s works confront us with a bare-faced vulnerability. In their presence, we are out of our comfort zone: we are embarrassed voyeurs, witnessing intimate relationships of submission and interdependence.”

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