Critics’ Picks

View of “Katharina Fengler: SUPERFOOD,” 2015.

View of “Katharina Fengler: SUPERFOOD,” 2015.


Katharina Fengler

Vico Santa Maria a Cappella Vecchia 8/A
May 16–July 1, 2015

“SUPERFOOD,” Katharina Fengler’s debut solo exhibition in Italy and the second show at this newly created annex of the Museo Apparente, is titled with a term coined in 1998 by writer Aaron Moss to identify a category of foods with strongly beneficial nutritional qualities. Fengler came up with the idea for this new body of work after a long trip to Ubud, Bali—a quintessential destination for those in search of wellness where one’s mind and body can be satiated by a luxuriant emerald-green landscape and by foods of the same tone. Fengler transposes this personal immersion into five large-scale green works, all executed in airbrush on Tyvek, a light material used for packaging art and food. Her paintings, which seem to bleed through the weave of their creased supports, take on a profound texture in which natural and digital aspects coexist and are concretized into oscillating and atemporal abstractions. The titles of the works—Endless Summer, Goblin, Green Fiend, Green Goddess, and Hulk (all 2015)—evoke names of purifying juices, further emphasizing the relationship that the artist establishes between her work and objects of consumption.

During the opening of the exhibition the artist served wheatgrass juice to visitors, from a glass dispenser on a white plinth—a fetishistic action that allowed the public to ingest the hues of the artworks they were viewing. “SUPERFOOD” is thus a total sensory experience as well as a metaphorical and covertly ironic analysis of the art world and artistic promises to surprise at all costs.

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.