Critics’ Picks

View of “Kitty Kraus.” Left: Untitled, 2007, mirrored glass and lightbulb. Right: Untitled, 2007, mirrored glass and lightbulb.

View of “Kitty Kraus.” Left: Untitled, 2007, mirrored glass and lightbulb. Right: Untitled, 2007, mirrored glass and lightbulb.

Vienna

Kitty Kraus

Gabriele Senn Galerie
Schleifmühlgasse 1A
June 1–August 28, 2007

In the first room, narrow rectangular slabs of glass protrude from the wall, and ice water, dyed black, seeps across the floor. In the next, surreal geometric sketches flicker across the walls, their source two small, solid boxes that sit humbly on the ground, emanating light from their edges and corners. Breaks and cuts, fragments and fleeting conditions, are central features of Kitty Kraus’s artistic practice. But if that list sounds dry, in the darkened gallery the reifications of these formal concerns nonetheless produce a dramatic mise-en-scène; it’s as though chance materials are being employed to tell a story of modernism’s attenuation. Forms remain recognizable, but the contents shift and disperse. The viewer is confronted with isolation, not purity; instead of utopias, we find a poetry of emptiness, moving and impressively quiet.