Critics’ Picks

Moritz Grimm, Schlaftablette (Sleeping Pills), 2016, glazed ceramic, glass container, two snails, produce, cardboard, duct tape, 11 3/4 x 23 5/8 x 11 3/4".


Moritz Grimm

Natalia Hug
Jülicher Straße 14
November 4–December 10

Eve is the name of humanity’s Urmutter, or first mother. Eve also stands for temptation. Both the original mother and attraction are motifs in the exhibition “EVA” by the young artist Moritz Grimm. The title of the show was borrowed from the artist’s partner’s mother, who died before Grimm could meet her. However, he did move into her furnished apartment. Enticement and the mother, especially of one’s own girlfriend, are subjects upon which many would founder. Not so for Grimm. For he turns the topic toward the fairy-tale-like, bringing the gruesome and the fantastic—which together constitute the arc of suspense of most fairy tales—consciously into play.

Thus, the dead mother formed from clay sleeps on a real lawn in a glass display case. She is reminiscent of Snow White. To complete the idyll, live snails crawl around her. The real apple on the display case, however, indicates inducement. And, in fact, temptation sits in the form of a busty, naked woman on the lawn beside the vitrine. Another full-bosomed woman made of clay with thick, splayed thighs, clothed only in a jacket and headscarf, lies on a bale of hay like an apparition from cheap, homemade porn. Dreams and the brutally erotic, the stuff fairy tales are made of, enter into a bizarre alliance in Grimm’s installations and drawings, one of which fends off pathos while nonetheless bringing gruesome truths to expression—like fairy tales. Grimm is also the name of the brothers Jakob and Wilhelm, the storied collectors of German fairy tales from the beginning of the nineteenth century. Whoever so wishes can see in them the godparents of the strangely erotic phenomena of the artist Grimm.

Translated from German by Diana Reese.