View of “Andrea Winkler,” 2011.

View of “Andrea Winkler,” 2011.

Andrea Winkler

View of “Andrea Winkler,” 2011.

The architecture of Gerhardsen Gerner is unusual: It is situated in a barrel vault under a commuter-rail bridge. The front window affords a view of the Spree, which flows past at nearly floor level, and visually opens the room and immerses it in shimmering daylight. The sacral austerity of the lines of its arches; the coarse, whitewashed walls; and the flickering river light were well matched by Andrea Winkler’s exhibition “Patricia.” Her delicate, space-structuring works are complex three-dimensional collages, using sculptural elements such as metal chains as well as multicolored decorative and drawing papers, shiny foils, and spray paint. On the whole, Winkler deploys spatial elements graphically and graphic elements spatially, blending both into images that one can walk through and experience in space—always with a fine sense for the resonance of weight, colors, sight lines, and zones of emptiness.

The exhibition started at the entrance, outside the main space, with simple, almost casual gestures. On the right was a work consisting of two sheets of paper mounted on the wall unframed, appearing somewhat lost. On the left, a gold-colored chain running close along the outside of the smooth partition wall, around the corner; and into the exhibition space formed a lightly hanging arc. This was the cue for a kind of dramaturgy: Winkler’s vocabulary of sculpture and image was established in nuce right at the beginning, unfolding by hint and suggestion. The artist always works through such pointed room-structuring accents and develops them sculpturally in terse, precise gestures. One of the sheets in the paper work at the entrance, for example, consists of a glossy, blackish crumpled page from a printed magazine. The half-artistic, half-destructive crinkling of the paper lends the piece a certain objecthood and makes the photos on it nearly unrecognizable, while the text passages, printed in white or yellow on a black background, become pictorial fragments of fractured context. Its companion is a delicate filigree design on gauzy gray paper, created by marbling. The paper is slightly wrinkled and partially torn, and an iridescent greenish-yellow strip of paper that lies behind shimmers through the flowing, abstract contours of the drawing and protrudes slightly beneath it. The ensemble displays an indeterminate, fragmentary complementarity, which is characteristic of Winkler’s work in general.

In the main room, Winkler played with a complex inversion of sculptural and coloristic elements: Several gold and silver chains stretched between stanchions created graphic lines through the space while also functioning as boundaries for viewers. Minimal spray-painted strokes of various lengths on the walls picked up the motif of the chains and transformed it into a gesture toward handwriting. Large conical paper objects functioning as sculptural supports for concentrated color were stationed around the room. Depending on the position of the viewer, their surfaces show intense fields of diverse hues; some were partially draped with reflective foil. Winkler’s works need to be seen at close range in order for their subtle differentiations to become apparent, but they also require distance in order to grasp the calculated combination of improvised lightness and strict stylization. In “Patricia,” this led to a unique elegance, in which moments of roughness and of decorativeness were linked and transformed.

Jens Asthoff

Translated from German by Anne Posten.