Basel

View of “Valentina Stieger,” 2012.

View of “Valentina Stieger,” 2012.

Valentina Stieger

STAMPA

View of “Valentina Stieger,” 2012.

Valentina Stieger’s recent exhibition “Good Figures” found new power in familiar ideas. Exploring a high/low dialectic that is now a well-trod path by marrying the austere forms of modernism to a kitschy domesticity evoked by quotidian household materials, her work still incites a frisson of recognition. The show’s constellation of works employed the bright or banal emblems of the hausfrau—pillowcases, a clothes-hanger railing, decorative plaster—to more art-historically driven ends. But even if the works’ persuasive abstraction began between quotes, that is not quite where it ended.

Consider, for instance, Untitled (streamlined for dispatch), 2010–12, a line of six abstract “paintings,” their surfaces evenly covered with flat, decorative patterns, hung systematically in a neat row. Their colors would appeal to any grandmother, whether in Arizona or Basel: muted pinks,

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