Berlin

Maria Loboda, Metal Hurlant (Heavy Metal) (detail), 2019, mixed media, dimensions variable.

Maria Loboda, Metal Hurlant (Heavy Metal) (detail), 2019, mixed media, dimensions variable.

Maria Loboda

Galerie Thomas Schulte

There are exhibitions for which an accompanying text is helpful, and then there was Maria Loboda’s “Woman observing the Alpha Persei Cluster,” which would have been impenetrable without one. Unless, that is, the viewer happened to be equally versed in French modernist interiors, English Bronze Age antiquities, Swiss utopian movements, Egyptian royalty, old science-fiction comics, astronomy, and more. Heavily researched and encoded art is nothing new, of course, but the Polish artist’s installation, a mix of wall drawing and sculpture, was among the most multilayered examples I’ve seen, and tactically so. The impression of calculated maximalism began with the title, its protagonist—presumably, given the emphasized act of looking—a pointedly gendered proxy for the audience, genuflecting before something colossal, namely, a cluster of stars in a constellation estimated to be between fifty

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