Raumansicht mit Kunstwerken an den Wändern
© Myriam Thyes, Dresden 2021

Artists' Conquest

‘Artists’ Conquest’ is the first in a new exhibition series organised by the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Dresden State Art Collections) and the Staatliche Schlösser, Burgen und Gärten Sachsen (State Palaces, Castles and Gardens of Saxony). Contemporary artists create surprise encounters for visitors in the historic and culturally significant buildings of Pillnitz Palace. Taking an approach that is at once affectionate, ironic, provocative and thoughtful, the juxtaposition of the contemporary art with historic surroundings vividly illuminates the connections between past and present.

  • DATES 14/08/2021—31/10/2021

Alle drei Palais

‘Artists’ Conquest’ aims to open up new ways of seeing and thinking,, to challenge preconceptions about historic spaces. The artists’ interventions sharpen the mind and re-focus the vision, generating a new perspective on familiar forms. Art, culture and history combined inspire us to take wing towards this magic.

Margret Eicher

The digital tapestries of Margret Eicher allude to the function and importance of courtly tapestry in the seventeenth century. In the Baroque era, these tapestries served primarily political purposes. They represented power, communicated ideologies, and through their idealised imagery acted as a form of propaganda. Compared to today’s mass media one can find fascinating parallels. Eicher draws her subjects from the world of images generated by advertising, journalism, film and the internet. She uses an elaborate digital process to create collages out of these set pieces, then weaves them into tapestries using computer-aided techniques.

© Margret Eicher
Margret Eicher, Assunta, 2020

"Die Tapisserie

"In the artist’s works, tapestry harks back to its original function as a means of communication and questions as subtle citation the power of images in our contemporary age.” (Katja Schmitz-von Ledebur, Imperial Secular Treasury, Vienna Kunsthistorisches Museum)

Luzia Simons

The dialogue between Luzia Simons’ works and historical still life painting only seems like a whimsical game. The discovery of the “New World” in the Baroque era – the first wave of globalisation –  brought with it huge economic and scientific revolutions, leading to a whole new world view (Galileo). War and chaos, insecurities permeating all areas of life created a mindset of ‘carpe diem’. It was a time of social upheavals with many parallels to today. The scanograms of tulips that Luzia Simon creates under the title Stockage refer to the cultural transfer from Asia to Europe, and to the issue of a hyped-up market ‘bubble’ (in 1637, trading in tulip bulbs led to a collapse of the stock exchange). At the same time, these works make aesthetic allusions to Baroque visual imagery – splendour and transience; the drama of chiaroscuro scenes. Merely our perspective has – it has become the digital Now.

© Luzia Simons, VG Bild-Kunst Bonn 2021
Luzia Simons, Pillnitz Kamelien, 2021

“Luzia Simons draws

“Luzia Simons draws an arc from the seventeenth century to our contemporary age with her work cycle Stockage and its aspects of globalisation and multicultural features. The diversity of metaphorical allusions transforms the supposedly “charming” or even “cosy” subject of a floral piece into a dynamic and discursive medium”. (Claudia Emmert)

Rebecca Stevenson

In Rebecca Stevenson’s sculptures we see an obsessive continuation of Baroque-era excess. Familiar art-historical motifs (a portrait bust or still life) are meticulously re-created and then alienated or transformed. Surfaces are cut open and ripped apart and the resulting cavities decorated with fresh roses and luxuriant fruit arrangements. This metaphor of overabundance, truly a “feast for the eyes”, veils yet simultaneously intensifies the suspense generated by the work.

© Rebecca Stevenson
Rebecca Stevenson, Little Fugue, 2016

Indem sie die traditionellen

By reversing the traditional functions of a sculpture – the communication of continuity, power and heroism – Stevenson’s works manifest the Baroque object as mutable and unstable. She mostly works with wax, a material that imitates flesh and is associated with transparency and transience. Even when her works are cast in bronze their vulnerable character unfolds a fragile aura, radiating ephemerality, decay and decadence. The sculptures emerging from this process are simultaneously beautiful, uncanny and absurd.

Myriam Thyes

The themes and imagery explored by Myriam Thyes revolve around social and cultural symbols. For Thyes, everything we perceive (and hence interpret), alongside everything we produce and shape, is “a matter of faith”. She works with familiar and powerful signs - motifs and figures from politics, architecture, religion and Hollywood film. At the same time, she seeks out “lost” and “forgotten” symbols that speak different languages from those of power. These motifs, drawn from our environment, become metaphors of collective mental states.

Myriam Thyes, Trisolaris, Traubenbaum, 2021

Mittels Video(-Collage), Animation

Thyes uses video(-collage), animation and photomontage to transform cultural symbols and show them in new contexts. Powerful images thus lose something of their authority, become mobile, permeable and – for us today – productive. Symbols of fixed identities become elements of dialogues.

Thyes’s animation ‘Trisolaris Chinoiserie’ derives from the chinoiserie frescoes of Pillnitz Palace. Fragments of these appear on revolving globes, like heavenly spheres. The three globes allude to the science fiction trilogy “Trisolaris” by Cixin Liu. Motifs from the frescoes come adrift from the “planets” and morph into contemporary imagery from China, giving rise to a modern “chinoiserie”. Her film heroine series shows Thyes questioning an ideal of woman promoted today which suggests that women should fulfil all former female ideals and all traditional male ideals at once.


Further Exhibitions


in Schloss Pillnitz

gelber Kasten mit vier Füßen
01/06/2021 —27/06/2021

Spoon Archaeology

London Design Biennale 2021, Somerset House

15/10/2021 —06/03/2022

German Design 1949 – 1989

in Kunsthalle im Lipsiusbau

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