Reyes | Finn is pleased to present And the Walls Became the World Around, an exhibition of new work by Copenhagen-born, Chicago-based artist, Marie Herwald Hermann, on view May 8–June 26, 2021. In her second solo exhibition and seventh presentation with Reyes | Finn, Hermann invites the viewer to step into her still life itself, encouraging a reassessment of the domestic and our connections to the passive moments of life.
Taking its name from children’s book classic Where the Wild Things Are by writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak, Hermann’s And the Walls Became the World Around Us is grounded in a delicate reorientation that brings with it a rejuvenated appreciation for the unspectacular as we move through a year of introspection. In her exhibit, the artist introduces a fresh endeavor in material and color to a conversation that whispers between her pieces as they perch upon the surrounding walls or drape from them. The result is a reinvigorated understanding of the dichotomy between indoors and outdoors, and a complex dialogue between the various objects that make up our homes.
What was once a respite from the noise and chaos of life, Hermann’s studio became the inverse: now a space used to inspect vitality and explore a world that exists only within walls. Venturing into new colorways, materials, scale and rhythm, the artist seeks a former equilibrium existent before the outdoors drew silent this past year. Growing up in Copenhagen, a city dominated by neoclassical restrictions that have produced a neutral palette, Hermann pulls her pigmented inspiration from Michael Gottlieb Bindesbøll’s Thorvaldsens Museum, a space she remembers as a colorful escape from the outer world. Without departing from her characteristic focus on domestic forms, Hermann further aggrandizes the experience of daily rituals through revived colors and textures that compliment the often-banal objects of daily life, from coffee mugs to other commonplace vessels.
Raised with the belief that tactile exploration is a fundamental means of learning, Hermann believes that there is a certain freedom in the exploration of materials formerly unknown to her. Her newest work maintains her well known focus on materiality that seems to imply touch, while emphasizing the central attempt at translating the shifting relationship between indoors and outdoors.
With her work stratified throughout the room, Hermann carefully places cavities of the outdoors within the space, as if pulling the outdoors through cracks in the plaster. From use of sky-textured polka dots that spotlight the outdoors, to free-standing structures reminiscent of traditional cookware, to ceramic hooks and play rings, the exhibition stands as an ode to that which surrounds it. To compliment this, a dining table of 30 vessels runs through the gallery, casting a shadow of domesticity while emphasizing the dialectical character of the art itself.
Hermann’s And the Walls Became the World Around is an exhibition of reaction, demonstrating how our daily routines punctuate quotidian silence and must make room for a newfound appreciation for the inspiring unspectacular of the interior.
In parallel with her exhibition at Reyes | Finn, Hermann will release an artist’s book in fall 2021 chronicling the last year of her studio practice.