Report: Anne Wenzel: ‘The Opaque Palace’ exhibition

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After closing its doors for a renovation TENT Rotterdam reopens with a solo exhibition of the monumental sculptures by Anne Wenzel, an artist from Germany who lives and works in Rotterdam. The exhibit is called ‘The Opaque Palace’, and promises to be a route through an abandoned palace laden with old, long forgotten stories. Anne is known for her large, melancholic ceramic sculptures, and I was very excited to see how she’d use the space in TENT. Enjoy!

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– Bright Solitude (chandelier), 2007. Ceramics, metal.

The first room is marked with a giant, lonely chandelier from the ‘Bright Solitude’ series. Being able to move around the piece makes it possible to take a good look at all the intriguing details of the sculpture. The sober room is finished with a gold plastered wall, an impressive entrance to the (slightly gothic) palace.

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– Bright Solitude (chandelier), 2007. Ceramics, metal.

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– Detail of the gold wall.

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– Der Tod und das Mädchen (nach Hans Baldung Grien), 2011. Ceramics, mother of pearl lustre

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– Der Tod und das Mädchen (nach Hans Baldung Grien), 2011. Ceramics, mother of pearl lustre

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– Requiem of Heroism (wreath), 2010. Ceramics, metal.

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– Requiem of Heroism (wreath), 2010. Ceramics, metal.

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– The Opaque Palace, 2014.

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– Untitled (Stag), 2005. Ceramics, metal.

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– The Opaque Palace, 2014.

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– The Opaque Palace, 2014.

As you can see TENT is a spacious venue, which works really well for Anne’s pieces. By providing the sculptures the room they get isolated, strengthening the melancholic impact of the pieces. Don’t you just love the dripping, painted walls?

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– Bright Solitude (trophy), 2009. Ceramics. platinum lustre.

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– Attempted Decadence (blossoms, large/blood red) and (blossoms, lying), 2013. Ceramics, metal.

The flowers are Anne’s most recent work. I really like the contradiction in these sculptures: whilst most people use flowers to make their living space more pleasant these gigantic pieces feel cold, dark and slightly depressing. The colours are astonishing, from a macabre red to a cold blue/purple palette.

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– Attempted Decadence (blossoms, large purple), 2014. Ceramics, metal.

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– Attempted Decadence (blossoms, large purple), 2014. Ceramics, metal.

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– Attempted Decadence (blossoms, purple), 2014. Ceramics, metal.

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– Attempted Decadence (blossoms, purple), 2014. Ceramics, metal.

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– Attempted Decadence (blossoms, bonnie), 2014. Ceramics, metal.

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– Attempted Decadence (blossoms, bonnie), 2014. Ceramics, metal.

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– Damaged Goods (Bust, large/red #2), 2013. Ceramics.

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– Damaged Goods (Bust, large/green), 2013. Ceramics.

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– Damaged Goods (Bust, large/green), 2013. Ceramics.

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– Damaged Goods (Bust, large/red #01), 2013. Ceramics.

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– Damaged Goods (Bust #11), 2013. Ceramics.

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– Damaged Goods (Bust #7), 2013. Ceramics.

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– Silent Landscape, 2006. Ceramics, water, wood, paint.

The exhibition closes with a ‘grande finale’, a dark room called ‘Silent Landscape’, after which you can leave the experience though a heavy black velvet curtain. This space really blew me away. The piece is a giant table filled with water, and sculptures reminding you of a burned down forest. From the heavy, tree-filled walls to the subtle ripples in the water of the sculpture: a very impressing finale.

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– Silent Landscape, 2006. Ceramics, water, wood, paint.

Conclusion: highly recommended. TENT is trying hard to become my favourite art-spot in Rotterdam. After the great Dark Matters exhibit last year ‘The Opaque Palace’ is another win. They’re based in one of Rotterdam’s finest streets, de Witte de Withstraat, a must-visit if you ever find yourself in Rotterdam. You can visit ‘The Opaque Palace’ until the 5th of May 2014.

Thank you for reading! What do you think of ‘The Opaque Palace’?

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I’ve been to Tent last Saturday. I really liked the exhibition and i enjoyed the tour. The story behind her latest work was interesting. She finished her last piece, one of the blossoms, 2 days before the opening. Fun fact ;) Her inspiration for the blossoms and the decoration of the room where Hitchcock’s film ‘Rebecca’.

    • Hi Evelien! Thanks for your reply and the fact on her latest work! When I saw the captions saying ‘2014’ I was already impressed (I mean: the exhibit opened early February!), but your story makes it even more impressive. And I must catch that film, I enjoyed the art so I probably will enjoy the movie too :)

  • Toffe omschrijving. Ondanks dat ik deze tour zelf al had gedaan, kreeg ik een herbeleving door je verhalende omschrijving! Fantastische foto’s !! En idd, TENT is gedurfd – I like !

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