In spring 2016, the New Museum will present the first museum exhibition in New York of Andra Ursuta.
Ursuta’s visual language thrives on paradox and commingles the monumental and the forensic. Dark and unsettling, her works often allude to her own personal history or expose or challenge the vulnerability of the human body through threatening contraptions, architectures, and figures. Ursuta’s most recent sculpture series, Whites (2015), takes the form of anthropomorphic white obelisks—with eye sockets and nostrils cast from human skulls. These austere, ghost-like figures, which collectively resemble a group of gravestones, are seated on chairs whose designs reference periods of European colonialism. In Commerce Exterieur Mondial Sentimental (2012), two life-size marble figures adorned with coins gaze defiantly at the viewer. Informed by a socialist-realist aesthetic and a news image of a Roma woman being deported from France, they evoke lifeless mannequins trapped in an economy in which the value of both human beings and commodities are determined by foreign powers. For the Fourth Floor of the New Museum, Ursuta will create a sculptural installation that combines new and recent works.
- Andra Ursuta, Commerce Exterieur Mondial Sentimental, 2012. Courtesy Lyon Biennial. Photo: Blaise Adilon