Monika Michalko: Here in the Real World

Cat. Kunsthalle Nürnberg

Exhibition catalogue, edited by Harriet Zilch
texts (German/English) by Harriet Zilch, Velten Wagner, and a conversation with the artist by Luisa Fink
232 p with 82 double-page coloured and 170 b/w illustrations
285 x 215 mm, open thread binding with hardcover

ISBN 978-3-86442-443-4

48,00 €

The New Ship of Fools

Trees and climbing vines, birds and fungi, ­dwellings and set-like interiors: Monika Michalko (*1982 Sokolov, Czech Republic) combines figurative and object-like, organic and ornamental, abstract, and architectural elements in her painting. Her pictorial compositions are invariably fictional: memories, phantasms, and dreamlike scenes form a painterly cosmos that is defined by its own laws. The distinctive tonality of her works further amplifies their oneiric quality. These compositions tend to be vaguely reminiscent of modernist artists such as Paul Klee, Kasimir Malevich, Giorgio de Chirico, Odilon Redon, or James Ensor. In 2023, she created her tableau vivant »Ship of Fools«. Various performers, including children and a dog, are shown against a backdrop of towering cardboard waves on the verge of breaking. Monika Michalko succeeds in creating an exhilarating balancing act between the animate and inanimate, statics and movement. The image of a ship full of fools gone astray bears a number of references to the city of Nuremberg, among them: the late medieval satirical allegory »The Ship of Fools« by Sebastian Brant (1457–1521) was one of the most popular German-language illustrated works of the fifteenth century. Among the artists that worked with Brant in Basel on the illustrations was the young Albrecht Dürer. Monika Michalko arrives at a new interpretation of the motif and presents a contemporary metaphor for the state of our chaotic world.

Kunsthalle Nürnberg, 29/6 – 6/10/2024
Städtisches Museum Engen + Galerie, 16/11/2024 – 21/1/2025