Artist: Iman Issa
Exhibition title: Surrogates
Curated by: Nadia Veronese
Venue: Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland
Date: December 21, 2019 – August 9, 2020
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Kunstmuseum St. Gallen
The Egyptian artist Iman Issa’s (*1979, Cairo) sculptures and installations point to historical as well as current cultural heritages—for instance, monuments and their social and political character. Based on existing memorials, artifacts, and instruments, the artist develops formally abstract sculptures, some of which include references to texts, which deliberately create links to historical artworks, cultural goods, and events. They do this without revealing their social and geographic origin or cultural context—without pointing to quotations and sources. Through formal reduction and abstraction, in her almost encyclopedically conceived spatial settings the artist focuses on the collective approach to art history, cultural history, and current events as well as the power of depiction. She translates historical and contemporary aspects into a new visual language with diverse levels of meaning.
Iman Issa lives and works in Berlin. Her works have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions at venues including MoMA and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the 21er Haus in Vienna, and the 12th Sharjah Biennial. The presentation at the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen is her first solo exhibition at a Swiss art museum.