Kunstraum exhibitions

I Like My Job Five

SOMA (Plus TRBE Recordings)
21 - 27 September, 2020

Binnie Sisters: The Muddy Clearing
Reopening July 3 - August 1

Julie Béna: The Jester & Death
January 10 - February 15

Dangerous Bodies: Barbara Kapusta
12 October - 16 November
(PV 11 October 6:30 – 9pm)

To Ailsa Rock
Beatrice Loft Schulz and Lindsay McMillan
14 June – 28 July

Something soft: Julie Béna, Susie Green, Deniz Ünal & Zoe Williams
13 April – 25 May (PV 12 April, 6.30–9pm)

Nils Alix-Tabeling
Le Bétyle d’Ail
19 January – 22 February 2019

Anna Hulačová
Graceful ride
29 Sept – 24 Nov 2018

Shelly Nadashi
The Avocado Vampire
26 April – 9 June 2018

Mary Hurrell
2 (Aerial)
9 March – 14 April 2018

Von Calhau!
12 January - 10 February 2018

Merike Estna
fragments from the shattered toe
29 September – 25 November 2017

Jennifer Tee
Structures of Recollection and Perseverance
1 July – 9 September 2017

Sophie Jung
Producing My Credentials
14 April – 27 May 2017

Olivier Castel
Communicating vessels
25 November 2016 - 11 February 2017

9 September – 5 November 2016

Jumana Emil Abboud
Haunted Springs and Water Demons in Palestine
14 May – 30 July 2016

Dorine van Meel
Disobedient Children
23 October – 19 December 2015

New Pabulum
Aline Bouvy and Simon Davenport
6 September - 10 October 2015

Alex Cecchetti
The printing house of hell
27 June - 22 August 2015

Barbara Visser
Manual/2: The Patient Artist
25 April – 13 June 2015

Unlearning to speak
Tyler Coburn, Luca Frei, Joachim Koester, Jacopo Miliani
28 February - 11 April 2015

Nicoline van Harskamp
25 October - 13 December 2014

Zin Taylor
The Tangental Zigzag
14 June – 26 July 2014

Eva Fàbregas & Andrew Lacon
Curated by Thomas Cuckle and Mette Kjærgaard Præst
26 April – 31 May 2014

Flirting, playing, eating, drinking, talking, laughing
with Søren Aagaard, Magnus Clausen, Robert Kjær Clausen, Simon Foxall, Steffen Jørgensen, Peter Larsen, Jørgen Michaelsen, Allan Nicolaisen, Carl Palm, Fredrik Paulsen, Anna Margrethe Pedersen, Merete Vyff Slyngborg and Ditte Boen Soria
Curated by Mette Kjærgaard Præst and Mette Woller
22 February – 5 April 2014

An Opal World
Rossella Biscotti, Priscila Fernandes, Jan Peter Hammer, Alberto De Michele
25 October — 30 November 2013

Late Nights & Early Mornings
Willem Besselink, Jacob Dahlgren, Edward Clydesdale Thomson, Florian & Michael Quistrebert, Relief Journal
21 June — 29 September 2013

Miles Thurlow
Variable Foot
20 April — 1 June 2013

Peter Wächtler
Celtic Dawn
22 February — 6 April 2013

Definitional Disruptions
with Nel Aerts, Filip Gilissen and Hedwig Houben
1 December 2012 — 2 February 2013

Jason Coburn
x ways to improve your y
28 September — 17 November 2012

View all


Miles Thurlow
Variable Foot
20 April — 1 June 2013

In ‘Variable Foot’, Miles Thurlow presents three sculptural works in epoxy resin, including the major new work ‘All The Gods’ (2013) made especially for Kunstraum. The exhibition borrows its title from the American poet William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) whose seemingly contradictory idea of the ‘variable foot’ described a sense of measure in poetry which has no fixed reference points. The apparent contradictions, tensions and polarised positions within cultural production make up the landscape within which Thurlow’s sculptures take their irreverent stances.

‘All The Gods’ is an epoxy resin casting of a provisional assemblage made from two monolithic blocks of polystyrene. Down the sides of this edifice come a few trails and blobs of expanding foam, painstakingly reproduced within the resin. The work makes a playful reference both to Richard Serra’s monumental steel forms and to renaissance statuary – the blocks sitting off- parallel obliquely evoke the classical device of ‘contraposto’. By touching on either end of a historic narrative of sculpture, Thurlow positions his own practice in a critical relationship with the past, while acknowledging his continuity with it.

Thurlow’s works inhabit and problematise the ways in which cultural values are signified. ‘All The Gods’ approaches two poles of this signification: At the one end is the permanence and inherent value of materials or labour; at the other the transience of materials, in which objects are simply stand-ins for momentary thought. The work’s underlying form – two polystyrene blocks and expanding foam – points to one end of this spectrum, it is a coincidence of materials which is necessarily light and momentary. But by rendering this moment in resin, Thurlow spins the work towards a very different register, towards material value associated with the foundry, and the labour value of intricate craftsmanship. But in each aspect there is a twist: the resin cast has associations of mass production of action figures, rather than the grandeur of bronze; and hours of labour go to produce an indistinguishable replica of something that was produced from inexpensive materials in a moment.

Like ‘All The Gods’, ‘hrh’ (2010) and ‘Small Abyss’ (2011) solidify in resin the momentary coming together of materials. ‘hrh’ is a cast from a plaster bust of an ancient Greek thinker, built up with gouged hand-fulls of clay. The title, which could refer to ‘his/her royal highness’ or else to an exclamation of dumfounded confusion, is suggestive of a schoolboy prank on the figure of establishment. In the same way Thurlow’s use of ubiquitous synthesised materials such as polyurethane and epoxy resin acts to neutralise the grandiose associations of the materials from which this sculptural moment was produced.
Just as William Carlos Williams’ poetry eschewed the high-minded classical traditions in favour of the local and colloquial, ‘Small Abyss’ refigures an everyday studio object into a site of profound knowledge, and plays with the romantic notion of the artist entering the unknown in a search for truth. The work is a resin cast – with meticulous trompe l‘oeil detailing – of Thurlow’s clay bucket at the end of a day’s work, the interior landscape of which was sculpted blindly not as an investigative process, but as a means to an end. Throughout, the works in ‘Variable Foot’ conspire to conflate the poles of ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture and to push together the ordinary and the esoteric.


about Miles thurlow:

Miles Thurlow was born in Colchester, Essex in 1975 and studied Sculpture at Loughborough College of Art & Design (1995-1997) and at Newcastle University (1998 – 2000). He has exhibited his work widely including Glasgow International, Baltic, Gateshead; Royal Standard, Liverpool; Malgras Naudet, Manchester; Edinburgh Art Festival. Miles is Co – Founder and Director of Workplace Gallery in Gateshead. He lives and works in Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead.

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