As part of the anniversary exhibition 20 – An Exhibition in Three Acts, the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst presents the room-filling sculpture Principles Of Admitting (2009) by Scottish artist Karla Black (b. 1972, lives and works in Glasgow). Every time this work from the collection of the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst is exhibited, it is produced anew from plaster powder, colour pigments and make-up ingredients. It is characterised by its temporary and site-specific nature, dimensions and unconventional use of materials, and thus serves as an example of the many works in the collection that feature processual and performative aspects.
Karla Black’s works distinguish themselves by means of an oscillation between forms and formats. The materials that the artist uses range from those traditionally associated with art, such as plaster or paper, through to substances that come from other contexts, such as body care products. Thus, from two tonnes of plaster powder, Karla Black does not produce a traditional monument, but a floor piece that leaves the plaster in its powdery state and spreads out before the observer as a fragile field; one case in point is the sculpture Principles Of Admitting, over 300 square metres in size, which she created specifically for her first solo show in Switzerland, held at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in 2009. The use of materials that do not keep their form and are sometimes difficult to preserve, in combination with the artist’s aspiration towards permanence and invariability, gives rise to a contradiction that creates a very distinct tension.
A native of Scotland, Karla Black lives and works in Glasgow, where she studied at the Glasgow School of Art, obtaining a BA in sculpture (1995-1999) and subsequently a Master of Fine Arts (2004). In addition to numerous other shows in Europe and the USA, she has represented Scotland at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011) and had solo exhibitions at venues such as the Dallas Museum of Art (2012), Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin (2012), Kestnergesellschaft in Hanover (2013) and the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) in Dublin (2015). In 2011, she was nominated for the Turner Prize.