9 April – 26 June 2016


Rita McBride’s oeuvre since the 1980s deals with the characteristics and intersection points of industrial design, minimalist sculpture, modernist architecture,
public spaces, and the gaps they generate. Her artistic practice is based on the traditions of Minimal Art and institutional critique. The expansive sculptures and installations dating from 1997 to 2015 shown at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf demonstrate the breadth of her practice.

For McBride, the objects she produces are just as important as the processes and situations from which they emerge. The interrelationship between architecture and art makes up a part of a complex
system in which political and cultural power structures are questioned and challenged. McBride through her sculptures occupies herself with society’s underlying structures and systems that imperceptibly control us, organizing movement and conduct between the individual and the collective.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is Arena (1997), which together with the Hexelerator (2004) fills the Kunsthalle’s entire large hall. It has toured the world like a rock band since its inception. As a functional sculpture Arena serves as the venue for a programme developed by the artist and the Kunsthalle. As a meeting place it encompasses about 200 people and has previously hosted over 100 artists, musicians, curators, and politicians. Insofar as Arena is both a sculpture and a functional structure, it turns the visitors and the institution itself into a part of the exhibition. McBride often works in collectives; with Arena she has generated a continuously developing form of collaborative work.

McBride’s sculptural, installative, performative, and journalistic oeuvre gave rise to a new very complex concept of sculpture that once more puts the social role of visual art
up for discussion.

Rita McBride (born 1960 in Des Moines, Iowa) has been a professor for sculpture at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf since 2003, since 2013 she heads the Kunstakademie as its director. Her works have been shown in solo exhibitions for example at the Wiener Secession (2000), the
Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach (2008), and at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (2014).

Exhibition and catalogue are a cooperation with the kestnergesellschaft, Hanover.

Funded by


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