A piece of paper repeatedly cut hundreds of times; ten, twenty, thirty copies of the same motif; building material structurally taken apart and reassembled—artists Cécile Dupaquier, Marie Rief, and Fiene Scharp’s minimal and reproductive approaches strip their respective materials of their particular function, calling into question via creative processes their intended purposes and potential essence. What identity does a copy have, what is unique about repetition? Where does coincidence end and where does the artistic gesture begin? When do material circumstances become the subject? How are materials transformed into art?
Dupaquier, Rief, and Scharp show that everything is essentially already present or laid out: materials, possibilities, methods. The artists research and test out their materials, pushing them beyond their technical-industrial functions, taking them out of the workshop, office, or laboratory setting—and into the studio. They start from raw materials with reproductive characteristics: standardized material from the hardware store manufactured according to specifications and guidelines; industrial graph paper for mathematical calculations; multiple laser copies of one and the same surface.
Each of the three artists deconstructs the material in their own way. Working the actual object by hand (e.g. by cutting, sanding, or reproducing it) first turns it into something amorphous, raising new questions about its status going forward. Repeated or more refined interventions over the course of working the material evolve into an artistic gesture, setting a transformation in motion. The amorphous suddenly becomes abstract, and even chance is smitten by an idea.
Cécile Dupaquier, b. 1970 in France, studied art and media design at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Lyon. In 2003 she was artist-in-residence at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, where she exhibited the following year. She has lived in Berlin since 2004. In 2021 she received a working grant from the Stiftung Kunstfonds Bonn. Solo exhibitions include Galerie Daniel Marzona, Berlin (2017), Atelier Wilhelmstraße 16, Stuttgart (2015), and Kunstmuseum Bonn (2001). Her work has been presented in numerous group exhibitions, including Galerie Mathias Güntner, Hamburg (2020); Thomas Rehbein Galerie, Cologne; Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin (2018); and Center d’Art Le 19 – CRAC, Montbéliard (2021).
Marie Rief, b. 1987 in Berlin, studied fine arts from 2008 to 2014 at the Berlin University of the Arts in the painting and drawing class of Prof. Fries, where she developed her experimental work with photography and drawing. She completed her master student studies in 2014. In the same year she received the Regina Pistor Prize and was also nominated for the master student prize and the young talent development program of the Elsa Neumann fellowship program. Since then, her works have been presented in solo exhibitions (Lichte Schatten, 2015; a far shot, 2016, both Bourounia Gallery) and group exhibitions, including Haus am Lützowplatz, and Haus am Kleistpark (2016); the Technischen Sammlungen Dresden (Sun on Paper, 2017); Arozarena in Mexico City (double blind, 2017); Museum Ploschad Mira in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia (the fine hands show, 2021). She received a working grant from the Stiftung Kunstfonds Bonn in 2021.
Fiene Scharp, b. 1984 in Berlin, studied fine arts and literature at the University of the Arts and Humboldt University in Berlin and received the President’s Fine Arts Award from the Berlin University of the Arts in 2012. She has been awarded grants from the Stiftung Kunstfonds Bonn, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Dorothea Konwiarz Stiftung, and the Schloss Wiepersdorf Cultural Foundation. In 2021 she won the Paper Art Award, conferred for the first time at paper positions berlin, and also received the Losito Art Prize.
In recent years she has taken part in numerous national and international exhibitions including the Museum für Konkrete Kunst Ingolstadt, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Kunsthalle Bremerhaven, Centre for Recent Drawing (UK), the Design Museum den Bosch (NL), and Musée Charmey (CH). Her works are represented in public collections such as the Kupferstichkabinett of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Sammlung Ritter, and the Haus des Papiers.