Carbon 12 Gallery: four am
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Carbon 12 Gallery presents four am, an exhibition showcasing the artworks made by Austrian artist Monika Grabuschnigg and French artist Nour Malas. The show’s title is inspired by 4 AM, a short period of time between two unstable boundaries (night and dawn). It will be open to the public until 7 September 2023.

Monika Grabuschnigg, Nour Malas, four am (installation view). Carbon 12, Dubai, 2023. Courtesy of the gallery.

In her sculptures and installations, Monika Grabuschnigg processes her understanding of some tragic core of human existence. Her ceramic fridge doors displayed in the exhibition open up a new realm of sadness. They make us feel as if we are standing in front of an open fridge and having these insomnia-born thoughts: somehow we are reminded that time is fleeting, life is short, and we must do what we can. In these artworks, Grabuschnigg tries to preserve this sense of ourselves delaying our fading away. In the artworks on view, Grabuschnigg tries to preserve this sense of ourselves delaying our fading away. Featuring casts of everyday utensils, they serve as a reminder of functional artefacts plunging into melancholy and loneliness. The sculptures are complemented by drawings which depict hanging bouquets tied with lush bows: a reference to the memento mori.

Monika Grabuschnigg, Single Fridge (Softly Numb), 2023. Glazed ceramic and luster. 75 x 52 x 15 cm. 29 1/2 x 20 1/2 x 6 in.

Nour Malas created her exhibited paintings during a period of grief and celebration, so their subject is the space between these two contrasting psychological states. However, the artworks — intense emotional landscapes — complement each other. The artist’s art practice is based on the immediacy of painting; it draws from memories and points of free association living inside her mind.

The two artists participating in the show don’t just share preset personal responses. It all comes from inside them linked to other impulses all of us see and feel: the uneasy twilight of ultra-early morning and the time spent waiting unredeemed for dawn.

Nour Malas, Late Nite Walk, 2023. Oil on canvas. 100 x 150 cm. 39 1/4 x 59 in.

About the artists

Monika Grabuschnigg (b. 1987, Vorarlberg, Austria) resides in Berlin, Germany. From 2008 to 2009, she studied at Bezalel Academy for Arts and Design (Jerusalem, Israel); from 2010 to 2011, she was among students of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (Santiago, Chile). Besides, the artist obtained her MA degree from Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (Austria) in 2011.

Since 2014, Grabuschnigg has been displaying her art in multiple exhibitions including In My Mold (Anton Janizewski Gallery, Berlin, 2022); Scary Good (Berlinskej Model, Part of SUMO 2022, Prague, the Czech Republic); A Practice of Love (Stems Gallery, Ixelles, Belgium, 2021); out of the woods (Carbon 12, Dubai, 2020); Double date (Pina project space, Vienna, 2019); Berlin Art Prize Nominees exhibition (The Shelf, Berlin, 2018); and many others. The artist has also received numerous awards and grants, such as Neustart Kultur from Stiftung Kunstfonds Bonn (2022 and 2022); the Berlin Art Prize (2018); and others.

Monika Grabuschnigg, Single Fridge (Serum), 2023. Glazed ceramic, casted aluminum. 75 x 52 x 15 cm. 29 1/2 x 20 1/2 x 6 in.

Monika Grabuschnigg’s art making process involves various mediums, although the material used by her most often is clay. Engaging with pop culture, philosophy, memory, and dreams, she creates her art pieces employing familiar objects (clothes, plants, etc.). Grabuschnigg is interested in the darker aspects of life: longing, grief, and melancholy.

Nour Malas (b. 1995, Cannes, France) is based in Chicago, Illinois, USA. She received her BFA Fine Arts History of Arts Double Degree from Goldsmiths University (London, UK) in 2017. In 2022, she graduated from School of the Art Institute of Chicago with MFA in Sculpture.

Nour Malas, Becoming a Water Lily, 2023. Oil on canvas. 28 x 36 cm. 11 x 14 1/4 in.

The artist has participated in a number of exhibitions which include NADA Art Fair Miami (Carbon 12 Gallery, Miami, Florida, USA, 2022); Catnip Meow (SAIC Galleries, Chicago, 2022); I Know the End (Perennial Space, Chicago, 2021); Thresholds (Gonzo Unit, Thessaloniki, Greece, 2018); Feminisms x The Arab and Muslim Diaspora (Protein Studios, London, 2017); and others. Malas has also been granted Second Year Grad International Scholarship (2021) and New Artist Society Scholarship (2020) (both from School of the Art Institute of Chicago).

To learn more about four am, please visit the show’s official web page.

You might also be interested in visiting The Bloom Room by Melis Buyruk.