Soft Capsules

Soft Capsules

Kunstverein Braunschweig
03.08.21 – 29.08.21

Curator: Sebastian Schneider
Photos: Hannah Jung

With the exhibition “Soft Capsules”, the Kunstverein Braunschweig presented 2021’s post graduate students of the Braunschweig University of Art.
Lena Schmid-Tupou created blown glass bodies for this exhibition, seeing them as a three-dimensional exploration of painting. This project was funded by the Alexander Tutsek Foundation.

Tender Courage

Nina Roskamp on Lena Schmid-Tupou’s work

As Lena Schmid-Tupou does not perceive the two-dimensionality of the canvas as a limitation, her work neatly eludes categorisation. To her, the canvas is first and foremost a research space that invites her, the artist, to reminisce, offering an opportunity to transform both herself and her artistic work. When the artist gives herself up to a state of potential discomfort, this is a testament to her empathy, which is transferred boundlessly when I, as a viewer, engage with her work. Haptic memories are created via explorations with and through the material, with new realities sometimes emerging, that bear witness to a physical capability in the working process.

In her works from the Komorebi series, the sedate limbo of Silfra, a series of works by the artist from 2020, appears to have been subject to further development: The narrative style of this series, whose name translates to “light shining through the trees”, is more radical and unsparing. Schmid-Tupou has taken a step closer, walking through a drier, less crowded world than in Silfra, without moving away from her core theme, the impressions left by nature. With this, she conquers the space a little more, she moves closer to the source. Once again, her work is concerned with a direct exploration of the environment by means of a physical experience with the material and the painting’s background. And she remains – and in this the artist stays true to herself – close to the experience, close to the impressive.

Lena Schmid-Tupou takes her work one step further, translating elements of her painting into glass sculptures. Here, she creates a synchronous experience combining transparency, physicality and reflection. Fragility and stability, vulnerability and strength are the potentially corresponding components of a complete oeuvre, the empathy inherent in which becomes palpable in the shared experience with the visitors who view her work as they walk.

The works exhibited at Kunstverein Braunschweig are a further development of Schmid-Tupou’s ceramic work series Landmannalaugar, which refers specifically to a mountainous region in the southwest region of Iceland that she first visited in 2008. The pull exerted by this country with its prodigious natural phenomena charms many artists, including the American Roni Horn, who describes the region’s nature as beguiling and disturbing by turns. Schmid-Tupou takes another approach to a country that is slowly being overrun by mass tourism – vulnerably and courageously.

Her explorations invariably demonstrate a remarkable sense of coloring, fragmentation and communication. The works testify to the dissolution of boundaries, while simultaneously defining questions of presence both carefully and concretely. The power of our environment and a reality which can prove hard to subdue demand tender courage and openness.

– Nina Roskamp is the director of the gallery Geyso20 in Brunswick, Germany.

“Lena Schmid-Tupou shows ten spherical, colorful glass objects arranged on a white surface; the incident light paints colored shadows on the white – a wonderful combination of sculpture and painting.”

Regine Nahrwold
Braunschweiger Zeitung