Ragna Berlin

Corners by Erica Fance

    Feb 2003

 Selected parts of catalogue text for



at Museum of Contemporary Art, Fort Collins, Collorado

February 25-April 11, 2003

by Curator Erica France

 The impetus for Corners appeared as curatorial and art historical pursuits led to intermittent findings of works designed specifically for corners. Occasionally documented in art historical surveys, corner pieces have cropped up well before the twentieth century; however, the physicality of this area, in a gallery, has never been sanctioned as a preferred mode of presentation. Perhaps because corners are ignored or problematic for our lives amongst interior spaces, perhaps because conventionally, art is intended to be viewed from either straight on or fully in the round, corners are uncharacteristic and peculiar, set within the context of a gallery. This exhibition surveys the various applications and opportunities for corners, and other atypical architectural spaces, conceived by contemporary artists from across the United States and Europe.

How are corners perceived— physically, philosophically, and psychologically? The six artists in Corners present works both explicit to a corner space (such as two walls meeting at a right angle,) and conceptual, extended definitions of “corner” (including performance and video works that recontextualize architectural space, and window installations that psychologically link corners to other, nontraditional spaces for the presentation of art.) Corner spaces present many directions for metaphysical examination and evaluation; here, five are considered via the content of the works included in Corners.

Corners are a structural necessity
Corners are a predictable manifestation of the right angles so prevalent in architecture, or even, in our city plans. Within the corner, dimension becomes most apparent, as light and shading differentiate the separate planes that form a corner. A junction of ceiling and walls creates the foundation for additional floors in a building; at least three or four walls must intersect to fashion the most basic of enclosed spaces (triangle or square/rectangle.)

For Corners, Swedish architect, engineer, and artist Ragna Berlin has replaced a corner space with another structural option— the dome. Concerned with form, color, and space, Berlin’s site-specific painting reacts to linear architecture by suggesting soft movement through its amorphous shape. Essentially a large dot, this purple painting extends onto two walls that form a corner, and their adjoining ceiling and floor planes. From one angle, a perfect circle exists; a few steps away, or viewed from a different height, the circle appears to expand, contract, or assume a nebulous fragmentation of purple forms, each projecting onto the walls and into the gallery. Berlin reconsiders, or perhaps ignores, the stasis of corners by using appropriate values of purple to wash out the dimensionality of the space. A negation of angles and her decision to use a circular shape contrast with, but reinforce the persistence of corners within the commonplace.

Corners intends to survey the scope of artists and their works that visually apply or make reference to the concept of “corner.” As each work is site-specific and reliant on some form of right angle, they discern the prevalence and everyday nature of corners, but in turn, they additionally forecast the breadth and multiplicity of concepts, actions, and thought that humans associate with “corner.”
Erica France
Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Fort Collins
Other included artists 
Randall Sinner
Anita Thacher
Jill Downen
Virginia Maksymowicz
Ivana Pegan Bace