Megan Wilson
Writings > Ulrike Palmbach
Ulrike Palmbach
Stephen Wirtz Gallery

A curious familiarity and indolent playfulness characterize Ulrike Palmbach' works, and it is precisely these contradictory values that give her installations and objects their force and complexity. Palmbach transforms her materials -- felt, twine, thread, beeswax - into pieces whose conceptual perspective dances between the lyrical and the mundane, into a realm where the personal and the universal dovetail. "Inertia," a large installation of felt objects in varying sizes lies densely scattered across the gallery floor. Made from layers of blankets, the elements resemble tops that have been spun silly into a cozy oblivion. The rest of the show is comprised of intriguing individual works. "Milk and Honey," a large apparatus of two heavy pendulums crocheted from twine, drapes off a substantial wood hanger from the ceiling. It' unclear what the purpose of this contraption might be; though it seems there is one. In a similar vein, what appears to be a pair of pants hangs against the wall. The twine trousers are impractical in their design with the legs tapering together at the bottom and forming a hefty bulbous sac. There are also several spirited pieces that almost appear to be common items from the domestic realm. These works like the others, toy with the viewers perceptions of the proverbial and the strange. Palmbach, who is originally from Germany, received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1989. Her work has been included in several exhibitions, including the inaugural "Bay Area Now" show at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Stephen Wirtz Gallery
49 Geary Street, San Francisco
Tues. - Sat. 10a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
(415) 433-6879 (Megan Wilson)