Installation view of Eva Schlegel: Multiple Voices
Eva Schlegel: Multiple Voices
Aug. 31, 2023-Jan. 13, 2025
Campbell Art Park
Multiple Voices is the first public artwork in the United States by Eva Schlegel, the Austria-based artist known for engineering steel and mirrors into spectacular, architectonic sculptures. When Schlegel visited Oklahoma City in 2020 for the opening of Bright Golden Haze (which included one of her photographs), she was struck by both Oklahoma Contemporary’s architecture and the special quality of light in this part of the world. The interplay between the built environment and the natural world sparked a series of conversations about light, place, and perception that led to Multiple Voices.
Working with materials similar to the arts center’s new building, Schlegel created a series of polished and translucent surfaces that catch and reflect light and parts of the surrounding environment. She also wanted to incorporate texts by local writers to tie the work more closely to the cultures of our state. After reading works by dozens of writers, Schlegel selected pieces from three poets connected to Oklahoma: Steve Bellin-Oka, Kimberly Blaeser, and Joy Harjo. The poems appear in blurred form directly on Multiple Voices’ glass panels, registering each poem as part of the sculpture, but rendered cryptic to the viewer.
Merging Schlegel’s signature visual language with Oklahoma Contemporary’s unique location, Multiple Voices is a meeting of international and local. The large-scale structure’s sleek surfaces reflect its surroundings — people, buildings, landscape — encouraging gathering, play and learning.
About the artist
Eva Schlegel’s photographs, sculptures, and public installations question the limits of perception and viewing, and explore cosmic and human time. Born in 1960, Hall in Tirol, Austria, Schlegel graduated from the University of Applied Arts (Vienna, Austria), in 1985, and from 1997 to 2006 taught at Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts. She has realized permanent public artworks at the Novartis Campus (Basel, Switzerland) in 2007, as well as in Vienna at the Leopold Museum in MuseumsQuartier in 2020 and the Austrian Parliament 2023. Her work has been presented in exhibitions at the New Museum (New York) in 1991; Biennale of Sydney (Australia) in 1988 and 1992; Austrian Pavilion, Venice Biennale (Italy) in 1995; and MAK Museum of Applied Arts (Vienna) in 2010. Schlegel’s work is in the collections of the Albertina Collection (Vienna); Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago); Museum of Modern Art (Vienna); LACMA (Los Angeles) and the New York Public Library.
This exhibition is supported by George Records; Richard and Glenna Tanenbaum; the Kanady Family; the E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation; Annie Bohanon; the Chickasaw Nation; Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, Civil Service, and Sport of the Republic of Austria; Velocigo; and the Automobile Alley Association.
Artist Talk sponsored by Cox.