Peles Empire is a collaboration between artists Katharina Stöver (*1982 in Gießen, Germany) and Barbara Wolff (*1980 in Făgăraș, Romania) and was founded during their studies at Städelschule in Frankfurt with Wolfgang Tillmans and Michael Krebber.
The starting point for their work is Peles Castle, a summer residence built for King Carol I at the end of the 19th Century in Romania’s Carpathian Mountains. In its quintessence, the castle is a collection of copies in architecture. Strategies of optical flattening out and illusion, the transformation from 3D to 2D and back to 3D, and not least the question as to if and when a work can ever be understood to be completed — these are some of the motifs Peles Empire addresses. More precisely, their hybrid objects and installations of photographic prints and gypsum-based Jesmonite become collectively produced in-between space. In the series quodlibet Peles Empire works along the historic traditions of trompe l'oeil, which applies in many ways to their core interests regarding the re-creation of a physical space as a flat copy that dazzles the human eye.
In 2017, Peles Empire was featured in Skulptur Projekte, Münster, a citywide sculpture exhibition held every ten years in the city of Münster. In the same year, they were also featured in the exhibition Produktion. Made in Germany Drei at Sprengel Museum, Kestner Gesellschaft and Kunstverein Hannover, a comprehensive group exhibition taking place every five years in these three institutions in the city of Hanover. In 2021, Peles Empire received the Peter Jacobi Foundation for Art and Design Grant.
Selected solo and group exhibitions: intimacy with mortals (2022), Wentrup Gallery, Berlin (DE); you are fire, dressed in fire (2022), Kunstverein Pforzheim (DE); the other amber (2021), Galerie Johann Widauer, Innsbruck (AT); the long sleep of amber (2021), E-Werk Luckenwalde (DE); foam born (2021), Eins Gallery, Limassol (CY); Even here, I exist (2020), Barakat Contemporary, Seoul (KR); NOW (2019), Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Modern One (UK); CLEOPATRE (2019), Suprainfinit Gallery, Bucharest (RO); the sky opens twice (2019), Künstlerhaus Graz (AT); GRID 2 (2018), Swiss Institute, New York (USA); Participation in Skulptur Projekte Munster (2017, DE); Grid (2017), Kunstverein Hannover (DE); 1 eye 2 eyes (2016), Gallery Wentrup, Berlin (DE).