Peles Empire Germany, Romania, b. 1980, 1982


Peles Empire is a collaborative duo consisting of the artists Katarina Stöver (b. 1980, Romania) and Barbara Wolff (b. 1982, Germany). Their collaborative moniker, established in 2005, was derived from Peleș Castle, a summer residence of the Romanian royal family. Each of the castle’s hundreds of rooms boasts stylistic imitations from diverse historical times and places, and Peles Empires work, which began by recreating this castle, has continuously generated unexpected changes through new collaborations and new combinations of media. In essence, the artists use the tension generated from the mixing of intrinsically different elements as the driving force in their work, and deal with the contemporary concept of “hybridity” as their main theme. They combine different times and spaces together with disparate media, mixing things that are traditionally divided along dichotomies—from their own clashes as a duo to divisions of original and copy, historical and contemporary, elegant and lowbrow, and two-dimensional versus three-dimensional.


Peles Empire currently works between London, England and Berlin, Germany. They studied at the Stedelschule School of Art in Germany, the Slade School of Art in the UK, and the Royal Academy. Since the establishment of the group in 2005, Peles Empire have also run a variety of exhibition spaces under the same name, first in London, England and Cluj, Romania, and now in collaboration with other artists in operating a space in Berlin, Germany. Peles Empire’s major solo exhibitions include Austria’s Kunsthaus Graz (2019), Germany’s Kunst Verein (2017), Wilhelm-Hack-Museum (2015), and Kunstmuseum Stuttgart (2013), as well as England’s Glasgow Sculpture Studio (2013), and Cell Project Space (2013). Major international group exhibitions include the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Scotland (2019), the Skulptur Projekte Münster in Germany (2017), the Sprengel Museum in Hanover, Germany (2017), the KW Institute in Germany (2015), and the UK’s ICA (2011) and Frieze Projects (2011). The works of Peles Empires are currently held in leading permanent collections including the European Central Bank, the KAI 10 / Arthena Foundation, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, and Sammlung für zeitgenössischeKunst der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Germany.