Ulrike Lienbacher, "Hulla hoop", 2005. Courtesy Galerie Krinzinger, Vienne. Photo: Rainer Iglar.
Fritz Panzer, 'Prenninger Küche' (Kitchen Prenninger), 2002. Sculpture in wire, 250 x 340 x 200 cm.
Gerold Tusch, Vasen mit Samt (Vases with velvet), 2008.
Gerold Tusch, 'Welke Blüte-Reife Frucht' (faded flowers - ripe fruits). Installation on wall in 3 segments, 71 segments, 280 x 950 cm. Photo: Ferdinand Neumüller.
Gelitin, "So What" (Et alors), 2009. Bois, métal. 289 x 165 x 108 cm.
Gelitin, 'GEL-130', 2014. Drawing extracts from the series Condraworary, 2014. Pencils and watercolor on paper. Courtesy Massimo De Carlo, Milano.
Tone Fink, 'Untitled', 2014. Coloured oencils, oil pastels, watercolor, acrylic on hand-made paper, 63 x 54 cm.
Ulrike Lienbacher, 'Untitled', 2008. Ink on paper, 106,5 x 76 cm.
Julie Hayward, 'Let’s dance', 2014. Polyester, aluminum, every group: 120 x 110 x 250 cm. Photo : Jorit Aust.
TONE FINK | GELITIN | JULIE HAYWARD | ULRIKE LIENBACHER | FRITZ PANZER | GEROLD TUSCH
The exhibition Du dessin dans l’espace (‘Drawings in Space’) is organised in partnership with the Galerie im Traklhaus, Salzburg, Austria, under the curatorship of gallery director Dietgard Grimmer.
The artists selected here express themselves in drawing and in sculpture. Working in both mediums makes it difficult to define an artist or to pin them down in established categories.
The sculpture here is light in weight; the material favours an essentially visual experience over thickness. Sculptural volume takes in the surrounding space, which leads to a questioning of the limits of both volume and space. The works on display integrate negative space, the empty spaces of wall and floor, as a spatial and sculptural fact.
"Whether they are made of ceramic, wood, metal, paper or plastic, the objects on display are directly connected to the practice of drawing and represent a real continuity of graphic work into space […]. The works reveal a movement and a progression of lines and surfaces escaping off the paper into space."1
The installation 'Prenninger Küche' (Prenninger Kitchen) represents a full-scale, ordinary kitchen in the concrete space of the exhibition venue. Everything is reduced to the appearance of a precise outline: a series of black lines hanging in space. The surface of the objects, the kitchen furniture and appliances, is marked out without being made material. A gravity-free shape appears out of emptiness.
Pulled, twisted, arranged, folded and unfolded: only the thickness of a sheet of paper lies between this as a drawing and its existence as a sculpture. Fritz Panzer has laid down his pencil in favour of lengths of wire. His structures, which he calls ‘sculpture-drawings’, occupy empty space – a support as white as a blank sheet of drawing paper. There is an equivalence to be found between the lines of wire and the ink lines or pencil crosshatchings of his drawings.
Panzer says, ‘My sculptures are three-dimensional drawings. I use wire of different sizes to obtain different lines and thicknesses.’
In the black ceramic piece Vasen mit Samt (Vases with velvet), with its vegetable motifs in relief, the excess of ornamentation adds a disturbing factor. The object’s function is subservient to its imperious and expressive quality. The strangeness of this exhibit lies in the anachronism of its style. The object has the decontextualised look of something out of the reserve of a decorative arts museum.
The three-piece installation Welke Blüte-Reife Frucht (Dead Flowers – Ripe Fruit) is a wall ceramic accompanied by preliminary drawings. The latter are redolent of technical drawing and project design, with signs of rigour and precision – annotations indicating dimensions and scale. The actual wall ceramic, however, looks more like a work of imagination, of whimsical movement and fantasy given a free rein. The discontinuous rhythm of the linear network, the forms and counter forms of the spirals remove all sense of fixity from the wall drawing. By occupying two-dimensional space, the Baroque-inspired bas-relief, like the technical drawing, seems to escape the pull of gravity.
LE GROUPE GELITIN (Wolfgang Gantner, Ali Janka, Florian Reither et Tobias Urban)
‘Gelitin have real savoir-faire, a genius for cobbling things together or, as the cooks say, the art of using up the leftovers.’2
The two sculpture assemblages by the Gelitin group in this exhibition are made from scraps of objects, and odds and ends of recycled wood. The linear convolutions of these constructions seem to express a gleeful outpouring of uncontrollable energy.
'So what' is like a euphoric encounter between two chairs which, in the excitement of conversation, break, re-assemble themselves and merge together in defiance of their respective individualities.
'Go to gate 39' could be a low-tech version of Dan Flavin’s neons.3 The same principle of chaotic assemblage prevails in the four watercolour drawings that accompany the sculptures. The heaps and piles and scrap-heaps of objects, body parts and sexual components evoke the Dionysian, orgiastic aspect of the group’s performances and installations. One is reminded of Sweatwat, a paddling pool-sauna installation in the Gagosian Gallery, London, made out of half-melted rubbish skips.
In his drawings, Tone Fink scores the paper, scratches it, perforates it, and glues it into several layers, almost three-dimensionally. He thinks of paper as a kind of vulnerable membrane. He uses papers of irregular dimensions so that the shapes, structures and colours impose their own properties.
The tactile qualities of his drawing extend into his sculptural works, which are executed in papier-mâché. They are like seats or ‘thrones’ which, in their stark simplicity seem to take on the appearance of stone, in spite of being very light.
The sculpture is arranged in space like a modular construction set that can be assembled at leisure.
Ulrike Lienbacher’s work explores the notion of the body. Her creative work involves drawing, photography, sculpture and installation. Here, she presents three drawings on paper from the 'Pin-Up Exercises' series that she began in 2001.
Young women do gymnastic exercises. The movements and postures of their bodies express order and discipline. Metaphorically speaking, their bodies illustrate and reflect a social system which imposes self-control as a form of self-censorship.
Next to the drawings, she presents 'Hulla Hoop', a set of fifteen coloured-plastic sculptures in a row. The juxtaposition of the two mediums gives rise to a tension and a formal contrast. The ornamental and more abstract forms of the sculptures evoke gymnastic hoops with a plaited pattern.
Julie Hayward’s sculptures, hovering on the edge of abstraction, explore a world of shapes drawn from her observation of micro-organisms, biological phenomena and machine components.
Her black-and-white drawings are studies which, in the extremely schematic code of technical drawing, evoke assembly or construction plans. Often executed in A4, they are like notes for a document on paper. The conception, however, is based on automatism. By a slow mental process the shape slowly emerges as it is being drawn. Julie Hayward likens this process to ‘trying to remember a dream in the morning […], at first you just recognise fragments and then they turn into sequences and adding the sequences up turns them into a narrative.’
The strangeness of these drawings comes from the hiatus between the informative, clear and pedagogical nature of this type of code and the unknown, unrecognisable nature of forms (or are they objects?). These sculptures flirt with the absurdity of surrealist works and make us think about how we perceive the known and the unknown. They need to be tamed. At one and the same time, we are confronted with the familiar and the unfamiliar. This situation plunges us back into the domain of our primal experiences.
(1) Dietgard Grimmer, 'Du dessin dans l’espace', exhibition catalogue, MAMC, Saint-Étienne, 2015.
(2) Pierre Emmanuel Finzi, 'Gelitin déride les actionnistes', Art Press, n°343.
(3) American minimalist artist famous, after 1963, for creating often site-specific sculptural objects and installations from commercially available fluorescent light fixtures.