Haus der Kunst Skulpturales Handeln Phyllida Barlow untitled: stage, 2011 Foto: Wilfried Petzi, 2011

Sculptural Acts

Exhibition, from

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Exhibition overview

The exhibition brings together sculptures and installations by contemporary artists who take a process-oriented approach to their work and seek form by means of action and analysis and making use of all kinds of materials. The works displayed have one thing in common, namely an artistic process that comes alive with the material, as well as silence, humorous eccentricity, all the way to complete openness to experimentation. The actions that result in the creation of the work imbue the works even after it is complete – like the enmeshing, tearing, folding, bending and crushing of the material.

The artists invited have undertaken a different perspective from the start, however: There are works whose production methods reveal a proximity to traditional craftsmanship, as well as works with architectural-constructive connections. Alexandra Bircken, for example, creates sculptures of materials that are easy to find: Branches, wool, concrete or used objects, like skis or mannequins, give rise to sculptures, hanging objects and wall pieces that are strikingly light. 

Typical for Vincent Fecteau’s sculptures of papier mâché are the many perspectives and the unpredictability of their forms: Each side shows the viewer an entirely different picture. The works of Anita Leisz seem to be austere, minimalistic objects at first glance: They are vertically standing blocks of plywood or gypsum board that only differ slightly from one another – and that is precisely where the subjective components of Leisz’s works lie.

“Sculptural Acts” also shows works of Phyllida Barlow, Michael Beutler and Kimberly Sexton, works that were created especially for the exhibition.

The exhibition invites the viewer to come to grips directly with the exhibits: Walking through the exhibition, carefully observing and acquiring an understanding of materials and shape, opens the eye for current forms in sculptural action.

“Not constructing … but then what? Dropping, hanging, leaning – in short: doing.”

Robert Morris, 1970