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Venske & Spänle

(Germany) *1971 in Berlin / *1969 in Munich

The artist couple Julia Venske and Gregor Spänle work with white marble to create amorphous forms of astonishing vitality. They convert the coolness and hardness of this material into an organic mutability and softness. Venske & Spänle have categorized their by now more than 200 marble creatures into genres of varying types, to each of which they ascribe specific defining characteristics. This tongue-in-cheek approach is attested to by the pseudo-scientific nomenclature: the different species have names such as smurfs, suckers, orophytes, helotropes or rubbepaws (“Gumpfoten”). The biggest example so far of the “Gumpfoten” family is the “Gumpfot White Giant” (“Gumpfot Weißer Riese”), carved from a single block of marble. This alive-looking marble being contradicts the classical representational character of stone sculpture. In the Bad Homburg Kurpark the “Giant” turns in a friendly, almost caring, way towards its complementary “White Dwarf” (“Weißer Zwerg”), created specifically for “Blickachsen 8”. Thus both works do not seem as if they have simply been placed near each other on the lawn; they stand related, in a communicative exchange of form and movement.