bed (Placements) 33
The Austrian artist Manfred Wakolbinger’s sculptures have been frequently exhibited in Europe and the United States, including documenta in 1987 and the Venice Biennale in 1993. The five large-format works, installed as a group in Bad Homburg in “Blickachsen 11”, play on the interface of figuration and abstraction. At first sight, these linear, yet thoroughly organic seeming figures appear to depict a non-representational pattern. Yet, if one takes their titles into account, these forms condense into symbolic signs: thus one can make out an arch-like curve in “door”, a jumping body with outstretched limbs in “jump”, while “bed” evokes a couch or daybed, stretched out as it is on the ground. The smooth, moving contour of the objects contrasts with the heaviness of the stainless steel, and effortlessly inserts itself into the surrounding space. The opposition of inner and outer, of hard and soft, is characteristic of Wakolbinger’s work, in which the thematic of space plays such a prominent role. In his film and photo collages also, he incorporates virtual sculptural models of his “Placements” and makes them appear larger than life in his images of real landscapes.