until 09.01. | #2893ARTatBerlin | Galerie Kornfeld shows from 7th November 2020 the solo show Auto-Splash with sculptures and picture reliefs from corrugated board by the artist Martin Spengler.
The title of the exhibition derives from the British physicist Arthur Mason Worthington, who for more than two decades sought the ideal form of a splashing drop, attaching great importance to the afterimages of his observations, which were, so to speak, burned onto his retina.
This notion that the image an object leaves behind in the viewer’s mind is much stronger than the actual moment of seeing also holds true, according to Martin Spengler, for any kind of art experience. The work is not the object, but that which develops between object and viewer. The more intense this image, the stronger its effect, which, however, cannot arise without the triggering object.
Martin Spengler finds the motifs for his works – contemporary cityscapes, skyscrapers, facades, towers and Gothic cathedrals – in image files and sketches that serve as models for detailed preliminary drawings. According to the artist, as soon as this “preliminary sketch” is completed, “the work is finished in the mind”. For him, the work of art is the “proof that it works”, produced from corrugated cardboard, glue and gesso (a chalky white paint) during a long creative process that may take weeks or months.
Following the preliminary sketch, Martin Spengler works his way into a block of corrugated cardboard – the type also used for packaging – with scalpel-like tools made especially for this purpose, layer by layer, piece by piece. The fragile material is then impregnated with glue to give the object maximum durability. Once the glue has hardened, the artist applies white paint to the surfaces, highlighting the contours with a graphite pencil. The depicted object thus appears exemplary – yet, it not merely represents the object that served as the artist’s model, but also its structures, which are both unique and characteristic of a multitude of comparable objects. The outer sides of the corrugated cardboard blocks usually remain untreated, revealing the material concealed by the ink. Each step of the creation process can thus be retraced in the completed work: the characteristic texture of the cardboard, as well as the creative powers of Spengler, who coaxes his motif from the raw material.
The complex and long production process, the visual dynamics and the ornamental dimension of Martin Spengler’s works are instantly recognizable and unique in the current artistic landscape. His works combine the two paths of sculptural creation: the joining of corrugated cardboard into large blocks corresponds to the idea of achieving artistic form by adding material. For Spengler, however, this is only the first step on the way to the finished work, which only finds its final form through the deliberate removal of material.
In terms of content, the artist explores structures and patterns of order – in real life and in the image. Spengler is always in search of what he describes as “structures that reflect a particular social event or a particular architectural function” and is not afraid to underline the fragility of these orders by means of deliberate breaks, which he refers to as “predetermined breaking points”.
The monochrome, often deserted architecture of the residential and business towers in our exhibition can be read as an ironic commentary on the ideals of past social utopias, expressed in architecture that often seems strange today, but also as a contemporary examination of Rhine romanticism, the proud river only visible in the background of the high-rise buildings that dominate the image.
Martin Spengler (born 1974 in Cologne) began studying painting at the University of the Arts Bremen under Karin Kneffel in 2003, interrupted by two semesters abroad as an Erasmus student in 2006/07 at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, where he studied under Manfred Pernice. In 2008, he followed Karin Kneffel to the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, where he graduated as a master student in 2010 and where he still lives today.
Spengler has received numerous awards and prizes, including the scholarship of the Cusanuswerk in 2005 and, since 2012, two studio sponsorships each from the city of Munich and the state of Bavaria. In 2018, he received a Förderkoje as part of New Positions at the Art Cologne.
Since 2005, his works have been exhibited in numerous museums, institutions and galleries, including the National Gallery Prague, the Kunsthalle Emden, the Leopold-Hoesch-Museum Düren and the Städtische Galerie Bietigheim-Bissingen.
Soft Opening: Saturday, 7 November 2020, 12:00 – 8:00 pm
Exhibition dates: Saturday, 7 November 2020 – Saturday, 9 January 2021To the Gallery
Exhibition Martin Spengler – Galerie Kornfeld | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibitions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin