Galerie Reinhard Hauff is pleased to announce its third solo show with the Berlin artist Wolfgang Flad titled give it away now. The dynamic sculptures by the artist, born in Reutlingen in 1974, are composed by contrasting geometrically linear with organically undulating swirling elements in metal or wood. Works by the artist are included in numerous private and institutional collections, such as the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, the Kunsthaus Zürich and the Tampa Museum of Art. In the gallery rooms, Flad’s floating and often amorphous, expanding objects reveal his extensive exploration of natural and scientific models and his fascination with utopian science fiction visions. Contrasting the fragile interconnected sculptural elements suspended from the ceilings, with the solid, organic form vocabulary of his wood and aluminium reliefs hanging on the walls, the artist creates an interesting dynamic of fixed and free floating elements in the room. The painted papier mâché and wood surfaces of his works have been carved out of raw, construction timber and transformed into dynamically floating nets of entwined bare bones skeleton sculptures, creating both formally and materially a contrast to the wall reliefs. Flad’s wood and aluminium reliefs show off his precise and superior artistic craftsmanship, in the way he very deftly incises drawings into the material, and treats the surfaces with acids or iridescent high gloss colours. The gestural abstract motives are carved through various layers of the panels, exposing the underlying structures of the wood, reminiscent of the annual rings formed inside tree trunks. Or reminiscent of the dynamic sweeps of a brush or broom stroke. In Flad’s sculptures, contrasting elements suchs as light/dark, light/heavy or fragile/solid are used to create constant visual tension between expansion and restraint within the installation.
Meandering biomorphic forms are a Leitmotiv in the Œuvre of Wolfgang Flad. In the exhibition the viewer immerses himself in the sculptural space, becomes part of the work and can from a non-fixed perspective follow the feather light and almost weightless suspension of sculptural elements unfolding in all directions. The wood and papier mâché structures could have come from displays and models in natural history museums, because their form language is one of natural organic and anthropomorphic curves. They look like remains of mysterious living organisms; at the same time they recall the frozen brushstrokes of a painter working with the lightest touch.
You can also understandthe complex sculptures of Wolfgang Flad as the implementation of (bio) chemical models, alternatively as a reinterpretation of various natural phenomena form experiments from the 50s, which found their way into novel looks in architecture, design and technology. References to art history, for example Brancusi’s Endless Column, Giuseppe Penone’s exploration of wood as material, or John McCrackens minimalist reduction of highly reflective, impeccably shiny object surfaces are consciously fused with influences from design, architecture and bionics in Flad’s work. The practice of recycling, using construction timber for the scaffolding of his sculptures and shredded old sketches, notes and theoretic art history papers for the papier mâché pulps he wraps around his wooden skeletons, is for Flad representative of ongoing natural cycles of life.
To celebrate Wolfgang Flad and his show, the Galerie Reinhard Hauff invites you to join us on Friday November 18th from 7 to 10 pm for Gin & Tonic – generously offered by Edelbrand Stauffenberg Dry Gin.