GEORG HEROLD

Art Basel Parcours


Kreuzgang, Münster Basel

In reflecting on Herold’s retrospective at the Kunstmuseum Bonn last year, director Stephan Berg suggested that Herold’s practice is characterized by “a joy in widening the gap between what is shown, what is said, and what is meant to the point that everything almost collapses – but only almost.” Georg Herold studied under Sigmar Polke from 1977 until 1983, going on to question art with radical sarcasm alongside Martin Kippenberger, Werner Büttner and Albert Oehlen. The group confronted the myth of the masterpiece with a calculated “unfinishedness.”

Georg Herold’s reclining, roof-batten figures build upon his innovative material investigation and Dadaesque humor as he experiments with a human form. The figures are made from roof-lath scaffoldings which are surrounded with sewn canvas and hermetically sealed, Beverly in bright, monochrome car finish, Heyday and Aktivistin in bronze lacquer. These luminous, enamel-coated figures play with a tension between superficial attractiveness and grotesque distortion, implied motion and precarious stillness. The wooden skeleton seems to expand in all directions and remain constrained by a stressed standstill. As the figures stretch on the lawn and under the arches of Basel’s historic Münster Kreuzgang and visitors linger alongside them, a dialogue emerges between the contemporary sculpture and historic architecture that surrounds it. The semi-enclosed space fosters an intimate viewing experience as the sculptures seem to simultaneously confront and revel in their surroundings.

Georg Herold, born in 1947 in Jena, lives and works in Cologne. Ever since the 1980s he has numbered among the most impactful artistic figures in international contemporary art and has been represented at almost all the trend-setting group exhibitions of the last decades, including documenta IX and Skulpturen Projekte Münster 1997. Recent major solo exhibitions include Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, Germany (2017); Museum Brandhorst, Munich, Germany (2012); Stedeljik Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent Belgium (2007). Public collections include amongst others Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA; Stedelijk Museum of Contemporary Art, Ghent, Belgium; Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; Frankfurt Städel Museum, Frankfurt, Germany; Brandhorst Museum, Munich, Germany; Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany; Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck, Remagen, Germany and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo, Norway.

CONTEMPORARY FINE ARTS Art Basel Parcours 2018