solo Show
Castle and Park Belvedere and Liszt-Haus, Weimar, DE
07.06.2024 – 01.11.2024

What can we learn from history? Is there really any lesson that we can apply to our present day? And who exactly is “we”? Few artists have delved into German history, its upheavals and ruptures as intensively as Olaf Metzel.

Born in 1952 in Berlin, the sculptor and object artist has gained widespread acclaim for his controversial installations in public space. With their references to current political and social issues, Metzel’s works have established him as one of the most influential German representatives of contemporary art today. As a former professor of sculpting and Rector of the Munich Academy of Fine Arts, Olaf Metzel has shaped entire generations of working artists during his long career.

Works by the acclaimed documenta artist will be presented at Belvedere Castle and the Liszt House historic locations from 7 June to 1 November 2024. The ground floor of the Liszt House is currently being converted into a temporary exhibition venue in the coming years and will feature newly installed works by Olaf Metzel. These include relatively unknown illustrations, design sketches, and models that offer biographical insights into the working process of a traditionally trained sculptor. In addition, they serve to deconstruct the cult of the (male) artistic genius cultivated since the Romantic period and embodied like no other by Franz Liszt.

Due to renovation measures that necessitated the temporary removal of all the artworks and furnishings from Belvedere Castle, contemporary works of art by Olaf Metzel on the upper floor are sure to challenge conventional viewing expectations. The featured sculptures and room installations confront the historical surroundings in thematic and aesthetic confrontation. Alongside works that Metzel created specifically for Weimar, as well as a new version of NSU (2013/24), the exhibition includes other important pieces that highlight the encounter of the Orient with the Occident, e.g. Kebap Monument (2007) and Turkish Delight (2006). His works typically address political and social conditions and sensitivities. They provide an opportunity to reflect on our culture and society productively.

Olaf Metzel, NSU, 2013
Copyright: Olaf Metzel
Photo: Leonie Felle