Olaf Metzel - Heimo Zobernig
Galleria Gentili, Florence, Italy
25.05.2018 – 20.07.2018
Placing together Olaf Metzel and Heimo Zobernig’s artworks in an exhibition enables us to reflect upon what they have in common but also what distinguishes them.
The exhibition includes a series of monochrom tableaux by Heimo Zobernig, which are almost a backdrop for Olaf Metzel’s sculptures. The use of Trevira Television CS fabrics – a support for chroma key in film production, a technique that allows to replace blue, red or green screen background with another image – is familiar for Zobernig. In this set of works the background has been conceived to be a further white background, just like the gallery’s wall, therefore ideally offering a neutral perception of the art pieces. Some canvases have an interference colour as last layer.
Heimo Zobernig continues to deconstruct Modernism’s formal language, by compromising the aesthetic purity of the monochrome and by bringing it back to the decorative, functional and ironic level.
Zobernig is pragmatic. His canvases are exactly what they should be: objects on display. The surface deception drives the public to participate in the behavioural routine coordinated by the artist.
Olaf Metzel folds, bends and distorts the urban images that are printed on both sides of aluminium panels and in this way generates the perplexing illusion of paper. The layers that are formed against the resistance of the material reflect the motif of aggression as one of Metzel’s sculptural techniques. The formal, aesthetic repetition of folds in the monochromatic variations Argento d’oro creates a kind of image within an image – a reflection of the everyday aesthetics of our commodified world. In related ways, Fano (28/12/2017) provides the superficial textures of store façades a tangible form.
Metzel also contextualises the dimensions and fixed points of the urban atmosphere with such iconic buildings as the monumental Palazzo delle Poste in Naples. Anno 1936 and XXLarge reflect the distinctive substance of the highly sculptural building and paraphrase architecture as an ideological instrument and a constructed manifesto. come sempre, as an architectural element that reproduces the social phenomenon, can be read in similar fashion. As an abstract moment, the work thematises the aesthetic potential of plastic materials and negotiates the possibilities of sculpture. The raw, crude state of the sculpture displays the traces of the modelling process, thereby making the working process visible.