Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers are showcasing new works by Robert Elfgen in Berlin. Robert Elfgen's work deals with the tender relationship between nature, man and society. His projects are based on personal experiences and observations he makes in everyday life.
If you happen to enter one of his spatial installations, you will subconsciously associate the sculptures, assemblages, collages and films into a whole – all of which make his 'world' tangible.
The leitmotifs of his symbolic and bizarre visual creations are transformative situations, social rites of passage, the circle of life and the change of aggregate states.
The works themselves perfectly merge craftsmanship with improvisation. Traditional artistic techniques with glass graving, inlays, cauterization, letterpress printing and its careful and deliberate execution oppose the application of second hand materials, found objects, random results and mechanical oddities.
Robert's work frequently deals with spatiality itself. He tends to make the exhibition space part of the concept as a whole, making sure that the installations always retain an air of tangibility and a distinct flavour.
The gallery comments ‘not unlike sacred art or architecture, Elfgen creates a metaphorical totality, which weds the advent of art itself in the practice of cult’.
Continuing ‘Robert Elfgen's new exhibition 'Development' is a playful presentation of ‘stable imbalances’. Witty and ironic – he circumnavigates the relationship of production and evaluation in art, society and nature.
The spatial scenery communicates through its physical impact, movement and empathy. However, the works also bear a surprising degree of independent power within the exhibition space. Occasionally breaking out from the aura-like quality that surrounds them, they irritate conventional structures of reception and claim an autonomous area within art. At the same time, the collages make an argument for the necessity of relationships as a whole in surrealist symbolism.
Elfgen's focus lies on the dynamic and transformation that is generated by this interplay. The artist traces a romantic identification of people within their subjective worlds and his works document a desire for the absolute, while simultaneously celebrating the failure of the very same desire’.
Sprüth Magers Berlin is also currently showing the 'Endgame' solo exhibition by Jenny Holzer and 'Early Performance Films' by Anthony McCall.
Bio : Robert Elfgen studied first with John Armleder at the Hochschule der Bildenden Künste Braunschweig before transferring to the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where he completed his studies as a master scholar of Rosemarie Trockel. He lives and works in Cologne. Solo exhibitions of recent years were des bien ich, Sprüth Magers Cologne, 2008; expedition, westlondonprojects, London, 2006; and 1 + 1 = 3 Elfgen — Technik, Bonner Kunstverein, 2005. Moreover, he participated in group exhibitions such as Paul Thek — Werkschau im Kontext zeitgenössischer Kunst, ZKM Karlsruhe (2007-2008), Lieber Friedrich, Kunstverein Kassel (2006), and 7, Sprüth Magers Lee, London (2005). To be seen in 2012 are new works of the artist in group exhibitions at the Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, and at the Gallery Helga de Alvaers, Madrid. A catalogue accompanies the exhibition.
Development by Robert Elfgen
SPRÜTH MAGERS BERLIN
until June 16th 2012
Gallery Opening times: Tue - Sat, 11:00 – 18:00