26 MAY 2022 – 1 JANUARY 2023

Anthropomorphism and material impersonations are of interest to Andreas Schmitten (*1980), whose recent sculpture invites a contemporary re-consideration of Duchamp’s ready-made pulling consideration of such a work into a 21st century present, while also conducting an enigmatic exploration of the relationships between sculptural and human form, between the body, symbolic objects and rituals.There are eleven works on display here at Waldfrieden, within the gallery, park and villa. Geburt (Birth) (2021), Die Andere (2021), Inmaterielles (2021) and Geburt (Birth) (2021) (reclining) all take the vessel, font or basin as their primary forms, merging them with parts of the human body. Although they might look at first glance like porcelain, all are made out of bronze that has then been sprayed white. The production values are high and the surfaces of these cast sculptures have been painstakingly grinded, painted and waxed to achieve the ‘just arrived’ look that Schmitten is looking for. Bronze casts bring a formal integrity, sharpness of edge and durability that his earlier trials with ceramic and polyester resin couldn’t deliver. Discussing the work recently he states: ‘Every inch of the surface is given great attention’, adding ‘most of my work deliberately does not show its material. There is no “truth to material” here.’These immaculate sculptures are also very carefully conceived, as well as meticulously made. The level of control and precision is notable and a central characteristic of his art more generally. Schmitten is a thinker as well as a maker: an artist with a combined academic and fine art background that includes philosophy (he studied at the Heinrich Heine University for five years, where he became fascinated by the writings of Gilles Deleuze) and art (he attended the Düsseldorf Academy for six years). Further back still, it is interesting to know that Schmitten was also a highly gifted model maker as a child, briefly making a living out from such work early on.
© Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden
© Images Michael Richter