February 29 — April 5, 2008
Spencer Brownstone Gallery presents a solo exhibition of new work by Munich based sculptor Martin Wöhrl, the artist’s first exhibition in the United States. Wöhrl’s wide-ranging practice routinely incorporates reinterpreted motifs and strategies drawn from the history of art, architecture, and design, and is characterized by an elliptical skirting of the borders between form and function. Often using found objects or materials sourced form budget DIY and hardware stores, the artist has crafted elevated minimalist platforms that can be enjoyed as sculpture – or used as stages or seating. He has produced a series of fish tanks modeled on utopian modernist housing, and standing lamps from recycled junk. His ongoing ‘Gloriole’ decorative wall works fashion baroque radiating halos from discarded shards of wood left on his workshop floor.
For his exhibition at Spencer Brownstone Gallery, Wöhrl will present several new ‘Gloriole’ pieces alongside new works specially created in-situ at the gallery. Springing from the art historical concept of ‘Kontrapost’, the works in the show will be orchestrated as a series of unfolding dialectical ‘conversations’. The show’s centerpieces will be architectural structures in the form of columns, and two major wall pieces constructed from old wooden doors that have been carved, using power tools, with elaborate ornamental decorations referencing Bavarian folk decoration and corporate logos. The handcrafted detailing and sensitivity to color and patina sets the artist’s work apart from much contemporary critical discourse on the relationship between art and design. Wöhrl’s work ultimately offers a more generous and inclusive traversal of our shifting definitions of the aesthetic and the functional.