THE SCHIRN PRESENTS GIGANTIC OBJECTS FROM THE LATE WORK OF THE ECCENTRIC SCULPTOR BRUNO GIRONCOLI

 

 

BRUNO GIRONCOLI. PROTOTYPES FOR A NEW SPECIES

14 February – 12 May 2019

The Austrian artist Bruno Gironcoli (1936–2010) is one of the most important sculptors of his generation. Beginning in the early 1960s, drawing on his never-ending inventive voracity he created a highly idiosyncratic and remarkable oeuvre rendered in a very personal and individual visual language. In groups of ever-new works he succeeded each time in finding an unmistakable and yet surprising voice. Wire sculptures gave way to hollow-body forms, polyester objects, and disconcerting environments. Gironcoli’s work always focused on the individual and his abysses. The artist shared his existential questions and politically motivated avant-garde thought with fellow artists of the Viennese scene. His aesthetics of exorbitance and opulence constantly gave rise to excrescences and curlicues and have inspired numerous younger artists. In 1977, the eccentric Gironcoli took over the direction of the School of Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. For the first time, he began to create sculptures that filled or frequently even defied space, made possible through the generous studio situation.

The Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt is presenting excerpts from Gironcoli’s monumental late oeuvre in a thought-provoking exhibition. As if derived from a theater of the absurd or a surreal dream world, the gigantic objects seem to be prototypes of a new species, enveloped in shining, seductive surfaces of gold, silver, and copper. Foreign and yet familiar, their organic forms and set pieces stem from an everyday culture that is often oriented toward the local: we soon believe we can make out a wine barrel, an ear of wheat, or a vine. Then again, Gironcoli stages a strange march-past of infants or an imposing, ant-like sculpture. His magnificent and unsettling works never fail to surprise us as postmodern pastiches.