For its December 2008 exhibition, if ART Gallery presents The Salon I & II, an exhibition at two Columbia, SC, locations: if ART Gallery and Gallery 80808/Vista Studios. On Thursday, December 11, 2008, 5 – 10 p.m., if ART will hold opening receptions at both locations. The ifART Walk will be on Lady and Lincoln Streets, between both locations, which are around the corner from each other.
The exhibitions will present art by if ART Gallery artists, installed salon-style at both Gallery 80808 and if ART. Artists in the exhibitions include two new additions to if ART Gallery, Columbia ceramic artist Renee Rouillier and the prominent African-American collage and mixed-media artist Sam Middleton, an 81-year-old expatriate who has lived in the Netherlands since the early 1960s.
Other artists in the exhibition include Karel Appel, Aaron Baldwin, Jeri Burdick, Carl Blair, Lynn Chadwick, Steven Chapp, Stephen Chesley, Corneille, Jeff Donovan, Jacques Doucet, Phil Garrett, Herbert Gentry, Tonya Gregg, Jerry Harris, Bill Jackson, Sjaak Korsten, Peter Lenzo, Sam Middleton, Eric Miller, Dorothy Netherland, Marcelo Novo, Matt Overend, Anna Redwine, Paul Reed, Edward Rice, Silvia Rudolf, Kees Salentijn, Laura Spong, Tom Stanley, Christine Tedesco, Brown Thornton, Leo Twiggs, Bram van Velde, Katie Walker, Mike Williams, David Yaghjian, Paul Yanko and Don Zurlo.
Hannover, Germany, native Klaus Hartmann (b. 1960), who lives in Kaiserslautern, is a fixture on the art scene of his German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. He teaches at the Fachhochschule Kaiserslautern, (the Kaiserslautern College of Applied Sciences) and has taught at the University of Kaiserlautern. Hartmann exhibits widely throughout Germany and has produced several public sculptures, for instance for the city of Kaiserslautern and the Rhineland-Palatinate Department of Culture. He is part of an exchange between artists from Columbia, S.C., and Kaiserslautern and since 2001 has exhibited several times in South Carolina. The catalogue “Klaus M. Hartmann: Stahlplastiken” (Klaus M. Hartmann: Steel Sculptures) was published in 1997.
Whether he works in steel or bronze, Klaus Hartmann’s sculptures usually emphasize a similar set of characteristics. They involve the human figure but in abstracted fashion. They are stylized but still edgy, in part because of the surface quality of his work and its many sharp rims, corners, cuts and contours. Despite the heaviness of the medium and the volume of the sculptures, they have a light touch and often suggest a certain disregard for gravity.
The manipulation of weight and gravity is quite literal in Hartmann’s new series of bronzes, Haut (Skin), in which the central element, the human figure, is suspended. It’s also evident in his often life-size sculptures in steel, including Schreitend (Striding). And it’s true for his Skizzen (Sketches), small figures with full but barely three-dimensional bodies, molded from a steel plate, that balance delicately on a small point.
Next to suspension, Hartmann in some work achieves lightness and relative weightlessness by paying close attention to a piece’s center of gravity. Sometimes a strong suggestion of movement helps. Hartmann also implies the complete form without actually realizing it. Instead, he presents body fragments, attached to each other, creating partial figures with large holes that leave it to the viewer to complete the form. This procedure limits the work’s physical weight and volume both literally and through the lively interaction it allows between positive and negative space.
Hartmann approaches his steel work as a blacksmith, not simply welding pieces together but actually hammering and bending shapes and forms from the material. Many of his current bronzes, too, have a hammered look, though they are formed on molds. Hartmann occupies an area between classic, closed sculpture and the more free-flowing, open constructions resulting from the drawing-in-space approach. As such, the hollow space inside his semi-enclosed forms can become as important as the negative space between the parts, and the inside surface of his sculptures’ shells, as important as the outsides. Haut XII (Variation 1/10) is an extreme example of this. In many ways, Hartmann’s sculptures reveal the impact of the pioneering Spanish metal sculptors Pablo Gargallo and Julio Gonzalez, who have strongly influenced metal sculpture in Western art since World War II.
For more information, contact Wim Roefs at if ART:
(803) 238-2351 – firstname.lastname@example.org
For its February exhibition, if ART presents The Inventory, a group exhibition of artists from if ART Gallery. The show will consist of many new works by if ART artists as well as older pieces from the gallery’s inventory.
Included in the show will be work by Columbia artists Jeff Donovan, Mary Gilkerson, Marcelo Novo, Anna Redwine and David Yaghjian. Other South Carolina artists include Carl Blair, Jeri Burdick, Phil Garrett, Bill Jackson, Peter Lenzo, Dorothy Netherland, Matt Overend, Edward Rice, Tom Stanley, Christine Tedesco, H. Brown Thornton, Leo Twiggs, Katie Walker and Paul Yanko. Furthermore, the show will present work by former South Carolina residents Tonya Gregg, Eric Miller and Andy Moon. Also included are California collage artist Jerry Harris, Dutch painter Kees Salentijn and German artists Roland Albert, Klaus Hartmann and Silvia Rudolf.