ARTISTS / Contemporary art
Jürgen Brodwolf

Chair with still life in front of window
© Jürgen Brodwolf / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Jürgen Brodwolf

Stuhl mit Stillleben vor Fenster / Chair with still life in front of window, 2016

Wall installation: chair with tube figures, brush, palette and paint bowls in front of window curtains
200 × 100 × 65 cm

signed and dated
(BRODWJ/W 62)

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Literature: Literature: Brodwolf. Theme Figure. Objekte - Reliefbilder - Installationen, Ausst.-Kat. Müllheim, Freiburg i. Br. 2016, p. 46

At first glance, the "Chair with Still Life in Front of Window" from 2016 is a focused look at exactly what it is: a chair with painter's utensils. As if a painter had just left his workplace, everything is ready: palette, paint tubes, brushes on the palette and in an old tin cup, wooden spoons for mixing paint, bowls for mixing. Even the paint smeared on the palette suggests what the artist has been working on - the blue, green and white suggests he is working on a landscape. But one can read more, which makes the assemblage a wistful bow to art and, on the artist's part, a legacy of sorts. "Actually, I would have wanted to become a painter," wrote Jürgen Brodwolf after he discovered the color tube as a means of designing sculptures and became one of the most impressive innovators of sculpture. The pencil drawings on the worn, simply carpentered chair show that Brodwolf was directing here - succinctly crossed-out or offset lines evoke stage directions, or at least moments of action: He thoughtfully drapes the reclining brushes, which not only define the 'playing field' of the seat, but also dramaturgically incorporate the backrest via the brushes placed in the cup, not to mention the tubes, whose crushed form immediately calls to mind Brodwolf's figurative reinterpretation. Here the artist has formed a stage on which the reclining Ding protagonists are directed toward the background of the chair, where two larger tubes stand almost casually against the lower crossbars of the backrest, easily classified as a pair. Slightly out of the objective center, but in the middle of the perceptible field of action, the bowl with the red color stands out, attracting the viewer's gaze as if the whole scenery revolved around this center. An essential part of the work is the curtain on which the image of a window frame is projected, which at the same time reacts to the wooden struts of the chair back. One can interpret the window motif as wanderlust, as a sign that the artist's absence might be more definitive than it seems - although the actual state of the utensils also refers to the past. Autobiographical signs that recall the earlier and desired life of the painter are mixed with the stage situation in the small space of the chair seat, but also with that of the entire ensemble, in which the viewer looks from the outside (in the exhibition context also through the window) at a chair in the interior, behind which, in turn, a fictitious window provides a view to another outside. Art, this work seems to express, is able to create spaces and situations that outlast the artist's existence, for which the tubes stand: "My figure - in place of myself - what will remain of me."

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