ARTISTS / Art after 1945
Thomas Lenk

Stratification 13a (oracle) - environment
© Thomas Lenk / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Thomas Lenk

Schichtung 13a (Orakel) - Umfeld / Stratification 13a (oracle) - environment, 1969

Plexiglass, black
41 × 23 × 23 cm

signed and dated Lenk 69 in incision
(LENKT/S 16)

€ 16.000
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Thomas Lenk explicitly dealt with the power of fascination of art, of which the series of "Oracle" sculptures is a good example. "I'm interested in ... first, what did fascination mean in the context of art in the first place; second, what is the interaction of art and fascination; and third, is there art without fascination, fascination without art, without the articulation through art?" In "Layering 13a," subtitled "Oracle," two black cuboids are seen, one on top of the other, their corners abyssal - shaped like the shape of beer mats. The slices of glass are lined up next to each other, and in the middle they seem to be shifted upwards in the form of a fan, i.e. what pushes inwards on one side projects outwards and upwards on the opposite side, so that the impression is created that the two spatial bodies are pushed into each other. The subtitle of the work may seem disconcerting here, and the sober description of the title used here may be given a meaningful meaning: "oracle" means a saying of the gods about the future or fate and is derived from Latin "orare" (to speak, to pray); the site where the saying receives its ritual justification is also referred to as an oracle, one thinks of the Oracle of Delphi. The non-objective, formally staged sculpture acquires an auratic effect in conjunction with the title; the geometrized block makes one experience an almost religious-magical power - distantly, one might think of the monolithic Kaaba in Mecca. The comparatively modest size of Lenk's sculpture takes away from the religious magic, but what remains is a fascinating appearance that lends dignity to what is ultimately a banal art form. "Fascination," Lenk says, "is what occurs between the sobriety of the known and the aspirational of the unknown."
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