ARTISTS / Art after 1945
Thomas Lenk

Object 28 a (Shakespeare and the Strangler)
© Thomas Lenk / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Thomas Lenk

Objekt 28 a (Shakespeare und der Würger) / Object 28 a (Shakespeare and the Strangler), 1963

Concrete, galvanized steel pipes
90 × 60 × 45 cm

signed: Lenk
(LENKT/S 7)

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The work "Object 28a (Shakespeare and the Strangler)" from 1963 belongs to the period of Thomas Lenk's so-called Dialectical Objects. In his initial creative phase between 1960 and 1963, he created works in which he was concerned with general spatial experiences, especially in the combination of blocks and rod elements. These works, christened "Dialectical Objects," reflect Lenk's initial closeness to American Minimal Art through their reduced forms and the industrial materials used, concrete, steel, and aluminum. "Based on Giacometti's experience that - as soon as the environment of a sculptural object is part of the representation - the unmanageable becomes manageable only in reduction, I formulated the term 'illusionistic,'" and further: "By placing a clearly illusionistic (partial) object into the surrounding space with the help of a second (partial) object - representing the classical conception within the whole object as a space-displacing sculptural fragment - an object with different spatial zones of influence results: a) a zone of spatial contraction brought about by the illusionistic part of the object, and b) an object-related spatial zone created by the whole object, which encloses the zone of spatial contraction. The zone of spatial contraction is thus not lost to what it means, but becomes space itself." The disconcerting title will be understood ironically, but can also be read associatively with regard to a quotation in Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra" (II,6), which is to be understood quite dialectically: "... the bond that seems to link their friendship will be precisely the strangler of their concord."
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