In cooperation with KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin, Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle is exhibiting ceramic sculptures by Michael Sailstorfer on the roof-top garden of its gallery space. A continuation of his 2015 metal mask series, these amorphous ceramic masks are characterized by reduced features mottled with drips of glaze and marbling, slits that recall mouths, surface manipulations that indicate eyes, and pointed protrusions suggestive of noses. Sailstorfer’s sculptures play on earlier functions of masks such as exorcising spirits, protecting against demons, or worshipping ancestors and, seen within an art historical context, refer to Oceanic and African traditions of mask making. However, they also reflect a post-apocalyptic aesthetic in their resemblance to futuristic robots and embody a status quo concerned with future possibilities, history, and symbolism.
“The sculptures show the cardboard texture of the models from which they were cast. Areas where the cardboard was ripped open or glued together, the trails of the adhesive tape—each quality impresses itself on the result. In their final form, however, the sculptures have an effect on the recipients that cannot be explained by the production process.” (from an interview in Fair magazine, no. 14/2016)
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