One of the most remarkable Austrian artists of his generation working in various media, Hans Schabus has been creating site-specific sculptures, installations and performances that intervene with space in various ways for nearly two decades. Hans Schabus exhibition L’Autre Chien opening at Galerie Jocelyn Wolff will explore how the relationship between the body and space and between the mind and soul could be redefined. Disrupting, reconfiguring and erecting space anew, this renowned conceptual artist creates a sense of spatial displacement that disturbs the viewer’s spatial thinking and experience. Often referring directly to his mental and physical surroundings such as his atelier, Schabus explores the connections between the place where art is created and life itself.
As he often does in his works, Schabus used his own surroundings as the key reference to develop and build his ideas into physical manifestation. When working with different toy figures last autumn, one small porcelain figure had accidentally fallen and burst into dozens of pieces. When picking up these broken up pieces, the artist has felt it has changed his perception of the scale of the actual space, as well as the relation between his own body and these little pieces. The artist has also found an inspiration in his experience of using crutches after a surgery he had in early January. After visiting several exhibitions and leaning the crutches against a wall in the gallery space, he had seen them turning into structures interconnected with space that recalled the body that was absent. He has afterward cast the crutches in brass, aluminum and bronze to explore the relations between these objects, space and body. Lastly, the artist has recently acquired vitrines that were originally designed in the 1990s to hold studies for the Beethovenfries by Gustav Klimt. Since the drawings from the vitrines are gone, their absence is visible as the colour of the wood has faded around them.
After some time, Schabus realized that these three materials have a unique connection that made them call for each other. As these materials have been developing their relationship on their own, the artist, caught in-between, has tried to incorporate other objects and materials into this process. One of the artist’s choices included the doormat he has previously been using in his studio, before naming it Währingerstrasse and sending it to the gallery a year ago, along with the door key.
The work of Hans Schabus has been a subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions all around the world. He represented Austria at the Venice Biennale in 2005 with the installation The Last Land that has transformed the Austrian Pavillion into a massive artificial mountain, challanging preconceived ideas about nature, culture, and the role of art. The exhibition L’Autre Chien at the Galerie Jocelyn Wolff in Paris will be on show from May 28th till July 9th, 2016. The opening of the exhibition will be organized on Friday, May 27th.
Featured image: Hans Schabus - From Me to You (detail), 2016. All images courtesy of Galerie Jocelyn Wolff.