Questions of life, death, and earthly existence have been addressed in the works of the artists for centuries, with humans in the center of the artists’ attention. This anthropocentric view on the secrets of life is almost abandoned in the work of the German artist Maximilian Prüfer whose focus turns towards the other life forms, and approach to human existence through analogies with often overlooked organisms. By developing a wholly new printing technique, Prüfer is able to capture the slightest movements of any earthly inhabitants and the results of his almost scientific documentation of natural phenomena will be on display in the Flug exhibition at Lisabird Contemporary in Vienna.
Born in Weilheim, Germany in 1986. Maximilian Prüfer has been developing his own, unique and original approach to printing technique, which artist likes to refer to as Naturantypie. By working on the highly sensitive surfaces, Prüfer is able to displace color through motion, capture and illustrate the slightest movements, such as those made by the moth wings, or snail, grasshopper, and ant traces. The artist is here more like an architect or a director, supervising the creation of the print, but ultimately letting the natural phenomena express themselves. This unique style allows Maximilian Prüfer to bring to life the natural movements at their own right, exploring the analogies between different species beyond the ideas of anthropocentrism and without the major interference of the artist himself. In the world of Prüfer, humans are often seen as the intruders who distort the natural balance, which is best illustrated in his Feind (Enemy) print.
Reminiscent of the molecular aesthetics, the work of Maximilian Prüfer fluctuates between the scientific documentation of organisms and metaphysical questions of being. The starting point in his work is the idea that each living being leaves traces of its existence and these marks and physical remains are valuable sources which can lead to the better understanding of our own ways of life. What we refer to as more primitive species show surprising resemblances to the human behavior, reminding us that even if we have evolved intellectually, a big part of the human existence is still rooted in their heritage of animal ancestry, instincts and universal patterns of group organization. In his prints, Maximilian Prüfer unveils the essential moments in earthly history, touching upon the questions of life and death, survival instincts and intricate relations between individuals and masses, as part of the genuine experience humans share with the other species.
Empirical without scientific claims and masterfully executed pieces of Maximilian Prüfer will be on view from October 29th through December 6th, 2015 at Lisabird Contemporary in Vienna, Austria. The opening reception for the Flug exhibition is scheduled for October 28th, starting from 7 pm.
Sign up for My Widewalls and experience innovative works of art every day, free of charge!
Maximilian Prüfer - Krähe I, 2015 © Maximilian Prüfer, detail
Maximilian Prüfer - Feind, 2015 © Maximilian Prüfer, detail
All images courtesy of Lisabird Contemporary Gallery
Read Other Interesting Stories
Currently on display at The Whitworth is an exhibition focused on drawings and prints made by the legendary modernist master Paul Cézanne.
To celebrate David Hockney's 82nd birthday, we have prepared a selection of his rare prints and posters which you could own right now!