Olaf Metzel: Coffee, Newspaper, Cigarettes

Cat. Kunstverein Heilbronn, Kunsthalle Vogelmann

Exhibition catalogue, ed. by Matthia Löbke
texts (German/English/French) by Bodo Fründt, Patrick Lambert, Peter Richter
144 p with 100 coloured illustrations
310 x 210 mm, brochure with embossed dustjacket

ISBN 978-3-86642-041-2

39,80 €

Pure Splendour

This book on the special exhibition by the Kunstverein Heilbronn at the Kunsthalle Vogelmann with Olaf Metzel gathers together the latest group of works entitled »newspaper works« for the very first time in a broad and opulently illustrated selection. As one might expect, they combine monumental size and extreme fragility, as if their readers had angrily screwed up and discarded the morning newspaper. Olaf Metzel folds, bends and crumples huge aluminium plates that, despite their oversized format, seem confusingly similar to their colourful templates. However, Metzel’s newspaper pages survive, the soft white paper seems frozen in the bulky yet sharp aluminium plates. The results of this aesthetic of desolation are attractive reliefs that draw upon classical models from the history of art. Nor is it any wonder that viewers stand spellbound before the work on the life and death of Amy Winehouse, inasmuch the sculpture provides a direct and simple illustration of what degree of hopelessness and anger imprinted itself on her life.
With intellectual brilliance and empathy, Olaf Metzel has found an irresistible combination of content and style. And he is ever someone who will not shy away from a sore point! Even recently, he cast bronze female nude – itself the subject of art history for centuries – which drew howls of rage and death threats on account of a telling detail: because the nude is wearing a headscarf. Olaf Metzel’s take on the subject is nothing if not to the point: successful aesthetic production = provocation. What more can art claim for itself today?

Kunstverein Heilbronn, Kunsthalle Vogelmann, 16/3–23/6/2013