Whatness: Esther Kläs, Johannes Wald

Cat. Kunsthalle Bielefeld

Exhibition catalogue, edited by Friedrich Meschede
texts (German) by Erich Franz, Fiona Geuß, Philip Larrat-Smith, Friedrich Meschede and an interview by Meta Marina Beeck with Johannes Wald
216 p with 90 coloured and 30 b/w illustrations
245 x 200 mm, brochure, accompanied by a booklet with the translations into English

ISBN 978-3-86442-132-7

(out of print)

The End of Conceptualism

The exhibition title »Whatness« emphasizes the shared aspect in the work of two young sculptors, Esther Kläs and Johannes Wald. Their sculptures reflect the way sculpture emerges, the production process, but also the discrepancy between idea and realisation of a sculpture. Thus, book and exhibition tie in with the steady expansion of the concept of sculpture beginning in the 1960s. Johannes Wald, born in 1980 in Sindelfingen, formulates questions in relation to sculpture. Yet, primarily sculp­tural qualities, such as haptics, materiality and three-­dimensionality are secondary for Wald; his main interest is the disclosure of conditions, manufacturing processes and materials. Born in Mainz in 1981, and now living and working in New York, Esther Kläs examines in her re­duced sculptures the interplay of material, form and ­construction. Qualities imposed by the materials are ignored. The questions raised by her work, are aimed at the viewer, how they confront the sculptures and their willingness to classify them.
»Beauty is beheld by the imagination«, according to Joyce; this also applies to the work of Esther Kläs and Johannes Wald. The title »Whatness«, borrowed from Joyce’s translation of Thomas Aquinas, points to Sosein, to object-in-time, its essence, its nature, in contrast to the existence of an object; an object is questioned with regard to what it is.

Kunsthalle Bielefeld, 28/3–21/6/2015