Jürgen Schön at Japan Art - Galerie Friedrich Müller, Frankfurt
Photo: Marcus Müller
Jürgen Schön - Objects and works on paper
Most of works created by Jürgen Schön (*1956) have a propensity for tranquillity. In their formal reduction they seem like an antidote to all the world's screaming. The exhibition space at the Galerie Friedrich Müller (Japan Art) is calming thanks to it's being clearly structured and designed with great concentration, hence it offers an ideal setting for the new drawings and objects by this artist, who lives in Dresden. Without such a location, a meaningful encounter with this art would hardly possible; without its being appropriately set in scene, we would hardly be able to hear the delicate, nearly faint tones of the works.
It is said that the new sculptures and drawings were created after a journey through Burma. But even without this knowledge, simply by virtue of the way they are presented, and not least of all their proximity to an adjacent, second, room of the gallery in which traditional Japanese art can be seen, the sculptures and drawings are directly reminiscent of the minimalism of Asian works of art and, in their pyramidal form, perhaps even of a sitting, meditating Buddha on his Lotus throne. As is often the case with these somewhat asymmetrically formed manifestations of tranquillity and concentration, a simple but fundamental feeling of familiarity with the world is conveyed through tapering formations consisting of stacks of two to five belt pulleys, a fundamental experience is called to mind, one that is accessible to every viewer.
Jürgen Schön's sculptures, whether out of cardboard and paper or of solid bronze, are rooted in two worlds. As a result of their disparate properties they belong directly, but also metaphorically, to a lighter and a heavier, a more fragile and a more robust reality, they vary in formal terms between a historical and a contemporary, and, ultimately, between a culturally familiar and an exotic sphere, they are both model and depiction and become, within the 'shrine' of the gallery, objects of internal collection, of deferential consideration and of sympathy.
It seems to me that Jürgen Schön treats things with respect, because these things have served us for a while and should be viewed with respect for this reason alone. Asking about their former function or symbolic meaning does not bring us any further. Hence, it is perhaps advisable for the viewer to abandon any idea of pursuing such questions. 'Reflexion ist nicht verlangt; sie wäre in einer Welt, wo alles Reflex ist (und nichts), verlorene Mühe - und überflüssig, wie das Einschenken von Tee in eine bereits volle Tasse.' ¹ (There is no need for refection; in a world where everything is a reflex (and nothing) it would be a waste of time – and superfluous, like pouring tea into a cup that is already full.)
Andreas Bee, 2012
¹ Adolf Muschg, 'Wegbeschreibung, minimal,' in: Japan und der Westen, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, 2007, p. 217