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10 Jun 2014

Exhibition Christopher Füllemann at ROTWAND, Zurich

Tongue twister, 2014
Fabric, pigment, polyurethane, plaster, concrete, ceramic
76 x 232 x 99 cm (29 7/8 x 91 3/8 x 39 inch)
Courtesy Rotwand, Zurich
Photo credit: Alexander Hana

What is soft is hard


24 May 2014 – 12 July 2014 Opening hours: Wednesday - Friday 2-6pm, Saturday 11am-4pm OPEN HOUSE WEEKEND ZURICH Saturday June 14 and Sunday June 15, Opening hours: 10am-6pm

Sabina Kohler & Bettina Meier-Bickel
+41 (0)44 240 30 55
+41 (0)44 240 30 56

Rotwand / Sabina Kohler & Bettina Meier-Bickel
Lutherstrasse 34
8004 Zurich

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It is with great pleasure that we announce our first solo exhibition with Christopher Füllemann (*1983, Lausanne) at Rotwand.

For this show, Christopher Füllemann has created a viewing rhythm in the gallery space consisting of different moments and different viewing experiences, which ultimately form a brief, wonderful journey into the young artist's powerful, joyful, sensuous universe.

A Swiss artist based in California, where he graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute with an MFA in sculpture after earning a BA at ECAL, Füllemann always closely reacts to the existing space when creating and installing his sculptures – scale and rhythm, color and texture all concur to create works which call for a physical, tactile, almost bodily apprehension. Found objects and ephemeral materials such as fabric, latex, foam, glass, wax, ceramic or even plants interact to exist in space not as isolated objects, but as elements of a movement in which the viewer is involved. Lately, Füllemann has also started working with leather, fascinated by the material's possibilities and intrinsic proximity with actual bodies. But materials are never put to use in their 'natural' state – rather, they are used for their physical properties (how fabric folds, how wax drops when melted, etc.) and then transformed, often through the use of paint, or solidified with epoxy, ultimately passing for something other than what they are. Color is the unifying element, elevation and gravity the driving tension behind Füllemann's sculptural accumulations, space their necessary frame.

As the artist states: I started making sculptures in both a formal and a sensitive way, by assembling simple, often architectural shapes, into a form that is complemented by various fragile substances, giving my sculptures the aspect of pictorial compositions akin to ephemeral monuments. The anthropomorphic aspect of my works induced through scale and shape plays with the desire to see these three-dimensional collages as performers and as living or growing organisms. I want my sculptures to generate more energetic feelings than the visible. Movement and autonomy are thus important aspects, allowing my pieces to exist in conversation with the viewer, the space and amongst each other.

In the exhibition at Rotwand, the viewer moves from a first encounter with one of Christopher Füllemann's sculptures, set like a mural on the wall facing the entrance, to the main room where the artist invites us to rest in what can best be described as a garden. A buffer between domestic space and wilderness, punctuated by small sculptures whose scale seems to imply a tamed version of the larger installations, but which can also be read as their concentrated avatars, ready to burst at the next, yet to be imagined stage. Their ambivalent character – part object/part sculpture, part utilitarian/part abstract, part living/part inert – recall the artist's recent, monumental sculptures set on wheels or adorned with handles, in which he explores the tension between looking and touching, between what an object stands for and its potential activation by the audience, between a mundane shape and its potential subversion.

Lastly, in the third stage of the show, a stunning, eccentric sculpture stands erect. Like many of the artist's creatures, this sculpture is shaped from the remains of a former sculpture, having first lived as a monumental chain of skin-like color stretched across a room of the Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, in 2013, then as an outdoor sculpture for the rest of the year. What was once horizontal now rises as a vertical body, covered by layers of new skin, hovering between elevation and collapse, between stillness and movement, between balance and fall, between sensual attraction and repulsion, between sculpture and flesh.

Text Nicole Schweizer