Sculptures Made of Paper

From Kurt Schwitters to Karla Black

Exhibition catalogue
Städtische Museen Heilbronn Kunsthalle Vogelmann
texts (German./English) by Marc Gundel and Kerstin Skrobanek
160 p with 110 coloured illustrations
320 x 210 cm, softcover

ISBN 978-3-86442-194-5

(out of print)

Sculptures Made of Paper as a Break of Tradition

As early as 1912, Pablo Picasso introduced paper as a material with his »guitar«, and in the 1920s, examining how images actually work, it was Kurt Schwitters’s works on paper that gave him the idea for ​​a three-dimensional collage: the Merzbau. Since then, paper as a material has become indispensable in visual, including sculptural works. The Affichists, for instance, tore down posters in the streets of Paris after the Second World War, to create new images collaged from scraps of billboard advertisements. And in the 1960s, paper became a sought-after material, since art was meant to be readily available, inexpensive and easy to transport. However, this publication is not concerned with the representation of a linear developmental history, but with the still valid question as to why, and for what formal as well as substantive reasons, artists still to date chose paper as sculptural artistic material. The gigantic cardboard sculptures by Charlotte Posenenske – which can easily be lifted with one hand – formally resemble industrial components and thus serve as caricatures of the monumental aspects of 19th century sculpture. A flowing transition from sculpture to architecture was presented by Erwin Herrich with his cardboard sculptures, which are constructed according to mathematical schemata and can be enlarged and turned into buildings at any time. Diter Roth, on the other hand, attacks any notions of timelessness or eternal validity with his Literature Sausages by pressing softened books and magazines into sausage casings, thus turning them into sculptural objects. And yet there is no real »tradition of paper sculpture«; rather, paper appears instead as a working material whenever artists break with tradition. 

Arman, Karla Black, Thomas Demand, Dan Flavin, Raimond Hains, Erwin Heerich, Thomas Hirschhorn, Isamu Noguchi, Charlotte Posenenske, Robert Rauschenberg, Diter Roth, Kurt Schwitters, Jacques de la Villeglé, Wolf Vostell, Franz Erhard Walther

Städtische Museen Heilbronn Kunsthalle Vogelmann, 12/3–2/7/2017