Elmar Trenkwalder

Exhibition catalogue, edited by Evelyne-Dorothée Allemand, Arie Hartog, Markus ­Landert, Hans-Peter Wipplinger
texts (German/English/French) by Karim Ghaddab, Yannick Courbès, Arie ­Hartog, Veronika Wiegartz, Peter ­Weiermair, Hans-Peter Wipplinger and an interview by Dorothee Messmer with the artist
272 p with 250 coloured illustrations
300 x 240 mm, softcover with flaps

ISBN 978-3-86442-009-2

39,80 €

Ornament and Obsession

Anybody confronted with Elmar Trenkwalder’s art for the first time, be it his drawings, his early paintings or the more recent clay sculptures, will stay amazed for quite a time. Elmar Trenkwalder’s anthropomorphic theatre of architecture gathers together a truly unique oeuvre of its kind. Living in Cologne during the mid 1980s, the artist born in 1959 and now resident in Innsbruck, initially enjoyed modest success with seemingly symbolic drawings and paintings in which the carpet and subsequent clay frames tended to push the content to the periphery or extend it. His first works in ­colourful glazes catch the eye with their unique physical expression of the male body, which Elmar Trenkwalder sees forming an ­impossible unity with the ­female body as part of an ideal whole and very much within a certain Austrian tradition involving the transgression of sexual barriers in the male function of ejaculation and defecation.
Figurative individual portraits were soon followed by sculptural architectonic ensembles in many parts, which don’t, it is true, propagate a new Kama Sutra, but are instead more reminiscent of Hindu temples or gothic and roman cathedrals, not to mention intricate baroque facades. But here too, ­variously formed body and ­genital fragments function as a sensual charging of the material, although the architectonic ensembles ini­tially guide the eye towards the whole, its overall layout, and only afterwards proceed to the struct­ure, the figurations them­selves being strictly schematised and not rendered in precise detail. Once this approach Peter Weiermair called »sweet and sour«, a quality which is particularly identified in the transformational tension between the visual programme and the material itself, and which is attributed to »de­coration« especially by virtue of its tradition and the aura of handcraft.
This book provides the first complete overview of Elmar Trenkwalder’s oeuvre in tandem with a European collaborative venture, which will travel to many cities.

Kunstmuseum Thurgau, Kartause Ittingen, 1/4-10/7/2012
Kunsthalle Krems, 15/7-14/10/2012
Gerhard Marcks Haus, Bremen, 28/10/2012-17/2/2013
MUba Eugène Leroy Tourcoing, spring 2013