April 14 – April 16, 2023


For our participation at Miart in the Decades section, we are proud to present the work of Harald Klingelhöller with a solo exhibition focusing on works made by the artist in the 1990s.

Since the mid-1980s Harald Klingelhöller has placed the link between sculpture and language at the center of his work. By alternating different materials (the lightness of paper, cardboard, and glass is often related to the solidity of steel and granite) his work creates a formal and conceptual connection between narrative elements and visual arts. Klingelhöller, who describes himself as a "flâneur of language," draws from a vast repertoire, ranging from poetry to printmaking, from medical to legal literature, to find the source of inspiration for his sculpted works. Whereas in the 1980s the forms alluded to by the sculptures were directly traceable to the metaphors expressed in the titles - as in the case of a series of works at the time entitled Frucht der Arbeit, Fruit of Labor, where plaster casts of pears, apples and bananas were visible - providing thus a direct visual translation of the linguistic imagery announced, in the 1990s Klingelhöller proposed a different approach.

Indeed, in the works of this period, the letters that make up the titles take on volume and become the constituent elements of signifying objects that nevertheless, in a formal play of repetition and variation, are disengaged from any linguistic function. Cut out of corrugated cardboard or wrapping paper, the obtained letters are piled up and integrated, wrapped or hung on more solid constructions so as to appear as pure objects, suspended in their crudest material aphonia. This creative principle can be observed in three of the sculptures that we will present at Miart such as in Im Rücken die Hitze einer brennenden Welt (At the Back the Heat of a Burning World), or in Wenden sich den Bildern zu (Turning to the Images) or again in Die Wohnung ist unverletzlich (The Home is Inviolable). In the case of Implikation (Implication) the material breakdown is reversed: letters executed in solid wood function as a pedestal for a cardboard element placed above.

Beyond the choice of materials, the strictly literal (as opposed to metaphorical) approach characteristic of Klingelhöller's work in the 1990s made it possible to broaden the field of possible interpretations of the textual element at the origin of the work and to engage the viewer in a different way, creating sculptures that are both legible and capable of materializing the non referential dimension of a given verbal content.

Harald Klingelhöller, Im Rücken die Hitze einer brennenden Welt, 109 x 74 x 74 cm, bronze casting, brown paper, steel, 1997. Ph: Chloé Philipp

Pavillion 3 , Booth A83

For press enquieries, images, interviews and additional information : a.bordenave@galeriewolff.com