Marcus Geiger and Axel Huber: Engholm Engelhorn Galerie

By Huck, Brigitte | Artforum International, November 2007 | Go to article overview

Marcus Geiger and Axel Huber: Engholm Engelhorn Galerie


Huck, Brigitte, Artforum International


Marcus Geiger is known as a master of understatement. A relentless antitoxin in the operating system of the art world, he does what he can to resist the principles of the marketplace and its eternal quest for increased value, to oppose the co-opting force of elitism, and to rehabilitate the ordinary and the quotidian. He uses the simplest materials, such as terry cloth and felt, with a persistent and pointed refusal of meaning. In short, Geiger regularly thumbs his nose at the art industry and the ways it assigns value.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Casually disregarding the invitation to mount a solo show--a professionally advantageous opportunity--Geiger instead invited his friend Axel Huber, an artist and curator, to join him. At the heart of this "Group Show"--as it was titled--was Geiger's sculpture series "Portraits und Wurst" (Portraits and Sausage), 2006, which takes as its point of reference an old group photograph of members of the Vienna Secession on the occasion of their fourteenth exhibition, in 1902 (which featured Klimt's Beethoven Frieze). The sculptures are full-body felt "casts," their poses and gestures corresponding to those of artists in the photo. These empty shells of fluorescent pink and green, dirty yellow and gray, lounged about the gallery, looking relaxed as they strolled, sprawled, or sat. The rigid bodies, their movements frozen in time, recall the last days of Pompeii or the mummies in the Valley of Kings. The installation is highly refined from a coloristic viewpoint as well as sculpturally striking. …

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