22.09.–04.11.2007

The development of Michael Beutlers sculptural works is an integral part of the works themselves. The form and aesthetic of a given installation or sculpture are usually shaped by the architecture and particularities of the space in which the works are made. In many cases there is a prior interest in a specific material which the artist then arranges in accordance with the conditions dictated by this space. Beutlers approach is determinedly experimental. He appropriates the formability and potential uses of different materials and then links them with the given or chosen spatial settings.

Michael Beutler is interested in serial production and the functional aspect of building materials, but he usually tries to go against their original purpose, working out alternative uses for them and developing unintended processing methods. To this end, he devises and constructs his own apparatus and machinery, which he then uses to work on the material as if in an industrial production process. In technical terms, however, Beutler prefers not to get too complex, always sticking to simple mechanical methods so that the formal processing of the material remains visually identifiable.

As a result, Michael Beutlers installations and sculptures always have something literal about them and orient themselves towards the ordinary scale of the space. The process of setting up the show is to be understood as an experiment in which the economies of space and material are placed in relation to one another. The rhythm of the production process for the individual components is legible in the surface and layering of the material.

For his sculptural installation at Portikus, Beutler uses the full height of the exhibition space. Using metal grids which are clad in transparent paper and woven together into surfaces, Michael Beutler builds a room-filling sculpture.

The exhibition and catalogue have received generous support from UBS Deutschland AG and Stiftung Polytechnische Gesellschaft Frankfurt am Main.

Photos: Wolfgang Günzel