In examining minimal sculpture of the 60s and 70s, the formal repertoire of which is based on specific forms and which works with the irreducibility of the visible form ("What you see is what you see"), Harald Klingelhöller (born in 1954 and living in Düsseldorf) has been pursuing since the beginning of the 80s the pictorial problematics of the relationship between sculptural form and language form. He is - like his fellow-travellers from Düsseldorf, Reinhard Mucha or Thomas Schütte - convinced that traditional representational sculpture, which usually evokes a chain of associations, gets in the way of unique sculptural meaning. Klingelhöller's sculptures attain their specific character from the constant dialogue and reciprocal dominance between the existing forms and meanings missing that what is represented.

Klingelhöller works with only a few materials - especially corrugated cardboard, steel, mirrored glass - and with reduced, distinct forms, in this respect continuing in the tradition of minimal art. The titles of his works, however, point to the fact that the perceptual experiences made possible within the sculptural logic of minimalism have completely changed. With Klingelhöller, the formal logic only becomes accessible via the manifold play between visible form and planned meaning. Neither does the title explain the respective work, nor does the work illustrate the respective title.

In earlier works (e.g. "Frucht der Arbeit", 1984), Harald Klingelhöller was primarily concerned with the pictorial dimension both language and sculpture have in common, such as the metaphor. At the same time, he found an immediate starting-point by frequently dissecting the title of the work to sculptural forms and fitting them back together again in a new way. Language literally became material. However, what could be seen only provided information on its linguistic source in a mediated way; it is this breach that the artist is interested in to this day.

In this manner, Klingelhöller develops entire sculptural series with identical work titles in order to investigate and make visible the variability of linguistic and sculptural spaces. In using mirrored glass, the viewer and the way he/she relates to changing locations, is included in the spatial events of the works.

At Portikus, Harald Klingelhöller presents four new sculptures (entitled: "Ich bin hier, du bist hier" ("I am here, you are here"), "Als wäre nichts gehört" ("As if nothing was heard"), "Als wäre nichts gesagt" ("As if nothing was said"), "Die Wohnung is unverletzlich" ("The home is invulnerable")) - including a work conceived as an outdoor sculpture made of basalt and aluminium -, introducing a kind of canon of sculptural action and perception in the way they are presented in relation to each other and the space.

Photos: Katrin Schilling