In his work, Stefan Kern (b. 1966 and living in Hamburg) subtly transfers art into everyday life. His works often possess the characteristics of furniture, such as chairs, benches, storage shelves, or lecterns, and they can also be used as such. Their formal abstractness, however, lends them an autonomous sculptural value. The objects are monochrome, often white and varnished. Their aesthetic is characterised by a distinct and concentrated style. The sculptures are often symmetric in shape or made of modules of a basic form. In profile, they are frequently ornamental. His questioning of the relation between form and function as well as his creation of communicative spaces places him in the tradition of Scott Burton or Siah Armajani.

Stefan Kern studied at the Städelschule from 1988 to 1993 under Per Kirkeby, Ulrich Rückriem, and Franz West.

For Portikus, the artist has developed a new work. Stefan Kern fills the floor of the exhibition space with comb-shaped floor plates made of varnished steel; their interlocking teeth on both sides create a surface. The rows of floor plates are alternately black and white, maintaining a small distance to the walls. The steel carpet begins at the back wall of Portikus with the first row of plates bent onto the wall. It ends in the front part of the space with a row of floor plates that possess the same basic tooth-like form, but three-dimensionally, creating a step. This step becomes a barrier for the visitor which has to be overcome - without shoes - to access the surface of the floor plates. Underfloor heating makes them comfortably warm.

In addition to its visual aesthetic, Stefan Kern's work can thus be haptically experienced. The different temperatures of the floor and the step and of the plate bent at the wall allow the installation's two- as well as three-dimensionality to be felt.