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Markus Schaller "Formen Sprache" at Guardini Foundation Berlin
From where you are, 2004, Steel, shaped letters, 26 x 14 x 14 inches, courtesy Markus Schaller.

BERLIN, GERMANY.- As of January 22nd, 2008, the Berlin Guardini Foundation will be presenting the solo exhibition of the German artist Markus Schaller (born 1967), and thus invites the visitors to deal with one of the most primordial kinds of art – the art of forging.

In 1994, the artist who had originally focused on literature, completed his arts studies at the UdK ( University of Arts ) Berlin as a master-class pupil of Rebecca Horn. Already during this studies, Markus Schaller received a lot of attention by making use of traditional sculpture techniques. While in 1991 he had initiated the first ´artist co-operative gallery´ - Mulack 23 - in Berlin-Mitte, Schaller exclusively exhibited his works in external galleries since the mid ´90s. Since then, he has taken part in numerous international exhibitions and was also invited to show at the Biennale di Venezia (1997, ´Europarte´) and the Vancouver Sculpture Biennale (2006).

In recent years, his oeuvre has been mainly exhibited in Canada and the U.S. Markus Schaller lives and works in Berlin . His latest works, especially created for this exhibition, testify anew the symbiosis of industrial technique and the love for words and language. With the help of heavy machinery he embosses his intimate thoughts onto heavy metal objects, and thus creates a perfect combination of poetry and sculpture. By doing so, the artist has set a milestone within today´s loud and flashy art scene. Markus Schallers exhibition ´Formen Sprache´ comprises 18 artworks and will be on view at the gallery of the Guardini Foundation through March 22nd, 2008 .

On two floors, ten world premieres will be shown alongside early works like ´40 hammers´ and ´One warm up´. By engaging with Schaller´s works, the visitors are invited to enter into a dialogue with those works. The artist aims at “creating rooms where communication can come to life and flourish: communication with the artwork, and between the viewers.”

Whether in the form of minimalist spacial installations, of human-like figures or a 36m2 constellation made of steel plates embossed with words – Markus Schaller´s sculptures are and remain the ambassadors of his texts and thoughts. “For Markus Schaller, the lettering incorporated or tattooed in these sculptures and the addition of a language shortened to lexical signs and hieroglyphs, have grown from fascination to obsession. Material calls for spirit, steel for words“.

In relation to his metal sculptures, Schaller will also be showing abstract black charbon paintings. These paintings are, artistically speaking, completely independent from his three-dimensional works, even though they are interlinked by the choice of material. Iron dust, produced during the act of forging, as well as graphite, carbon and pure sulphate for emphasis are used by the artist to create these works of art.

Schaller´s paintings only start to ´speak´ within the viewers´mental associations, while his sculptures take us directly into a dialogue. Thus, in many ways, the artist manages to give us a understanding of the ´readability of things´.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a 112-page catalogue; written by Dr. Wieland Schmied and Andrea Pagnes and published by Navado Press.

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