Does the world exist without language? Does the work of art? These are the kind of philosophical and existential questions that Rolf Nowotny addresses in his solo exhibition Full Frontal Nudity.
Here he presents a new, extensive installation that attempts to approach the concrete object by leaving only the bare material behind.
In the large room on Overgaden’s top floor, low-lying, rectangular glass panels in the room intersect with displaced horizontal planes which frame and mirror a series of unglazed dishes, bowls, jars and vases of red clay, placed directly on the floor. Like a walk among trees and bushes in a park, the glass panels indicate routes into the exhibition and present the viewer with various perspectives on the ceramic objects. In the labyrinthine maze of paths you can get up close and focus on the details, or retreat to the ashtrays, which are mounted on the wall as lookout posts, from where you can gain an overview of the landscape in its entirety.
In a movement which is both physical and metaphorical, the sculptural objects alter from open to ever more closed forms, thereby creating a smooth transition between the individual works.
Rolf Nowotny comments on the exhibition:
With this exhibition, I am attempting to create a collective installation of objects, rather than individual works. I have for a long time spoken of my work as a “family of things”, but this time I want to break down their individuality and create an overall statement.
Via a thematisation of the fluid and metamorphic nature of the artwork, Nowotny invites us to reflect on our relationship with the world of objects. When the narrative layers of meaning of the works are peeled away, what remains are glossy surfaces for our own mental projections, presented as open spaces of association, where meaning is not fixed, but is constantly coming into being.