kunsthalle weishaupt

Wolfram Ullrich. Overcoming Gravity

Wolfram Ullrich cuts and folds steel like others would do with paper. The result are large and seemingly free-floating reliefs whose spatial effects by far transcend their actual dimensions.

From the early days in his artistic career, this Stuttgart artist (born in 1961) has been fascinated by the question as to how to turn flat surfaces into three-dimensional objects. In his early works a simple cut might stand for the initial exploration of three-dimensionality. Later works consisted of different parts combined into rows that created a sense of depth. By means of folding, surfaces were pushed up and out into space. In these endeavours, Ullrich made use of various different formats and materials. This solo exhibition thus includes smaller and very delicate works in ink on paper in dialogue with massive rusty steel elements. Geometrical plywood reliefs and fibreboards contrast with the gleaming surfaces of coloured steel polyhedrons.

But Ullrich’s exploration of three-dimensionality does not end with his free-standing sculptures. In some of the works on show here he creates forms of representation that open up spaces that only exist in the eye of the beholder. Here appearance and physical manifestation are in contradiction, and his flat wall objects shift-shape into suspended (imaginary) spaces. Trapezoidal surfaces seem to work their way into the depths of the walls, rectangles fall towards us, ellipses of coloured surfaces and sharp brushed stainless steel blocks float weightlessly in mid-air.

This exhibition certainly offers a very direct experience of the fact that nothing is as it seems, and that our impression of size and proportion always differs depending on our perspective. Different viewpoints can mean that the same object appears once as a square and then as a narrow rectangle. Ullrich’s art unfolds its full effects only when seen for real in a specific location. The large bright galleries at kunsthalle weishaupt are an ideal venue for these works. Their serenity and clarity make them a highly effective space in which to experience Ullrich’s colourful and highly dynamic geometrical objects.

This exhibition, which was designed in collaboration with Wolfram Ullrich, presents works from the Siegfried and Jutta Weishaupt Collection and loans that together encompass more than four decades of the artist’s production.