Galería Ehrhardt Flórez


  • Ulrich Rückriem

Ulrich Rückriem (I parte)

15/12/1998 - 20/01/1999
Ulrich Rückriem, Part I (1998), installation view.
Ulrich Rückriem, Part I (1998), installation view.
Ulrich Rückriem, Part I (1998), installation view.

Contrary to the artistic evolution of many of his compatriots, Ulrich Rückriem (Düsseldorf, 1938) owes his training to his work in the quarries of Duren and in the workshops of the Cologne Cathedral. Now Rückriem emerges as one of the most important sculptors of post-war art.

Since his formative stage, Rückriem developed a special relationship with the material (but not the only one) that will most define his career as an artist: the stone. From 1968 he began to develop a personal language articulated from large stone monoliths. Rückriem divides the volumes of these massive blocks into different parts, decomposing the whole into independent units which he then reassembles following systematic reasoning. From the multiple conjugations that result from this game, an interesting dialogue is generated between the plastic potential of such decisions, and the pre-existing (pre-given) volume of the monolith. The original environment of the stone (the quarry, “site”) is also confronted with the new one in which it is located, whether this is in the sterile space of a gallery or museum or a new urban or natural space (“the non -if you”). From this process of extraction, dismemberment, recomposition and relocation, architectures arise that synthesize, in works of incredible physical presence, the dichotomy between nature and civilization.

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For his exhibition, which opens on December 15th, Rückriem presents a series of drawings made on the wall. In them, he transposes his formal three-dimensional concerns, his rational and austere system of functioning, onto a two-dimensional plane. The drawings are made with a common material, graphite, starting from a simple geometric structure, the grid. From there, he puts the limits of his creativity, and then moves them with complete freedom. The works will be presented in such a way that interactions and correspondences are created between them within the public space of the gallery. If all the grids drawn on the wall were to overlap, the result would be a black square.

The same grids that determine the variations of the eight wall drawings also configure their installation in space: each drawing has its corresponding opponent. The axes between the drawings form another grid that covers the entire gallery except the part that is in front of the main door. And that is where Rückriem positions the only “materialized” variant: a relief with the characteristics of the drawings, but made of iron, steel, copper and zinc, also in eight different versions that will be installed alternately from day to day thus creating a new set every time.

The theme of this exhibition (occupying specific sites in a defined space without the coordinates of this place coinciding with the other points chosen) refers to the sculptural ensemble of Ulrich Rückriem made in 1995 near Huesca, in Somontano de los Pirineos: a set of twenty granite stelae positioned in a square of 20 x 20 meters

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