Wilhelm Mundt, “New Sculptures”

Stockholm, 31.3–8.5  2011

In 1989, Wilhelm Mundt completed the sculpture Stein 001. This piece marked the beginning of a chronological series of abstract, bumbling sculptures, known as Trashstones. The project has characterized Wilhelm Mundt’s artistic course, his goal being to create 1000 works – after 22 years he has come halfway. Galleri Andersson/Sandström is now presenting Wilhelm Mundt in his first solo exhibition in Sweden. 

Underneath the reflective surfaces of Wilhelm Mundt’s secretive sculptures, one can catch a glimpse of an inner content, however it’s forever hidden. The organic shapes are drawing our imagination into peculiar orbits, looking upon them as eggs or fallen meteors, or perceiving them as foreign organisms or mystical vessels. At the same time, they are easily positioned within the tradition of modernism, in line with predecessors such as Brancusi or Arp. Regardless of their associative potential, Mundt emphasizes that his main objective is to create something which doesn’t pretend to be anything other than that what it is.

The sculptures might appear naive, but the artistic process is complicated, almost industrial. Initially, the core is created out of leftover materials from the studio, odd items, and other personal memorabilia. This lump is then joined together with modeling paste, and thereafter sealed in numerous layers of fiberglass plastic. After extensive drying, its body is being polished, during which the rounded and nearly elastic shape is emerging. After further surface treatments with polyester wax and hardening varnish, a new Trashstone has finally been born. And the waste material from the process? Well, it is the starting point for the next stone.

Mundt’s formula of creation leaves plenty of room for variation and unpredictability. Trashstones exist in many shapes and sizes; however the chronological order is always reminding us of their physical kinship. These odd figures lay scattered across the gallery, positioned in relation to each other, but also to the space they share with the audience. The exhibition is a Trashstone family gathering. Here, they constitute the norm, the visitor is the stranger.

About the artist

Wilhelm Mundt was born in 1959 in Grevenbroich, Germany. After completing his studies at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, he began a long international exhibition career. As teacher in art, he also became a Professor at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts. In 2007, Mundt received the Jack Goldhill Award for Sculpture from the London Royal Academy of Arts. The artist lives and works in Düsseldorf, and this is his first solo exhibition in Sweden.