It begins in the early sixties: Out of rebellion against a modernism that has lost its credibility, the revolutionary avant-gardes constitute themselves. In the face of the quite real threat of a nuclear confrontation and the escalation of the Vietnam war, they try to overthrow the rigid societal norms. In the artistic capitals of Europe and the Americas, a radical expansion of the freedom of art is postulated. Minimalism, Fluxus, happening, and Pop Art – new art movements emerge and distance themselves from academic formalism and painting as the dominating medium. The modern concept of sculpture is challenged as well.
And then something paradoxical happens: The traditional art form of sculpture becomes the new, unjaded starting point of the artistic avant-gardes, and their search for an obdurate material results in a new and unexpected appreciation for metals and all their different alloys. METAL seems to be raw, elementary, strong and sturdy enough to absorb the revolutionary energies. It must have been liberating for the artists to discover this literally HEAVY medium.
The heavyweight, no-pedestal exhibition in Kiel examines fifty key positions of the last fifty years to describe the sculptural renewals of this period. It shows how the heavy material became light, idiosyncratic, and subversive. The exhibition is limited to this ‘one’ material as a specific medium of artistic production to highlight the different paradigms of contemporary sculpture in their historical quality and diversity. In this context, ‘Heavy Metal’ refers not only to metal as a material, but also, in a figurative sense, to the deliberate disturbance of the observer’s world.
Giovanni Anselmo, Joseph Beuys, Bill Bollinger, Carol Bove, Martin Boyce, Candice Breitz, Luis Camnitzer, Anthony Caro, César, John Chamberlain, Lygia Clark, Constant, Richard Deacon, Jürgen Drescher, Wang Du, Marcel Duchamp, Aleana Egan, Olafur Elisasson, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Lucio Fontana, Günther Főrg, Julio González, Antony Gormley, Subodh Gupta, Mona Hatoum, Geoffrey Hendricks, Jőrg Immendorff, Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Anish Kapoor, Stefan Kern, Alexander Laner, Bertrand Lavier, Mark Leckey, Heinz Mack, Mark Manders, Kris Martin, Jonathan Monk, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Claas Oldenburg, Lygia Pape, Thomas Rentmeister, Michael Sailstorfer, Thomas Schütte, Richard Serra, Steven Shearer, Monika Sosnowska, Frank Stella, Jean Tinguely, Tatiana Trouvé, Günther Uecker, Henk Visch, Sonja Vordermaier, Thomas Zipp. Sung-Hyung Cho (Video), Peter Hutton (Video).
In cooperation with the NORDMETALL-Stiftung.