Daniel Marzona is pleased to announce FIBERS, the second solo exhibition of works by Olaf Holzapfel.

For the last ten years, Holzapfel has been delving into natural materials and space. In the exhibition, we are showing new straw pictures and a work made of reeds. A fiber is the smallest component of natural plant-based materials. In their repeated arrangement, fibers shape the organization and appearance of the material pictures and sculptures. In Holzapfel’s pictures, light, color, and real and illusionistic pictorial spatiality play a central role. The pictures seek to overcome the rupture between depiction and what is depicted; they describe directly what they are. They are thus mimetic and yet completely nonrepresentational; it is as if they open up spaces that start in the concrete material. Viewing them, one constantly changes perspective: are we seeing material, or a pictorial space? This is definitely one of the artist’s central interests; he already formulated “being in between” in “FENCE”, his contribution to the documenta 14. The sculpture “Coat”, a single bundle of reeds layered to create a bent wall, also carries the idea of the work “FENCE” further. In the simultaneous emphasis on material, language, information, and media reflection, what is visible is not the only thing that plays a role; so does sensing the simultaneity of the widest variety of media spaces – exformation and information in a world driven by data.

In a text on Karl Heinz Adler, the artist described the Baroque Period as the beginning of Modernism, which divides between Romanticism and Classicism and, as a modern form, unites the flowing of various things between technology and nature. Since we are continuously caught in these processes made of pieces, what we feel in the here and now also continues branching. Thus, the materials Holzapfel chooses – straw, wood, reeds, and hay – show and describe the constancy of division and arising from and apart from each other as a recurring natural process.

The title of the exhibition, “FIBERS”, also triggers associations of fraying, unraveling, and what frays to come apart in its components or what composes itself from them. The natural materials historically reflect an atomistic perspective that has been part of the European Enlightenment since Lucretius and the naturalists of the 18th century. From this perspective, the Romantic Era can also be read as a reflection of the early phase of industrialization, which understood nature as being a suffusing event. For example, the Romantic artists Runge and C.D. Friedrich connected weather phenomena and color directly with natural science. In the later perception of the world, as developed in part by Heinz von Foerster at the latest since the cybernetic models in the second half of the 20th century, nature then becomes information and model. Its language, however, comes directly from the material. Because Holzapfel’s works let this language resound, his material-related works also spur a changed awareness of the environment and open up their political dimension. In harmony with Land Art, without being agitation, they call for a respectful stance toward the environment. Starting from this stance, it seems possible to determine anew the relationship between our media-shaped urban spaces and the surrounding landscapes.