Anselm Stalder

Anselm Stalder

Work from Vermutete Mitte (Supposed Center).

Mirrored in reflective glass, we see ourselves in front of Alpine landscapes from a time of black and white, back when craggy glaciers still filled the valleys and clefts of erosion hew openings into our view. “SEINEBILDER”, “his pictures”, reads the title. But whose, if not those by Anselm Stalder? Or has “he” already become another to himself; he whose art has taken definitive leave of the individual gesture through fractions and projections? In “SEINEBILDER”, the son of virtual image generations encounters his father’s analog photo archive. “He” is the father of the artist, who took these pictures during his hikes in the mountains. And “he” is the artist himself, who chose them, worked on them, and placed them within a new context. Regarding these photos, which are slanted and turned into the depth of the image, we realize that the indicated projection space could also be the space of our own perception. “His pictures” become our pictures.

“Glimmende Peripherie”, “smoldering periphery”, the Stalder exhibition currently taking place at Kunstmuseum Solothurn, constitutes a continuum of cuts and layering in all kinds of different media. The viewer’s gaze focuses on single points, especially when looking from above down onto images laid flat and presented horizontally. In Zurich, such a viewing table is also encountered, created by two diagonally joined rectangular panels and a desktop of reflecting dull aluminum. The drawing lying on top of this counter under a pane of glass can be read as a colorfully fractured antique floor mosaic. In “disegno topografico“, fragments of hands, a rope, and an open cardboard box whirl wildly about each other, as if we were regarding pieces of a puzzle that has lost the memory of its archetype. Five watercolors were in fact cut up and joined together anew.

“He” is also “Der Spiegelmann”, “the mirror man”. A man mirrored into himself, who searches with questing strokes orbiting his corporal symmetry for his own image in the looking-glass. “Vermutete Mitte”, “supposed center”, denotes the black hole of sensed possibilities to which art has eternally had the courage to gravitate. Always, “the mirror man” has developed his work along its edges. Anselm Stalder is a thinker of images in spaces. While the three-dimensional form of images creates a reflexive distance, the mediated motives stay enigmatic. It is probably because of this that they never let us go.” – Hans Rudolf Reust for Schau Ort
(translated from German)

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