The artist Stephan Huber calls himself a modern allegorist inspired by the traditions of the southern German baroque and Latin Catholicism, with a strong preference for Belgian surrealism. His symbolic and at times ironic sculptures, installations, photo series and cartographies connect to the major themes of European art history and philosophy, which the artist reflects and comments on and expands artistically. Hubert’s “absolutely perfect, Grecian white, untouchable, luminously heroic” sculpture Perfect Sculpture is iconic – evocative of a miniaturised mountain massif, it calls to mind the romantic pathos formula of the sublime. Its white surfaces, folds, peaks and craters persistently advance those tensions between exterior and interior, volume and void, colour and non-colour that make it a symbol of the creative process in a permanent state of becoming. Huber’s recurrent implementation of the miniature mountain motif is the topographically accurate portrayal of one of the peaks in the Engadin. However, it does not represent an excerpt from the world or a transfer of the natural into the artistic realm but rather suggests the unending baroque puzzle category of the monad, which Gilles Deleuze described as “the autonomy of the inside, an inside without an outside”, and which Huber transfers to the hermeticism of the art space. Into such a monadic, inflective space shrunk down to a backdrop, Huber places the model of his childhood home in the photo series Shining. Encapsulated childhood memories and dream sequences are invoked. Shining, the title of which alludes to Stanley Kubrick’s symbol-laden, labyrinthine film adaptation of Stephen King’s horror classic, generates the somatic anxiety of that which is repressed, which smoulders diffusely and formlessly in the subconsciousness of the soul.
1 Stephan Huber, “Die traditionelle Form mit neuem Inhalt füllen: Ein Gespräch von Jolanda Drexler”, Kunstforum International 244 (2017), pp. 238–247. 2 Gilles Deleuze, The Fold: Leibnitz and the Baroque, London, 2006, p. 31.
In the exhibition:
Stephan Huber Perfect Sculpture (Antelao), 2002 Dental plaster, pluck, aluminum; base: painted steel 78 x 110 x 110 cm Courtesy of the artist
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