14 January - 25 February 2012
Night, twilight, and day – these are the three realms in which Jakob Mattner’s (*1946) art comes into being and reigns.
The work executed during the seventies focuses mostly on darkness, on night. ‘In der Mitte ist die Nacht’ (In the centre is the night) is a central thought for this body of work and ‘Totes Licht’ (Death Light) a regular notation connected to the soot-covered sculptures that belong to this time. In both sculpture as well as drawing, Mattner embodies the black beauty of the origin of all things. When Genesis describes the creation of light out of the darkness that lay over the land, it is precisely this generative capacity of night, of darkness, of black, that Mattner tries to capture.
Modest materials such as glass and strings, soot and dispersion summon deep drama as they allow night to be caught and folded, day to be polished into diamond shape, and twilight to hover between glass partitions.
Without the density of a black presence, the ‘Zwielicht’ (Twilight) sculptures are executed in simple transparent glass. The cast shadows are the actual works of art, the materials used are merely tools. “Glass is like the time between night and day,” writes Mattner. This constitutes the bridge to 1980s works such as ‘Percussion’ and ‘Atlantis’ where glass, mirrors and light come together to create space experiences, fleeting and ethereal but utterly unwavering in their presence.