From 31 August to 12 October 2012, the Deutscher Künstlerbund (Association of German Artists) will present works by Klaus Weber, winner 2012 of the »HAP-Grieshaber-Preis der VG Bild-Kunst« awarded by Stiftung Kunstfonds.
Klaus Weber (born 1967) operates across genres, with an oeuvre including large-scale sculptural pieces, sound installations and performances, as well as paintings and works in public spaces. In spite of their formal rigor, the main element of his technically complex and elaborate installations, some of which extend beyond the exhibition space, is usually borrowed from nature: animals, plants or meteorological forces like rain, wind and sunshine. Weber uses the unpredictable but constructive energy of nature as the driving force and motor of his installations, and the randomness inherent in such energy sources is part of his concept. Rejecting the supposed dichotomy between nature and culture, he uses his laboratory-like set-ups to synthesize the two in new ways.
At the Deutscher Künstlerbund Project Space, Weber is showing new works under a title borrowed from equivalence theory, »alle Körper fallen gleich schnell« (All Bodies Fall Equally Fast). A vitrine contains various objects: a section from an anatomical model from which the organs have been removed, causing it to resemble a mask; the negative form of a death mask, a cast taken from it, and a grasshopper with antennae made of human hair – objects that symbolize the transience of all earthly things. With this work, Weber refers to the traditional vanitas theme that has been occurring in art since ancient times. In Broken Window (working title), cracks form a dynamic system of fractures from the centre to the edge of a pane of tinted security glass, contrasting with its supposedly protective function. Using the example of a single broken pane of glass in an abandoned house, the »broken windows theory« formulated by American sociologists describes the chain reaction that can lead to the decline of an entire neighbourhood due to a fundamental human tendency towards the negative. Weber’s works also refer strongly to the Christian faith: while vanitas motifs are intended as an appeal to devote oneself to God and spiritual matters, the structure of the broken security glass recalls church windows – fear and the need for security drives people into religion.
Klaus Weber, who studied in the free class at Berlin’s Hochschule der Künste, was the 14th winner of the HAP Grieshaber Prize. In February 2012, the jury of the Stiftung Kunstfonds awarded the artist Klaus Weber with the »HAP-Grieshaber-Preis der VG Bild-Kunst«, which is endowed with €25,000, for outstanding artistic achievement. His works have featured in many exhibitions in Europe and America, and are present in many major collections.
The prize money for the »HAP-Grieshaber-Preis der VG Bild-Kunst« is made available by the VG Bild-Kunst from funds drawn from designated deductions from the distribution schemes for copyright fees paid to the VG Bild-Kunst.