Critics’ Picks

Rolltreppe (Escalator), 2006, wire, 10' 6“ x 14' 9 3/16” x 4' 9 1/16".

Rolltreppe (Escalator), 2006, wire, 10' 6“ x 14' 9 3/16” x 4' 9 1/16".

Vienna

Fritz Panzer

Galerie Krobath Wimmer
Eschenbachgasse 9
January 24–March 3, 2007

In the 1970s, Fritz Panzer won acclaim for his cardboard sculptures; later, he turned to other media, for instance covering drawn objects with paint. Today, there is renewed interest in the Vienna-based artist’s work, specifically in his voluminous “drawings” in three dimensions. Once again, Panzer focuses on the outline: Using wire, the artist re-creates the contours of objects and then covers parts of these structures with more wire. Panzer’s works were once described by Klaus Hoffer as “illusions or mock-ups of reality,” a description that continues to resonate with the artist’s current work. Panzer lifts his motifs from everyday life and from the history of art. Three bottle racks arranged on a shelf reference Duchamp; on the opposite wall, an escalator leads to nowhere; another work, comprising absurd details of a wire mug, an armchair, and a lamp, evokes a cozy living area. Offering a stark juxtaposition, however, the loose ends of the jet-black wire stretch beyond the objects, adding a ghostly aura to the otherwise innocuous works. Everything is a construct, as fleeting as memory, as concrete as drawing, as three-dimensional as a sculpture, and as delicate as wire—in this world, the only security is one of contrasts.

Translated from German by Jane Brodie.