Frank Dornseif

Kunstverein in Hamburg

For Frank Dornseif, coming to terms with the figure is the only challenge worthy of the name of sculpture. He has deliberately chosen to work with the conventions of traditional sculpture, but he takes them to extremes and frees them of their customary associations. By inverting the proportion of mass to volume, Dornseif creates figures that are “described” by airy contours. Their corporeality is only illusory, for they consist entirely of steel tape enclosing empty space. The sense of touch is betrayed not only by the illusion of volume but also, paradoxically, by an aspect of the works' actual, material presence, for if you ran your fingers along the elegant contours of the pieces you would injure yourself. The steel tape has been welded together, producing barbed points and knife-sharp edges, and the entire surface is rusty.

In making his figures, however, Dornseif is never concerned

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