Vienna

Reiner Ruthenbeck

Galerie Nachst St. Stephan

Reiner Ruthenbeck studied with Joseph Beuys in Düsseldorf in the ’60s. Since then, he has become one of the most ardent “cleansers” of art, purging it of all semblance and illusionism by reducing it to its elementary pictorial dimensions. He examines the simple behavior of forms in combination with solid, rigid, elastic, tensile, and flexible materials such as cloth rings, cast-iron plates, steel poles, and glass panes. Yet his works, which are usually geared to a specific site, do not exude the cool rationality of Minimal art; instead, a meditative atmosphere of suggestive silence emanates from them. Their form is never determined by abstraction or by added symbolic content; it is, so to speak, legitimized entirely by the internal physical conditions of the material—gravity, elasticity, etc. Thus, Hängendes Deckentuch (Hanging ceiling cloth, 1970) hangs from the ceiling, deriving its

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