Tommy Støckel

Frankfurter Kunstverein

There’s a story about Max Bill, the director of the Ulmer Hochschule für Gestaltung, which after 1945 aimed to follow in the tradition of the Weimar Bauhaus. It is said that he could be driven into a state of white-hot fury by a bouquet of flowers placed in one of the school’s rooms. The plants’ exuberant forms went against the strict clarity of modernism, based on the principle of the square and the view that this form has eternal and universal validity; flowers, by contrast, wilt and fade. In his sculptures and installations, the Danish artist Tommy Støckel questions precisely these two basic principles of modernism: its right-angled rigidity and its insistence on the universal, eternal validity of this module.

Støckel’s deconstructive riposte to the principles of modernism was the final show in a series of four—ironically titled “Ist das Leben nicht schön?” (Isn’t Life Beautiful?)—that

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