Werner Feiersinger | object relations



Schiavo Zoppelli Gallery is proud to present the first solo show in Italy by the Austrian artist Werner Feiersinger with a selection of works made between 2010 and 2018.

As the show’s title may suggests, Werner Feiersinger explores the possibility of multiple relations between a selection of four sculptures and three photographs by relating his reduced and incisive formal vocabulary to the gallery space.

Feiersinger tries to achieve the greatest possible detachment and autonomy for his sculptures and objects in the attempt to remove them from time. At the same time, the works are like remembered images with their ambiguous references and allusions called by certain recurring structures, surfaces, and tonality. He crafts all of his objects himself, carefully choosing what is the right material for each sculpture. The coloured undercoat he often uses primarily functions to put the material in the background, but also to mask the actual weight of the objects. Nuances of colour, ambiguity, and contradictions are central in his work: “I am often not so aware of the allusions to the objects and the things, it only comes out later, in the execution. Sometimes it’s objects that attracted me even as a child, things that were important to me.”

The multi-layered references and the metaphoricity of Feiersinger’s objects equally apply to his photographs and in their interplay, they thematise questions about the sculptural and the plastic. His works undermine conventional modes of seeing and are infused with a deep irony.

In his photographs, free of embellishments, Feiersinger engages with specific modern buildings avoiding a neutral perspective, thus revealing their unusual qualities. Photography forces the artist to take on an opposite attitude to the one necessary when making a sculpture: the view is not anymore directed at an object, even though his attempt is to bring out the building’s sculptural qualities, the surfaces and materials. “Concrete, glass, debris mould into one, become a single state of matter.” (Werner Feiersinger). The artist has long been concerned with specific buildings of modernism, in particular Italian post-war modernism in addition to the buildings of Le Corbusier. Feiersinger's photographs reflect his sculptural work and are at the same time its counterpart.

As Martin Herbert writes at the end of his essay to Werner’s exhibition at the Belvedere 21 (Vienna) in 2018:

“Feiersinger establishes a sculptural vocabulary that looks modernist and geometric but then lets in the subjective, human material that modernism excluded. What he chooses to let in is the type of thinking that swims around our brains in unguarded moments: What am I doing here? I miss my childhood’s freedoms. How long will I live? What comes next? He accesses this by automatic drawing. A lot of what comes out are objects that look back to playgrounds or look toward later life, or are objects that are compounds, between. Some of these between objects have the appearance of utility, but then they can’t be used; they dangle, they’re disarmed. I believe this leads us back to thinking that these objects—a boat that doesn’t move, a ladder that can’t be climbed—are models of the shared process of figuring out existence. The meaning of life, it’s been suggested, is to try and figure out the meaning of life, and this becomes a particularly urgent task when we don’t have religion to deliver easy, comforting answers to the questions. Feiersinger’s art places us, not without empathy and a sense of mutual support, in that universal quandary. It puts us all in the same boat, all halfway up the same ladder, all in the mysterious midst of things.”


Werner Feiersinger was born in 1966 in Brixlegg. He lives and works in Vienna.