110 x 140 cm
Oil, pencil on canvas
Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Donated by the artist
Räumliche Konstruktion [Spatial construction]
The works of Jürg Stäuble (born 1948 in Wohlen, Switzerland) include drawings, sculptures, and artistic interventions in architectural contexts. Rooted in Minimal and Conceptual Art, these follow precise rules and are based on systems of order—rows, shifts, layers, and permeations—as well as hexagonal and circular grid structures. In his diverse variations, the artist produces “complex, organic or amorphous forms, reticular structures, or planes” (on occasion of the awarding of the BSA to Jürg Stäuble in 2015).
Since the 1970s, Jürg Stäuble has been exploring questions of space and the “relationship between rational construction and irrational appearance” (ibid.). He often uses industrial materials, which he then matches with forms that contradict their qualities. While his earlier works consist of hard materials like sheet iron and steel that require an immense application of force to shape, he recently began replacing this method with a Lego-like technique of assembling individual elements, using materials that are brittle and fragile, like Styrofoam and plywood, which immediately break apart when force is applied. The contradiction between unwieldly materials and forms striving toward movement creates a tension in his sculptures that he enhances through a uniform treatment of their surfaces. His forms and shapes made of dynamic, curved lines often seem open and permeable. For example, “Schlaufe aus Ellipsensegmenten” from 1992 is based on a constructive mathematical principle that he first developed in drawings. What appears like geometric clarity, however, is undermined by calculated irregularities. There is also no fixed standpoint from which we can perceive the sculpture as a whole; instead, its structure changes constantly, depending on the perspective of the beholder. The rationality of the concept behind the object thus transforms into the irrationality of ephemeralness. This lack of definite meaning energizes and enlivens Stäuble’s works and saves them from the rigidness of a strictly formalist approach.
Dominique von Burg