curated by Sabine Schaschl and Evelyne Bucher
28 October 2021 to 16 January 2022
Opening: 27 October, 6 pm
Museum Haus Konstruktiv is honoring artist Florin Granwehr (1943–2019) with a retrospective solo exhibition. This sculptor and draftsman, who died far too soon, left behind a multi-layered oeuvre which, in addition to several realized art-in-architecture projects and sculptures in public spaces, also includes a wealth of sketches, models and drawings that have rarely seen the light of day. Via selected examples of his work, the full breadth of Granwehr’s oeuvre is to be shown.
Most Swiss people may already have encountered one or two of Florin Granwehr’s large sculptures: Born in St. Gallen, he made Zurich his adopted home back in the 1960s and was able to realize various works in this canton’s public spaces in particular. One of the last works he produced has been standing in front of University Hospital Zurich’s staff-accommodation building “Schwesternhaus” since 2005. The theme of the exhibition at Haus Konstruktiv will be the fact that Granwehr’s completed sculptures were always preceded by a multi-stage work process, leading from initial conceptual sketches, for instance on napkins, to sketches on paper, drawings, sculptural designs and precise models.
Each of his self-contained series of works is based on an abstract problem, which Granwehr systematically examined on the basis of numbers, dimensions and proportions. An affinity to constructivist-concrete art seems obvious, although Granwehr himself repeatedly emphasized that he had nothing in common with the Zurich Concretists. Since many of his works come across like conceptual models, a certain closeness to conceptual art cannot be denied.
This can be seen particularly well in Granwehr’sches Theorem (Granwehrian Theorem), his drawn magnum opus, which the artist began to develop in the 1990s. He obsessively and tirelessly kept working on it until shortly before his death. At Haus Konstruktiv, some of its more than 40,000 pencil drawings will now be on display for the first time. They are divided into sequences of 32 sheets each. All are based on mathematical numerical systems, which Granwehr tested via various dimensional and angular ratios, rotations and axial reflections.
The exhibition at Haus Konstruktiv, conceived in close collaboration with the team from Granwehr’s estate, provides insight into the Granwehrian cosmos – in which this artist proves to be not only a methodical systematic sculptor and draftsman, but equally, a numerologist as well.