I just don't know what to do with myself: Andreas Grahl, Paule Hammer & Sebastian Gögel
Feb 9 - Mar 25, 2006
I just don’t know what to do with myself

I just don’t know what to do with myself

(Curated by Uwe-K. Günther, Laden für Nichts, Leipzig)

Ritter/Zamet are pleased to present an extraordinary compilation of sculpture, paintings and works on paper by three artists selected by curator, Uwe-K. Günther from the emergent exhibition space, Laden für Nichts in Leipzig, Germany. In direct contrast to the recent ‘Leipzig School’ painters such as Neo Rauch and Christoph Ruckhäberle, the sculptural sensibilities of Grahl, Hammer & Gögel draw on Pop over gravitas integrating a vital creative tenacity with a wickedly astute sense of humour.

Paule Hammer and Sebastian Gögel have been working together on sculptural installation projects since 2005. Combining Gögel’s painterly anthropomorphic characters with Hammer’s formal arrangements of hand-painted appropriated ephemera, both artists use the medium of sculpture to expand the painted picture plane out into three-dimensional space. In the case of the enormous star-shaped installation shown initially at Laden für Nichts in Leipzig and then re-incarnated on-site at Ritter/Zamet, Hammer and Gögel create a wall-to-wall explosion of painted energy that is part organism, part synthetic, and part gothic fantasy. Like some art-world adaptation of David Cronenberg’s The Fly, human and animal limbs are fused with inert rusted metal shafts, sticky-back-plastic wooden gallows or even a bar of chocolate and stretched into grotesque pointed canvas elements. Whether through their sculpture or their dynamic collaged arrangements of paintings and works on paper, the works of Hammer and Gögel are at once macabre, restless and relentlessly entertaining.

Andreas Grahl’s sculpture also works to intervene with the environment and re-order our perception of humdrum spaces or commonplace objects.  In 1999, he smashed out all the windows of Galery EIGEN + ART in Leipzig allowing the freezing winter elements into the empty gallery space, and then reconfigured the shards of glass into an oven in the back room. Recent work has seen him immortalizing the cheap plastic self-assembly toys found in cereal packets and Kinder chocolate eggs—firstly building the components wrongly and then scaling them up to grand dimensions or casting them into metals drawn from old Soviet tank shells from Cuba (Grahl spent one year at the art school ISA in Havana, Cuba from 2003-2004). For the show at Ritter/Zamet, Grahl presents a scaled up representation of a wrongly put together Neanderthal model kit from the Natural History Museum. Resplendent in blue foam, the blown up skeletal elements are mounted on a museum-style plinth to display the ultimate in new kitsch species.

Andreas Grahl, *1964, Paule Hammer, *1975; Sebastian Gögel, *1978 studied at the Academy of Visual Arts (Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst), Leipzig. All three artists currently live and work in Leipzig, Germany.