Micha Ullman, member of the Akademie der Künste Berlin, living in Israel, certainly is no stranger to the German Capital, however UNTEN will be his first solo-show in Berlin.
In 1995 Micha Ullman finished his installation Bibliothek (library) in the center of Berlin, ever since this piece has developed to a world-famous memorial that commemorates the May 1933 Nazi book burning. Here as well as in his new installation UNTEN the sculptor Ullman operates with the moment of void and invisibility and a 'spatiality that is created within the mind'.
He arranges rusty metal-sculptures on the floor, open forms that have a slant of a 32degree angle and are filled with loose sand. Sand and rust become a unity of red pigment. The sculptures represent a tilted table, chairs and glasses thrown on the floor, but they are only partially visible over the floor-level.
The artist talks about the emergence of the tip of the iceberg, the catastrophe prior to the destruction is not visible anymore. Ullman is interested in dualisms such as light and shadow, the released and the vanished, the inside and the outside. He brings these opposites in harmony within the chosen material: the interior of the sculpture becomes the outer surface, the three-dimensionality seems flat, rust and sand no longer differentiate in their colour. Corresponding to the large-scale work, there are ten single and one quadripartite drawing, showing chair, table and glass. 'Painted with sand', they are endued with their own Gestus and have their own autonomy.
Micha Ullman, scholarship holder 1989 of DAAD, Berlin and participant of documenta 8 (1987) and documenta IX (1992) will celebrate his 70's birthday in October 2009. On this occasion Matthias Flügge and Alexander Ochs will edit the celebration publication VON EINER WAND ZUR ANDEREN with contributions from Amnon Barzel, Monika Grütters, Wulf Herzogenrath, Jan Hoet, Cora Hölzl, Jean-Baptiste Joly, Thomas Lackmann, Sr. Maria Pietra Löbl, Friedrich Meschede, Christhard-Georg Neubert, Chris Newman, Volker Rattemeyer, Joachim Sartorius, André Schmitz, Christian Schneegass, Klaus Staeck, Angelika Stepken, the editors themselves et al. for the artist. The book will be published by Verlag für moderne Kunst Nürnberg.
Micha Ullman recently received the Israel-Prize for his lifework, it is the highest honor given by the State of Israel. The exhibition UNTEN will be opened with a welcome speech by André Schmitz, Staatssekretär für Kulturelle Angelegenheiten, Senatskanzlei Berlin.