Europe

Rudolf Polanszky
Hypertransform Sculpture

Polanszky’s sculpture is made from raw, found materials that have the patina of age. He brings together disparate material discarded by society to form aggregates. Although it is not his intention to make works of meaning the viewer endows them with poetic meanings and constructs. For Polanszky making sculpture is to conduct a meeting of multiple parties. Nevertheless a sense of history is foundational to the perception of the finished work. This sculpture, for example brings to mind not only Epstein’s and Brancusi’s bird sculptures, e.g. Doves 1914-15 and The Cock 1924, but images of ancient sea vessels, for example the mythical Argo. It has an incredible lightness as a result of its translucence, its arcing shape and its suspension above the plinth. Because of its translucence and the sitting of the sculpture at eye level, Polanszky also incorporates the spectator into the work, since if two people view it from either side they view each other through it. Trapped within the sculpture is another sculptural form, the work thus becoming a sarcophagus, an ancient burial chamber for precious objects. This sculpture is resonant with history, myth and poetry. But the sculpture does not consist solely of the plastic element but the entire construction of plinth and object. To that extent it makes reference to the work of Giacometti and Polanszky’s contemporary Franz West.

Rudolf Polanszky, who has been working since the 1980s, is a Viennese artist. His early work, influenced perhaps by Viennese Actionism, was concerned with the body and subjecting it to various unpleasant activities often invoking the unconscious or rather the non conscious. He made paintings, for example in a state between sleep and an awakened state and compared them to those he made when fully awake. He made films of himself drinking and, as a result of drunkenness, vomiting, trying to access reflexive, non cognitive actions. Rudolf Polanszky emerges from a generation of post 1960s artists that includes Dieter Roth, Valie Export and Franz West. In more recent years he has made sculpture. His sculptures contain the raw scraps of industrial materiality – iron, wood, plastic – bound in visually delicate but robustly balanced ‘plinths’, which carry aloft Plexiglas sections in part describing a circle, or horizontal sections the length of a rectangle and reminiscent of strata below the surface of the earth. The sculptures, like vessels, are sometimes filled with smaller versions of themselves, or else more fluid and visceral substances such as feathers, pigment, foam and fiberglass, ranging in form from the model to the monumental. Polanszky is little known outside Vienna although he has shown at Ancient and Modern in London and Frith Street Gallery, London. He was included in Franz West’s much praised Hamsterwheel exhibition shown at the Venice Biennale 2007 and Malmö Konsthall, Printemps de Septembre, Toulouse and Macba, Barcelona.