Dieter Froelich (born 1959) A large number of white porcelain vases are placed on several small tables: different sizes, various shapes, silky, shiny and reminiscent of the great Italian still-life painter Gorgio Morandi. The compact ensembles spontaneously call to mind southern villages or towns. All the vases are sealed at the top. This transforms the vases into hollow bodies which, whilst still recognizable as everyday objects, are quite evidently useless. The porcelain objects, of which there are 21 various types cast from real vases, point to a long tradition. Vases have been pottered or turned since ancient times. This is why they have something concentric about them, something concentrated and directed inwards. They keep to themselves, are concentrated in themselves. When speaking about vases you refer to the neck, shoulders, body, belly and feet. They are no ordinary vessels, but call to mind a woman’s body. In pre-Columbian cultures the vases even had breasts and arms as handles. As they usually contain flowers, vases have something luxurious about them—something one thinks about even when they are sealed. Perhaps they are reminiscent of houses which together form a village with shady sections, or perhaps a group of women standing together: Together they form a sculpture composed of a number of elements which can be moved apart. In so doing the sculpture can be altered. The white, hollow bodies communicate with one another in that together they form inner spaces, cast shadows, radiate light. In painting, a still-life usually consists of various objects, but in Morandi’s case it is sometimes just bottles. Froelich too, works with this reduction and creates a great sense of calm with his collection of simple, similar, concentric objects. There is something of an aura about this self-absorption of the sculpture. The white gives the impression that what one sees is just a memory—something that transpüoses it into the realm of the archaic. The sculptures possess an intrinsic and imobile sense of seriousness and they are beautiful in a classical sense. The concentric aspect of the vase bodies underlies their being present in one spot. In contrast to motion, speed, acceleration or in other words in contrast to time racing past, but also in contrast to the network of similar places and their uniformity—both trends that are present in modern society and its technology, here a place is upheld in discerning modesty. And this is where the conservative humanity of these works lies. Other works by Froelich, who was born in 1959, are concerned much more clearly with everyday life. The artist usually works with kitchen utensils and language. And he cooks. Speaking and eating, two activities that we conduct using our tongue. It is a well-known fact that the aesthetic stance known in German as «Geschmack» (taste, as in good taste), is derived from «schmecken» (to taste). Burkhard Brunn

  1959 geboren

Studium der Malerei und Plastik an der Fachhochschule für Kunst und Design in Hannover (Diplom) / Studium an der Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main / Malerei und Kunsttheorie bei Raimer Jochims, Kochseminare bei Peter Kubelka und Plastik bei Michael Croissant (Meisterschüler) / 1999–2002 Vertretungsprofessur (Plastik und Kochen als Kunstgattung) an der Fachhochschule für Design und Medien, Fachbereich Bildende Kunst, in Hannover

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O.T., 1999
Porzellanhohlguß, Holz,
84-teilig, Tischhöhe 85 cm