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Harald Klingelhöller

6 March – 14April 1996

Harald Klingelhöller was born in Germany in 1954, and currently lives and works in Düsseldorf. His work was included in documenta IX in 1992, and solo exhibitions of his work have been organized by the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; the Portikus, Frankfurt; the Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland; the Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld, Germany; and the Centre d'Art Contemporain in Kerguéhennec, France. Although he has exhibited extensively in Europe, this exhibition at the Art Gallery of York University marks his first solo exhibition in North America.

Over the last 15 years, Harald Klingelhöller has become one of the leading artists in Germany who has changed commonly held ideas about sculpture. He has produced a complex body of work that probes the relation between language and physical, three-dimensional form. Klingelhöller's works are identified by several key characteristics. The first of these is their horizontality. The sculptures are at a height as if one were looking over railings or balustrades. His works thus appear as something 'in between', as a spatial condition of closure, a connection between 'here' and 'there'.

A second characteristic is the manner in which pieces from a number of works lean against the walls of the exhibition space. The works become literally dependent upon the architecture, drawing the space directly into their context. Thirdly, there is a crucial relation of the sculptures to linguistic expressions. Often the elements of his works are letters referring back to the titles that in turn are idiomatic expressions or metaphoric phrases. They stand in a relation of dependence to preformulated idiomatic expressions and metaphoric phrases which in turn refer to socially fixed ideas and norms.

A specially commissioned Artist's Book, designed by Harald Klingelhöller, was published in conjunction with this exhibition. Included is an essay by David Moos, a New York-based writer and Visiting Professor at the University of Guelph. The Artist's Book was co-published by the AGYU and Yves Gevaert, Brussels.

We gratefully acknowledge the Canada Council; the Institut für Auslandbezeitung, Stuttgart; and the Goethe-Institut, Toronto, for their generous support. Our special thanks go to Yves Gevaert for making the publication of the Artist's Book possible.
Art Gallery of York University | Accolade East Building, 4700 Keele Street | Toronto ON M3J 1P3 | agyu [at]