Inge Mahn, Installationsansicht, 2023

Inge Mahn, Installationsansicht, 2023

Inge Mahn, Installationsansicht, 2023

Inge Mahn, Installationsansicht, 2023

Inge Mahn

Saturday and Sunday, 12 – 6pm
3 / 4, 10 / 11 and 17 / 18 August 2024
Gartenstraße 32, Weidingen

The Stiftung zur Förderung zeitgenössischer Kunst in Weidingen (Foundation for the Promotion of Contemporary Art in Weidingen) is very pleased to announce a presentation of work by Inge Mahn, opening on 3 August 2024 (see opening times above). Taking place across three sites in Weidingen, the presentation offers a comprehensive survey of the late artist’s work. The foundation represents the estate of Inge Mahn.

A one-of-a-kind selection of plaster sculptures by Mahn, spanning from the 1980s to 2017, will inaugurate the foundation’s new space at Rodenhof, remaining on permanent view. Together, these works speak to Mahn’s singular sculptural vision and penchant for the re-contextualisation of everyday forms and materials. The works on view play with space and scale, occupying walls, floors, and corners or leaning on each other for support. Three silhouetted birds lie plastered on the floor, as if temporarily frozen in their movement or migration, while eleven Säcke (Sacks) and an oversized Schüssel mit Spiegel (Bowl with mirror) convey Mahn’s awareness of volume, drawing viewers in to contemplate their own, still, reflection. In Duisburger Pflanzen (Duisburg Plants),  Mahn’s pillar and steeple-like objects simultaneously conjure the power and profanity of sacral architecture. Next to the space’s actual load-bearing columns, the artist’s Lehnende Säulen (leaning columns) and Blumentöpfe (Flower pots) present unfunctional columns, thereby interacting with the preexisting architectonic structure while encouraging us to redefine our usual ways of dealing with space.

Over more than five decades, Mahn created sculptural and performative works which often deliberately alienated everyday objects, introducing subtle changes in order to reveal new possibilities. Her works, mostly made of white plaster, are not to be regarded as isolated entities, but are always in close dialogue with the individual architectural circumstances that surround them. Notably, the artist never created pure reproductions of existing projects, instead translating objects into her own sculptural language with great dynamism.

For Mahn, the artist’s role is less to control the process than to observe it: ‘I do something, and the materials do something,’ she stated. This openness to spatial conditions and material properties yields a vitality which seems to inhabit the sculptures themselves.

Alongside the selection at Rodenhof, Mahn's last major work is presented in the foundation’s exhibition hall at Gartenstraße 32, the space for which it was conceived. With Untitled (Altar), 2023, Mahn returns to elements previously encountered in her practice. An oversized white bell presides over a parade of boots on a turning stage, over which white garments hover. Mahn’s work embraces the kinetic and its relationship with the unexpected; by letting things go, the artist allows them to act independently. A further sculpture, Pentagramme (Gefallene Sterne), 1992, depicting three five-pointed stars in galvanized iron, is now on view in the foundation’s sculpture garden, also at Gartenstraße 32. Alongside her sculptures, a selection of photographs, drawings and archival materials are also on display at the Günther Förg Library at Haupstraße 7.

Inge Mahn was born in Teschen, Poland, in 1943 and died in Berlin in 2023. She lived and worked in Berlin and Groß Fredenwalde. The artist's work has been included in institutional solo exhibitions, most recently at Bauhaus Dessau (2020); Kunstverein Braunschweig, K21 Düsseldorf (both 2017); and Akademie-Galerie Die Neue Sammlung, Düsseldorf (2014). Previous exhibitions have included the Museum Schweinfurt (2006); Kunsthalle Kassel (1999); Kunsthalle Helsinki (1996); Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart (1990); Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (1988); Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich (1983); MoMA PS1, New York (1981); and documenta 5 in Kassel (1972).

Mahn's work is in the collections of ARTER, Istanbul; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Stuttgart; Kiasma – Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki; Kunsthalle Schweinfurt; Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf; and Sammlung der Kunstakademie Stuttgart, among others. Mahn was a professor of sculpture at the Stuttgart Academy of Fine Arts from 1987 to 1993 and at the Berlin-Weißensee School of Art in Berlin from 1993 until 2009.

Interview with Inge Mahn on the occasion of her solo exhibition, Galerie Max Hetzler Berlin, 24 February 2021, minute 10:01 – 10:04