Schleifmühlgasse 18 - 1040 Vienna 
+43-699-19207778 -

20th November – 16th January 2014
Opening: Tuesday, 19th November 2013, 6 pm
Where: UNTERER STOCK galerie michaela stock, Schleifmühlgasse 18, 1040 Vienna


The irritation eradiating from the figures results from the inorganic anatomy which Nitsche fabricates from torn apart soft toys and various materials he has found, they are homunculi of the consume and toy fauna which are served to our startled sense of perception by an artistic Doctor Frankenstein.

This figurative world is, however, not only to be perceived as a puzzle consisting of fitting and non-fitting parts. Instead, it is backed by creative will, also in classical terms, modelled pieces made from clay or other materials seamlessly transcend into elements adopted from the daily world of things, one is attached to the other in a surprisingly harmonious way, just as if everything had to have that form. – And so it is, as these creatures are under direct supervision of their creator because they emerge from his mental images. The sculptures and drawings present hybrid animals and mythical creatures, they are gnomes, seemingly having sprang from Icelandic fairy tales; they are exotic animals having lost their way and straying from the Old Norse myths into our times and our parts of the world.

Such role models can already be found in the ancient history of art, for instance in the paintings of the Breughel family or in those of Hieronymus Bosch, in
which the things and symbols of terror, lust, sacred doings and mortification are portrayed together, merging into one another. Affine and creative patterns can also be found in Odilo Redon's symbolism from the late 19th century and in the early drawings of Alfred Kubin. This position has not had any equivalent in the Austrian history of art since 1945, but has found resemblance in a series of like-minded approaches, ranging from Padhi Frieberger, the material sculptures created in the early days of Viennese Actionism, to the objects of Curt Stenverts and, of course, can also be found in the works of Gelatin, Günter Brus and Christian Eisenberger. Internationally, also Mike Kelly, Björk and Matthew Barney belong to this circle. [...]

Nitsche's figures are far from being evil; at least that is not their prior purpose. They often have connections to a magic world – also to that of a child, but their seemingly naïve childishness only slightly overlies hallucinogenic experience and dream worlds filled with eroticism. Transformation, mutation and metamorphosis of the construction elements cause their uncanny self-existence between sublime threat and innocent impression.

In the end, all that is left for us as observers is astonishment at the enigmatic effect of these creatures, all of which carry, without a doubt, a mystery inside. No clear results can be achieved if we only try to find a logical decipherment. It is the fruit of contemplation and of our plunging into worlds far from the rationally determined surface of daily life that we can rather enjoy through emotional intelligence than through our sparse and rational mind.
(text excerpt, An infernal trip through life, Berthold Ecker, from the exhibition catalogue It hurts me so beautifully, 2013)

Michael Nitsche
press picture
press release

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