Artist: Thomas Kiesewetter
Exhibition title: Let The Children Play
Venue: Galería Alegría, Barcelona, Spain
Date: May 27 – July 16, 2021
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Galería Alegría, Barcelona
When contemplating a work of art, the apparent ease with which it was created is one of the most compelling qualities. We appreciate not only the material enaction of the imagination, but also the fact that said enaction seems completely effortless. This particular quality, which we might also call lightness of touch or finesse, is very much present in “Let the Children Play”, the first exhibition by Thomas Kiesewetter (Kassel, 1963) at Galería Alegría.
Over his long career, Kiesewetter has always sought to imbue his sculptures with the simple depth of unpretentious things. Looking back at his whole body of work, throughout more than twenty years, his sculptures appear to the spectator as friendly enigmas and riddles; they appeal to the sense of surprise, the capacity for wonder and a profoundly human desire for discovery.
Kiesewetter, from Germany, likes to think that his sculptural works of assembled sheet metal reside in an intermediary space between figurative playfulness and abstraction. To ensure that his sculptures can inhabit such a multiple state, the sculptor has always tried to handle the metal with close attention to its own organic qualities. He works with the sheet metal meticulously, ensuring that the work has enough elasticity so that it can comfortably shift from matter to form.
There is something friendly about the shapes he makes, since Kiesewetter aims for a kind of modernity that, when stripped of all cynicism and desperation, allows us to form a simple connection with things. The pieces are mysterious presences that have the astuteness of drawing, the meticulous musculature of origami and the initial echoes of early Cubism. These are indeed somewhat disjointed and incomplete reference points; Kiesewetter’s greatest achievement is perhaps that his work is open-ended, in such a way that the spectator’s gaze is what confers its ultimate meaning.
In the sculptures that make up “Let the Children Play”, the spectator will come across a representative vision of the elements that define the artist’s style. The playful forms that we present in this exhibition can be interpreted as characters, situations, movements… or simply as sculptural groups, formed by regular modules of industrial air. Halfway between the avant-garde and the toy, Thomas Kiesewetter’s work invites us to take part in a simple exercise that entails reconsidering how we look at things, letting our imagination form connections with objects, and allowing these objects the freedom to become humanoids, metal cones, interrupted movements, riddles or discoveries.