Art Forum Baloise Karsten Födinger

June 13, 2019
Opening hours Art Forum Baloise: Tuesday 25 June and Wednesday 25 September 2019 at 12:30 am  as part of a guided tour with Karsten Födinger und curator Martin Schwander or by appointment:

Födinger is a sculptor whose site-specific sculptures do not try to hide their production process. His spatial structures, mostly made of simple building materials, visualize the fundamental forces at work in the production and stabilization of three-dimensional bodies. Statics and movement, carrying and loads, diagonal and horizontal, mass and emptiness are the tension-filled poles of his sculptures, which are situated between architecture and sculpture.  

In the work he conceived for his exhibition 'Struttin' (Struttin) at the Kunstforum Baloise, Födinger remains true to his site-specific approach. In addition to several photographic works that vary the exhibition theme, a newly created sculpture establishes a relationship to the renovation work at the Basel headquarters and the formal language of the entrance hall. For his powerful work, Födinger uses simple building materials such as steel girders, metal grating, plaster, and here too he creates a paradoxical, tension-filled spatial structure.

His sculptures, mostly made of simple building materials, expose the basic forces at work when constructing and supporting three-dimensional objects. Movement and rest, load and load-bearing, diagonal and horizontal, mass and emptiness – these are the opposites that define his work, which is based somewhere between architecture and sculpture. Födinger himself believes his art has less to do with architecture than with structural engineering.


Walking through a street in his home town of Mönchengladbach as a boy, Födinger came across some braces holding up the walls of two houses. He has been reliving this scene, a key influence on the way he understands sculpture, by photographing buildings around the world that are prevented from collapsing by braces, trestles and similar structures. Through his ongoing work, Födinger showcases a wide range of support solutions in a detached and factual way. His photographic archive, which has grown considerably, can also be interpreted as a compendium of human creativity: the supporting solutions are as varied as the buildings to which they have been applied. They can be invisible or near invisible, intricate or rough and ready, restrained or visually striking. And they often involve the use of the most grotesque means to halt the process of decay that all buildings undergo.  

Martin Schwander