Michael Kalmbach – Arcangelo 


March 03 - April 14, 2012


After the presentation at the Loock gallery the exhibition “Arcangelo–€ will be shown as a part of the larger exhibition of Kalmbach’s work at the Kunsthalle Mainz which starts on May 11 and finishes on August 5, 2012.


So, just as fairy tales for the most part are beautiful and sad rolled into one, so Kalmbach’s ambivalent installations combine the beautiful and the sinister. They are narrative, but leave the viewer enough freedom to enrich the stories with their own fantasy. The sculptures form a setting, a charming, accessible complete work of art, a surreal staged narration. The viewers become directors. The experiences and individual impressions create a screenplay. Hung from the ceiling as mobiles the figures seek and find support, slowly but continuously changing their positions and becoming naively or divinely charged by their surroundings – depending on the prevailing lighting conditions and how many and which people are within the exhibition space. Gestures become narratives, children become warriors, balls become cannonballs and whole celestial bodies. The risk of them falling and drifting is ever-present.

In their reduced tones and fragile subtlety Kalmbach’s pictorial inventions act as transient visions, like the state of limbo shortly before falling asleep. If we really do dream in black and white then Michael Kalmbach has doubtlessly ventured a three-dimensional approach here.


„The Little Prince“ meets Giacometti. Comic characters encounter profound human sensitivities. The boundary between naivety, innocence and anxieties about the future are momentary. Figures venting all their frustrations come up against the – as the title suggests – soul of the motorcyclists rising into the sky. The biographical, the anecdotal and the invented merge into one. Symbolically man and woman hold each other in balance. From the surfaces of the papier-m–ché planets the fates of individuals emerge in the form of the individual newspaper faces.

In eschewing design in terms of colour and leaving the surfaces of the bodies made from hardened grey snippets of paper unpainted, Michael Kalmbach accentuates its material aesthetic effect and its transient, sketch-like character. Through the reduction of colour the viewer is motivated to focus on the form and the aura of the material. The letters visible on the surfaces of the newspaper headlines become freckles and furrows.


Marko Schacher

Excerpt from the essay “The Poetry of Tranquillity–€, written for Kalmbach’s solo exhibition at the Kunstverein Ludwigsburg from May until June 2011.


Michael Kalmbach was born 1962 in Landau, Germany, in 1962 and lives and works in Berlin. From 1983-1989 he studied at the Städelschule, Frankfurt/Main. Kalmbach was exhibited widely in Germany and abroad. Recent exhibitions took place at the Museum für Moderne Kunst (Frankfurt/Main), Museum für Gegenwartskunst (Basel) and Kunstverein Ludwigsburg. Kalmbach won the Karl Stöher Prize in 1999. Forthcoming exhibitions include solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Mainz and Kunstmuseum Basel in 2012.