Not Your Typical Pole Dancer

Like carcasses picked clean in the desert or rusting jalopies decaying side by side in a junkyard, the sculptures of Max Fisinger gather at Contemporary Fine Arts. Akin to artifacts from a bygone era, like the very skeletons of our society, these works remained as mementos after the fur-filled exhibition opening ended.


Hiding Imperfection

In the manner of John Chamberlain’s work they eek out eminence from humble origins. Where Chamberlain chose cars, Fisinger’s work feels fabricated from radiators. Radiators sculpted into shining monolith, radiators eaten through on one side or more by rust, towering in totemic singularity or stacked into skeletal skyscrapers.


The very first piece that can be seen in the wide white room containing 20 odd plinths stacked high with sculpture is nearly a perfect specimen, shiny and silver. Only upon entering the maze of monuments does the work begin to appear broken, rusted, impartial, imperfect, ingenious.

 CFA-4Max Fisinger’s works currently on exhibit at Contemporary Fine Arts in Berlin. Photo: Chris Phillips


At the opening, as I stood on one side of a rusting, silver symbol—a symbol of the death of manufacturing, the decline of industry, the end of an era—a Chihuahua barks, and a women in a leather skirt and solid gold pumps lets out a throaty laugh. I am reminded of where I am and of what stands before me: near priceless art.


The Beginning and the End


Fisinger’s work is modern art that epitomizes early modernism, that signifies the beginning of a serious art market, of big money flooding the fertile field of culture, of an entirely new way of viewing the world; and, suddenly it feels as though we are partying on the wreck of the Titanic. This is both the beginning and the end.


During the exhibition opening, I see every shade of red lipstick, furs of every stripe (and spot), I count three Birkin bags, five capes, and the aforementioned Chihuahua in silk purse. I spy glamorous women and genteel men, I even spot the divine Eva and Adele in a corner, surrounded by empty champagne glasses.


The art is beautiful, the people are beautiful; and then, like a dream, like a film, like the American auto industry, like the Titanic, without warning the lights flicker and go dim. The party stops, the people file out, and in matching purple furs, black boots and frilly red umbrellas, Eva and Adele stroll out of site. The art remained, shut up in a white box, like a relic of where we have been, a building block for what is to come, and a beautiful, haunting memento mori.


  • Contemporary Fine Arts – Max Fisnger “Buderus” – October 19, 2012 – February 16, 2013, Tues to Sat, 11-6pm [Price range of works: 14,000 – 29,000 euros]
Article by Hannah Nelson-Teutsch