Smoking Out The Competition

When it comes to good installation art one thing is for sure: size doesn’t matter. It’s easy to think that you need to go as big like Robert Morris or Ernesto Neto, but in reality some people have done with a closet what others have done in a park. The installation artist Timo Klöppel exhibits a wall of windows, a floor covered with asphalt and a few modernist sculptures in KWADRAT’s charmingly sized location— one would think that it wouldn’t be possible to create such an overwhelming atmosphere. Klöppel, however, is happy to have prove us wrong.

Always At Work

I interviewed Martin Kwade, the director of KWADRAT, back in December and was immediately impressed by his energy and love for his gallery. With a work ethic that would inspire an Olympic athlete, Kwade boasts an average of ten exhibitions each year and seldom takes a day off. When I got a preview of KWADRAT’s latest exhibition last week I wasn’t surprised to see this industrious gallerist biting off more than he could chew. I should have known after entering the gallery’s Hinterhof once I heard the sounds of chop saws and the smell on concrete that I was in for a surprise.

At the time the gallery looked like it was getting gutted out and cleaned after a natural disaster. Numerous antique windows were scattered around the walls in disarray, loose asphalt was cluttered into tall black dunes, and what I could see of the floor was covered in construction plastic and Styrofoam. The artist Timo Klöppel was busy running around, puffing on a cigarette while he attempted to make order out of chaos. Kwade, however, was exceedingly calm and excited to see Klöppel’s artistic vision come to fruition. The opening was less than a week away but the atmosphere was serene: the two were thriving on the pressure and seemed optimistic.