Inge Mahn is known for her sculptural and performance work, the former based almost exclusively around the material of plaster. In all media, Mahn's approach deals with everyday life and objects, often distorted or placed in a new context and reacting very closely to its architectural and social environment. The position of the observer is always part of Mahn's work, with her focusing closely on how to create a mental and physical access to the artwork itself. Even though the majority of Mahn's sculptures take over the form of existing objects, the artist never creates copies of it, but rather portraits, thus questioning the scope of the term 'portrait' itself.
The space of the exhibition is visually divided by a spatial sculpture Roter Teppich (Red Carpet), first shown at Mahn's solo exhibition at Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf in 1980. As described by Stephan von Wiese in the catalogue Inge Mahn. Baustellen/Construction Sites (2011): “For reasons of content alone, Mahn's otherwise consistently white color spectrum was broadened: the color “red” was a constant, unchanging emblem of sovereignty spanning the humble ground, a color-symbol whose colorful identity had to be maintained. The fact that the carpet here climbs the walls makes an imaginary walk along it into an Ascension of potentates. The red carpet line becomes independent, loses its function, turns into a piece of art, a sculpture in space. The putative solemnity of the unfurled carpet is presented as a comedy number.”
Kinetic sculptures, represented in the exhibition by the works Stuhlkreis (2000),Erbsenzählen (2009) and Unruhe (2002), appeared in Mahn's work mostly during the last 15 years. In these sculptures, the forms slide, spin and bump, filling the space with constant musical whirl.
For the first time, Inge Mahn's sculptural installations are also accompanied by her works on paper. The drawings, relentlessly produced during her travels on which she wasnot able to work on sculptures, were created between 1978 and 2000 during her stays in Norway, the Caribbean or her residency in MoMA PS1 in New York.
At the same time, Galerie Max Hetzler will inaugurate the exhibition HAPPY DAYS IN MEXICO with new works by Frank Nitsche at Bleibtreustrasse 45.
Inge Mahn was born 1943 in Teschen, Poland. She lives and works in Berlin and Groß Fredenwalde. Mahn studied as a master student in the class of Joseph Beuys at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Her graduation projectSchulklasse (1970) led her to representation at documenta V in 1972,one of the most influential exhibitions in history, curated by Harald Szeemann. Later Mahn held several professorships, the last one at the Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee. IngeMahn’s work was presented in several solo and group exhibitions, most recently at Cahiers d'Art, Paris (2015) and Akademie-Galerie,Die Neue Sammlung, Düsseldorf (2014). Earlier presentations include MoMA PS1, New York (1981),Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich (1983),Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (1988),Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart (1990), Kunsthalle Helsinki (1996), Kunsthalle Kassel (1999) orSchweinfurt Museum (2006),among others. In 2012 Inge Mahn founded the exhibition space Stallmuseum in Groß Fredenwalde.