HAMBURG, GERMANY 1986
WIENS SCULPTURES OBSERVE, COMMENT ON, QUESTION AND IRONIZE SOCIAL AND SOCIO-CULTURAL CONDITIONS.
Wiens‘ sculptures observe, comment on, question and ironize social and socio-cultural conditions. In doing so, they address the tension pair of power and vulnerability.
For his work, the artist uses artificial materials such as Styrofoam, Styrodur, aluminum and chipboard. The interplay of material diversity unites classical concepts of sculpture with contemporary craft approaches, such as those derived from shell construction, vaulting, gutting, drywalling, and furniture making. He combines chainsaw cuts with caustic acid treatment of surfaces, just as he does surgically precise cutter cuts with epoxy resin color runners. In this way, (material) touch is determinative of the eventual outcome
and a core of Wien‘s work.
While Wien‘s oeuvre can be described as classical sculpture, his motifs stem from pop and subcultural phenomena such as cartoons, advertising, rock/punk music and skate culture. This is combined with art historical citations.
Wien‘s pop sculptures, some of which are several meters high, are shadowy treatises on hyper-present (anti-)heroes and (non-) phenomena such as Mickey Mouse and Batman. The artist cuts his figures out of a Styrofoam block with the help of a chainsaw and hot wire before pouring chemical solvent over them and finally recycling them. The result is a biting, etched surface that marks the piece. This mold is cast in aluminum and then painted. Mickey Mouse consequently looks as if she had taken a shower of acid rain.
In his jersey paintings, Wiens draws on the tradition of analytical-conceptual and minimalist painting, exploring the interplay of color and emotion. The paintings are always subordinated to the same principle: a jersey fabric is stretched on and over a stretcher frame in a seemingly casual, almost arbitrary manner. He buys the fabrics on Ebay, as direct imports from China, or at oriental weekly markets. Color-wise, they are often garish neon, motif-wise in stripes, camouflage or animal print. These fabrics are smaller than the stretcher frame and are pulled over the stretcher frame with a lot of force and intentionally crooked - „badly“, in the sense of painterly wrong in the understanding of classical oil painting. In the process, the pattern of the jersey fabric blurs and a hypnotic,
sometimes even psychedelic moment is created.
Although Wiens refuses to make any statement in the sense of narrative moment“ in his jersey paintings, it becomes clear that it is precisely the connection between narrative level and formal composition that is at stake. Thus the patterns are formal elements, structural principles, free of any meaning and primarily apparently aimed at manipulating perception, but only formally.
Wiens finds beauty and peace in something broken, ugly, socially considered worthless, or bad taste. In doing so, he conceptually questions social, art business, and painterly traditions, predomi-nantly also rejecting them, as did the abstract expressionists or the painters of the Neue Wilde in Germany in the 1980s.