Thick Air

27th May – 10th June 2020   
Verein für Skulptur, Linz︎︎︎

ALVA, 2020
180 x 115 x 180 cm
wood, rubber

Fixed sky situation, 2020
160 x 160 x 1,2 cm
wood, acrylic paint, metal

ALVA, 2020
180 x 115 x 180 cm
wood, rubb

Promise, 2020
40 x 57 x 9 cm
wood, rubber, watch glas

ALVA, 2020
exhibition view

Tonic (something physical
is trying to change it´s physical shape),
240 x 4,5 x 150 cm
wood, white rubber, acrylic paint

              The exhibition title „thick air“
brings together two terms or basicaly two concepts
which seems to have nothing in common.
            Far from it, they are quite conflicting and not compatible with each other. Sure, there is the english „thick air“ with the meaning that the air is dirty, full of dust or smoke and the german meaning of „dicke Luft“ is a description for a very bad interpersonal athmosphere . But beside these interpretations „thick air“ is combining something strongly materialistic with something non-physical. Of the four elements, air is the only element that almost completely eludes our physical and haptic perception. Air is transparent, we can not touch it, we can not hold it, we can not form it. Thick, on the other hand, is physical and very bodily – thick is heavy, mighty, strong, etc. I was surprised when I saw these sheer geometrical objects – even I know that she often works in strict right angles, giving the horizontal and vertical line a particular attention in her work. There is an outstanding interest in in the manner of architectural building and constructing, especially in gravity. Keep the objects grounded and being aware of the connection between sky and earth.

            In her past works Eveline Handlbauer incorporated form and shapes that recall familiar structures from the build environment and from interior spaces as well. Her art is an unhistorical gesture. She stages the material and non-material world. For „Thick air“ Eveline Handlbauer developed sculptures within a defined formal vocabulary and defined materials with moments of unexpected tenderness and a strong materialistic approach. Balance and extension were the first impression which came into my mind. Even the objects are all connected to the floor, they are acting different in the way how they rise up.

            The black one – heavy in color, material and size, holds the strongest position in the center of the room, while two sculptures are needing the support of the backwall. All the objects are certainly dealing with balance and the way how the object takes up space in the room which is mainly due by the manner of construction. And here is another fact how the three objects are connected: They are constructed from slats that are so far apart to allow the air to circulate between the material.

Text by Cheyenne Dyk, 2020