WOLFGANG FLAD. Butterfly Effect. 08.02.2019 – 29.03.2019 

Press Release
Exhibition Views

english / deutsch

Galerie Reinhard Hauff is pleased to announce the opening of the 4th solo show with the Berlin artist Wolfgang Flad. Butterfly Effect refers to a defining experience at the end of 2018 when the artist was threatened and attacked with a so-called butterfly knife (jackknife) right outside his studio. The works included in the Stuttgart show deal with the intensity of this traumatic event, and the artist uses that emotional force as inspiration for the works on view. The springing open of the Butterfly knife is the moment, which Flad continues to see played out like a slow-motion film in his mind. The chance events leading up to this dangerous encounter made him think about the concept of the Butterfly Effect – a theory originally formulated by Edward Norton Lorenz, an American mathematician and meteorologist who is considered one of the precursors of the Chaos Theory. This theory predicts that a simple flapping of a butterfly wing under certain circumstances will be able to set off a tornado on the other side of the world, and that it thereby has the power to bring about unpredictable and catastrophic events. The smallest differences in the initial circumstances and tiny influences during the course of the subsequent process could change the end results dramatically.

Were we now to liken the theory of
Butterfly Effect to Wolfgang Flad’s artistic practice, we would indeed recognize that his sculptures, reliefs, and installations are interrelated, both via their creative ideas as well as through the creative processes which take their origin from the concept of recycling. Flad develops his works of art with re-use, other-use, and new use of used materials, from wood, to papier-mâché generated from discarded sketches, notes and printed art history texts, or from reformatting older works which he gives new shapes integrating refitted parts. The stringent, consequent approach to the use of recycled material guarantees a coherence throughout Flad’s entire body of work where new is born from old. Often, the artist discovers different form elements while working, which he recognizes as vital and as giving distinct direction to the work in process. You can say that reformatting earlier parts releases an intensive impulse to deconstruct and reconstruct anew. The new would not come into existence without the (death of) the old.

Butterfly Effect Flad presents aluminum reliefs and sculptures, which are small, experimental models of his grand installations, and solidify the developmental process in his larger artistic output. A certain dimensional shift takes place in Flad’s oeuvre over time, as the small structures represent embryonic models of the large sculptures and the free-floating installations. You could also compare Flad’s works to biomorphic neural networks or mushroom braids in plant systems connected to each other as networks (text: Cornelia Schuster, translation to English: Elisabeth Hauff.)

Wolfgang Flad (*1974 in Reutlingen, Germany) lives and works in Berlin. His works have been exhibited worldwide in numerous private and public collections, among others Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, the Kunsthaus Zurich, the Centraal Museum, Utrecht and the Tampa Museum of Art, USA.

You are cordially invited to the exhibition opening with beer and wine on Friday, February 8th, 2019 from 7 to 10 pm.