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A more relevant framework for interpreting the sculptures that Karel Malich made during his radical period from the early 1960s to the mid ‘70s should be based on ideas that expand upon the older interpretations, which were derived from a non-anthropocentric conception and latent kinetism. Malich’s vibrations were seen as removed from all concrete perceptions and subjective states and tending towards the ‘pure being of sense perception,’ towards pure work with forces. Tensions, pressures and turbulence change us in such a way that we become them. The non-anthropocentric approach is based on this ‘non-human becoming human.’ We become a non-human landscape hanging in open space, we become nature and forces, among which one cannot distinguish what is human, organic, geometric or inanimate.
His period of wire sculptures was not a return to an original, undisturbed beginning, but rather a pure happening in the present. Malich found an ideal representation of his own ‘becoming the universe’ in the abstract drawn line, the course of which was materialized in wire constructions, removed from all objects and flowing in an empty, non-symbolic, infinite space.

J.S.

  • Artist: Karel Malich
  • Original Title: K422
  • English Title: Landscape II
  • Year: 1974
  • Material: wire, aluminum, paint
  • Dimensions: Original Size: 170 x 140 x 130 cm (66 15/16 x 55 1/8 x 51 3/16 in.)
  • Inventory no.: K422
  • Category: sculpture
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  • (c) Mumok Vienna, photo Lisa Rastl