martin kaulen

By sound
Les chutes du temps
Paisaje microscópico
Cool coco gallery


The continuity of the form

Almendra Benavente

"Extend a straight line to the infinity:
What will you find at the end?
-You will find the beginning of that same
straight line transformed into a curve
prone to any kind of regression."

La nueva novela. Juan Luis Martínez, 1977.

Fallen trees, dried bamboos, ceramics, linen and metal. Fragile, delicate, sometimes rigid and solid materials. Materiality is an important part of Martin Kaulen's work and it is changeable, transforming in front of our eyes, adapting the form to the material or the material to the form. The constant that unites his work, however, is the power of ideas, the strength with which he structures not only the work itself, but also how the reasoning that motivates it is articulated. Research on pre-Columbian archaeological sites, scientific findings and study of geometry: it is the search to understand what drives his work.

Kaulen's work used to be carried out through long and complex processes. This way of working unravels a compositional language with which he creates his current works, leading to immediacy, acceleration of the art production process and a more malleable creative period that follows the rhythm with which ideas are generated. Repetition and study of constants, part of his method and work, emulates the way nature is structured, proposing an order that, at first glance rational, turns out to be purely intuitive.

The artist's work goes through stages, derivations that are connected and make sense when understood as a whole. They are nothing but phases of the same process. A process that begins with the study of the multiple possibilities of assemblage the wood offers in its raw state. A representative work of this period is "Valle ternario", in which the naked wood grain is presented, reorganized to propose a different perception of an everyday material. The sinuous forms of the wood are presented as waves that do not cease to unite, as cyclic bodies, the scientific concept that gives the title to the series.

The “Palíndromos” series, a set of sculptures in which ceramic and metal pieces are contrasted, also forms part of the exhibition. Organized through the superposition of modules, they are heirs to the studies previously carried out in wood. This time they rise, making a new use of space and allowing a complete appreciation of the volumes that compose them. In constant movement, they seem to be prolonged, continuing elsewhere.

Within the study of order and the union of bodies, whether chemical or celestial, we find "Despliegue", artwork in rice paper that does not refer to the assemblage of elements or forms, but rather to what remains when these are detached. Fine cuts on paper, exact and neat, with a nod to oriental aesthetics, are perhaps the fruit of the artist's journey in China.

Waves, repetitions, seemingly movements. Unions between the rudimentary, primitive, transformed through deep meditative processes. Symmetry, equilibrium and proportions produce a hypnotic effect on the spectator that makes him feel safe, to then remove certainties and fill him with questions. The language to answer them is not made up only of words.

Paris, 2019

Text published by SIP Space in Progress for
Diffractions exhibition in Patricia Dorfmann Gallery, 2019.
Paris, France
Link to the original text