Markus Karstieß

15 April to 4 September 2016
Raketenstation Hombroich
Siza Pavillon (Friday to Sunday an on holidays 12 to 6 pm)
Fontana Pavillon (Sunday, 12 to 6 pm)

Finissage, Book Presentation
Sunday, 4 September 2016, 3 pm
Siza Pavilion, Raketenstation Hombroich

On the occasion of the exhibition Irden Stiftung Insel Hombroich issues an artist book. In this Markus Karstieß approaches photographically the interplay of his displayed works with the characteristics of Hombroich as a site. Apart from Karstieß’s photographs the publication will provide a talk between the artist and the Hombroich based collector Volker Kahmen as well as texts by Jannis Kounellis, Frank Boehm, and Friedrich Meschede in German, English, and Italian. The publication will be presented to the public at 4 September 2016.

__M_KARSTIESS_COVER_END_H_opt13-07-16.inddMarkus Karstieß

Insel Hombroich Foundation (editor)
german / english, italian / english
128 pages, prox. 70 images
22 x 30 cm
34.90 Euro
special price on september, 4th, 2016: 25 Euro
ISBN 978-3-95476-170-8
Distanz Verlag


Guided Visits
Sunday, 15 May 2016, 3 pm, with Frank Boehm (as part of the 16th Inselfestival)
Sunday, 5 June 2016, 1 pm
Sunday, 3 July 2016, 1 pm
and for groups and school classes by appointment via E-Mail

The Artist in Conversation
Siza Pavilion, Lecture Hall
Sunday, 12 June 12, 2016, 11 am
Another feature in the exhibition plan is to be a talk with the artist and Frank Boehm, the director of Stiftung Insel Hombroich. They will be considering Markus Karstieß’s work and his artistic career to date.


From 15 April to 4 September 2016, Stiftung Insel Hombroich will be presenting a solo show of works by the Düsseldorf artist Markus Karstieß. Irden (Earthen) at the Siza Pavilion at Hombroich’s Raketenstation, a former NATO missile base, covers aspects of Karstieß’s work ranging from the past ten years to some of his latest pieces. For the duration of the exhibition the Fontana Pavilion will also be open, it having played a special part in Karstieß’s artistic development.

While on a residency at the Raketenstation Hombroich in 2005, the artist was struck by Lucio Fontana’s large-scale ceramic relief Il Sole (1952), which is housed in a pavilion purpose-built for it by sculptor Erwin Heerich. The encounter has never ceased to exercise a decisive influence on the younger artist’s work. Before his residency had ended, Karstieß was venturing into his first artistic explorations of the clay medium. In a rare degree of concentration on a single material by today’s standards, he subsequently developed his own approach and his own vocabulary of form. Two parameters underlie these: first, what appears to be an intuitive processing of the source material and its imponderables in the course of working with it; second, the penetrating and creating of a space of one’s, or its, own, either in establishing relationships between the sculptures in site-specific configurations or by dint of works and spatial sequences both of which wholly claim, or again, endow space. The act is what most interests Karstieß in all this – the performance potential of clay. It is through the movements between material, artist and space that sculptures, installations and spatial structures come about.

Looking back on ten years of productive activity, Karstieß now returns to the origin of his ceramic practice. In gathering sculptures from various groups of work dating from this period, the exhibition is able to retrace his artistic development into the present. We follow the artist in his search for form and structure as it takes him on a meandering path, sometimes in several directions at once; and the route uncovers the various poles between which the œuvre operates. These fields unfold between the organic and the geometrical, between aesthetic autonomy and Karstieß’s play with functionality, between the sombre and the gloss of glamour, crude form and perfect surfaces, desire-rousing appeal here, the demonically repulsive there, failure and growth, and the melancholy, the archaic and the ironic. At the Siza Pavilion a many-layered dialogue of these counterpoints thus unfurls. With the Fontana Pavilion at the Raketenstation Hombroich open in tandem, the Irden show will be enhanced by Lucio Fontana’s ceramic relief as the point of departure and turning-point of Karstieß’s artistic development of recent years.

One of the core features of Karstieß’s work consists of the empowering and creation of space. Karstieß’s underlying assumption is that when we take something from the earth, we must give something back to it; and that building, as Dom Hans van der Laan has put it, is humankind’s reconciliation with nature. Thus Karstieß engages with such artists as Robert Smithson, whose intervention Asphalt Rundown of 1969 the younger artist took as the starting point for his cycle of works entitled Scholar’s Rocks in 2015. In another set, entitled Dirty Corners (2013), as in further works, he creates (part-)architecture in ceramics, so fathoming the limits of the processing potential of his favourite medium. That focus on the borderland between architecture and sculpture is one he shares with the Stiftung Insel Hombroich.

Idea and planning: Frank Boehm with Frederike Lagoni


Markus Karstieß (born at Haan near Düsseldorf, in the Rhineland, 1971) studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf from 1992 to 1998, finishing in Jannis Kounellis’s master class. He has been the recipient of many grants, awards and residencies, the latter including Casa Baldi, part of the Deutsche Akademie at Villa Massimo in Rome. His work is exhibited in Germany and internationally. Since 2007 he has been represented by Galerie Van Horn in Düsseldorf, and since 2012 also by the Bruce Haines Gallery in Mayfair, London. Alongside his artistic activity, Karstieß was artistic co-director of the Kunstverein at Schwerte with Christian Freudenberger from 2008 to 2012. He has also been active on further curating projects in the interim. In 2013, he held a chair as visiting professor and research fellow at Newcastle University (UK), and since 2014, has been teaching as a deputy professor at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich. Markus Karstieß lives and works in Düsseldorf.

Website of Markus Karstieß

The exhibition is supported by

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