Concrete, gold pigment, varnish

80 x 30 x 20 cm each 

Supreme Forms (2016) presents a variation on the two-color stele: a series of concrete casts, half in the material’s native gray, half gilded. The gold alludes both to the alchemical process—the genesis of individuality as well as the holy and sacred—and to the aspect of monetary or exchange value, to what underlies worth of any kind. Uniting two materials—the precious metal as an ingredient of precious artisan craftwork, sacred architecture or painting, an element that has long played a vital role in old cultures; and concrete as the signature staple of the industrial age and of modernism in particular—the work represents a clash of two stances. Not coincidentally, the shape of the objects also recalls gold bricks, like those for which Marcel Broodthaers invented a contract stipulating the sale of one kilogram of fine gold in bricks to finance his Musée d’art moderne. Département des Aigles. One clause of the contract he drew up notes that “the purchaser is free to have his ingot or bar melted, so as to obliterate the mark, or to burn the letter of identification in order to enjoy fully the purity of the substance and the freshness of the original intention.” Elsewhere Broodthaers acknowledged that he was “very fond of gold, because it is symbolic. I look at gold in a disinterested way; gold is like the sun, it is unalterable. 

Text: Sabine Folie, Vienna 2016
Photos: Matthias Bildstein