February 10, 2019 – June 16, 2019

Introduction: Dr. Ulrike Lorenz,
Director Kunsthalle Mannheim

Sebastian Kuhn, born 1977 in Krumbach, Swabia, produces floor and ceiling works, spatial objects and site-specific installations from various materials of our everyday life. He develops sculptural works for both interior and exterior spaces. Through his unconventional combination of material he puts these everyday objects and familiar materials into a completely new context.

The sculptor studied under the professors Tim Scott and Claus Bury at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg. In 2001, he received major inspiration during a working stay in Santiago de Chile, later at Hiroshima City University and, after completing his studies in Nuremberg in 2006, during his DAAD scholarship in London. In 2007, he graduated with distinction from the Wimbledon College of Arts with a master's degree in sculpture. Today, the prize-winning artist, who has been honoured with exhibitions at home and abroad, lives and works in Nuremberg.

At the centre of the exhibition is his work Polyrhythmic Walkabout. Here, PVC elements, stainless steel, screws and wool are brought together with the bodies of two concert grand pianos and of a short grand pianoforte. Sebastian Kuhn constructively combines these very different objects to form an exciting sculpture. Spatial experience and physical perception are essential aspects of his sculptural work. It is therefore also important to him that the viewer can walk around his works. In the wall-mounted works of the series The Kubrick Sessions or Display Devices one discovers steel pipes, remains of foam and carpet, leather upholstery, cables, neon tubes, washbasin holders or plastic trays. In DIY stores and household shops, Kuhn often finds the most curious things for his compositions, which are located between figuration and abstraction.

His interest in the history of art and film as well as jazz music, which he also practises himself as a percussionist, provides him with important impulses for his art. Initially, he also found artistic inspiration in the American sculptor David Smith, who assembled sculptures from found objects, and in the British sculptor Anthony Caro. Even though Kuhn's work contains some exciting references to older colleagues, he soon developed his own contemporary cosmos of ideas: an interplay of materials and objects as well as of the supposed reference to everyday life and the works of art. Sebastian Kuhn titles the exhibition Fray, which can mean quite different things, such as fight, rag, wear, tear, scare. This deliberately ambiguous title refers to the strategies Kuhn uses in creating his complex sculptures.