FELIX SCHRAMM

Theses on Sculpture

I once called Felix Schramm’s work—still in progress on that previous occasion—a “showcase of incoherence.” This stemmed from having observed that his work, while indebted to the sculptural in terms of provenance, wasn’t prepared to accept “sculpture” as a conceptual guarantee or the material embodiment of media exclusivity. This time, I would go so far as to grasp Schramm’s entire approach in general via the terms “showcase” and “incoherence,” albeit without ever dropping the connection to “sculpture.” In fact, this specific approach seems to me to be one of the few approaches in the field of sculpture with any remaining artistically productive potential (or, dogmatically speaking, one of the few approaches possible at all in that field). Schramm doesn’t entrench himself in traditionalism (as if sculpture could just carry on eternally as an “art medium” independent of history like painting or photography) or the typical authenticism of plastic arts. Nor does he so neatly sidestep the absolutely interesting “problem medium” under situational pressure (such as by veering off into some rhetoric notoriously waved through as progressive—collage, installation, process art).

That makes me all the more for looking at Schramm’s works precisely as sculptures. Sculptures that willfully present showcases of incoherence—and in so doing, disregard the traditional standards of plastic success while refraining from any opportunistic recourse to a hip format or a more easily consumable order. If nothing else, that helps me resolve my own issue: I’d much rather look at the synergy between image, thing, and art with images than in things outfitted with the claim of being art and having to take the claim over the thing for lack of alternative. (No doubt there are more than plenty such things, just rarely interesting.)

A real complex of works would evolve out of that particular piece Schramm was working on before—since 2012, the Accumulations have constituted the center of gravity within a body of work steadily expanding in content and display scheme.

The distinctive feature of Schramm’s Accumulations is exactly what makes them literal showcases. They’re structured around vitrines, the majority of which constructed by the artist himself, sometimes found or commissioned: Containers made of glass or plexiglass operating as both display case and display. Which may be multi-tiered or grouped into different divisions, sometimes attached together additively, perhaps nested one inside the other. Schramm’s vitrines serve—functionally speaking—both storage and presentation. In doing so, they make a proper show of showing or presenting. These cases contain various things—outright heterogeneous elements in fact, and it’s not always easy to determine at first glance what the deal is with them. Some contents are evidently “planned,” “designed,” and “shaped,” e.g. miniature models of sweeping sculptural propositions of architectonic proportions such as have become a Schramm trademark since the turn of the millennium. Then some objects look like stand-alone statuettes apparently made from molds or casts of body parts with accurate human proportions. These, too, refer back to another group of Schramm’s works. Other things look “found,” in “reserve”: fragments, scraps, or plain old materials which—for whatever reason—got saved and deemed worthy of showing.

The glass cases certainly give all those diverse accumulated components a unifying formal element. Yet, scales and proportions clash inside, specimen and genre collide, as do model and product. As if that weren’t enough, exhibit and display, showpiece and mode of presentation collapse together. The Accumulations inhabit unstable semiotic terrain. Even that which looks like plastic object matter (blank material, scrap, found object) appears to have been at the very least manipulated, trimmed for a certain effect—not without evoking the argument between Arte Povera artists Jannis Kounellis and Pino Pascali over material honesty and truth to materials. The latter artist opted for an ambiguous use of material and so for the particular space then taken up by the sculpture, as in “Le Armi” (1965), a hyperrealistic series of weaponry made of cardboard, wood, and metal pieces, or his later nature reconstructions (1968). No question which side Felix Schramm would take.

For their part heterogeneous, the Accumulations ask to be discovered bit by bit, to be seen in and of themselves. The mode of presentation is equally suggestive of order, yet without underpinning any connections. More the contrary. Although visibly constructed according to a plan and artfully so, there is no privileged viewing position, no central perspective angle, and no ideal tracking shot. That would definitely explain the construction plans, and with that the structures, possibly even the point of these objects, too. Objects whose format hardly exceeds the dimensions of a small piece of furniture. And you have to treat an Accumulation like a piece of furniture—let’s take a Baroque secretary for example, or why not a collector’s vitrine. Being a sculpture, the Accumulation obviously demands to be circled, discovered successively; forces the viewer to bend or stretch; entices you to touch with a calculated opening here; withdraws there—one of the most efficient techniques of seduction. No Accumulation will ever be fully transparent, you’ll never get one fully under control. Anyway, they’ll always have multiple parallel sides that may absolutely contradict each other. And you’ll miss the best part too often, of course.

That the whole and its parts must be in some way cohesive is clear. Consistency in Schramm’s work derives from a plan of another order. This plan is founded upon incoherence, a principle which governs the single components no differently than the whole Accumulation. That includes breaks and insertions in terms of dimensions or placement of mismatched content. However, to paraphrase Helmut Draxler, basically no cohesive constellation can get by without coercion. That might be the lesson the Accumulations assign us. Beyond that, they’re inventory and repositories for different conceptual possibilities and technical states of sculpture, realized or not. The Accumulations interlock aspects of model, sculpture, and stage.

From that vantage point, it’s interesting to look back on the artist’s project as a whole. Felix Schramm’s body of work appears to be organized by an aesthetics of incoherence. Breaks, insertions, content mismatched in dimensions or order—that all characterizes his sweeping propositions as well, which are developed on-site, for the site not only in keeping with their own conceptual logic. It would be misleading to interpret them as site-specific operations or even in the sense of an intervention, even if these pieces and their partly monumental proportions do at times block the way in magnificently dysfunctional style. Interpreted from that point of view, they would have to be lacking criticality—that precisely targeted institutional-critical impulse—ultimately just pretending to challenge institutional space concretely by challenging architectonic space. Alongside the exhaustive conceptualization of art since the 1960’s, an anti-aesthetic attitude has taken hold that threatens to confuse the actual possibilities of art with its real—social or societal—effects. For Schramm, referencing the architectonic/institutional environment is hardly anything more than a production necessity, and he responds to that necessity in the spirit of a downright Baroque aesthetic: Real space shrinks to a model scenario by interplay with the wreckage sculptures confined within/breaking out. Because of their form qua size and fabrication with the technical arsenal of set construction, the dynamics get inverted with these pieces—yet, they stick within the givens of sculpture and, accordingly, stand there as theses.

It is only consistent for Schramm to currently use incoherence all the more on the “exhibition” constellation.

Hans-Jürgen Hafner

Felix Schramm
Lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany

1993–97 Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Germany
1991–93 Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze, Florence, Italy

SOLO EXHIBITIONS (Selected)
2020
Markus Lüttgen Gallery, Düsseldorf
Interferences, Fondazione Luca & Katia Tomassini
2019
Jannis Kounellis, Felix Schramm, Adrian Rosenfeld Gallery, San Francisco
Ace Of Space, Ribot Gallery, Mailand
De L´autre Côté Du Vent (with Elger Esser), Kunsthaus Lempertz, Brussels
2018
Changes, Kienzle Art Fondation, Berlin
Taking Of, Bove, Düsseldorf
2017
Crossings, Oktogon, Wuppertal
2016
Duo, Fondazione Volume, Rome
Interface, Kunstverein Heppenheim, Heppenheim, Germany
2015
Bent, Gallery Ribot, Milan
2014
4 Solos, Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel
You Cant Beat Time, Frac Alsace, Sélestat
Felix Schramm, Museum Lothar Fischer, Neumarkt, Germany
2013
Accumulation, Gallery Max Mayer, Düsseldorf
2012 
Intersection, Magazin4, Bregenz
2010
Concealed Revealed, Institut für moderne Kunst, Nuremberg
Galerie Une, Neuchâtel
ZKB Kunstpreis, Zurich
2009
Spy Numbers, Palais de Tokyo, Paris
él, Galerie Kenworthy-Ball Lange+Pult, Zurich
Heads & Holes, Galerie Thomas Flor, Düsseldorf
2008 
Savage Salvage, De Vleeshal, Middelburg
Galerie Sfeir-Semler, Hamburg
2007 
New Work: Felix Schramm, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
2006
Soft Corrosion, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin
Galerie Thomas Flor, Düsseldor
2005
Project Space, NADA Art Fair, Miami
Comber, Grimm/Rosenfeld, New York
Schramm, Konsortium, Düsseldorf
Der Bau, Ausstellungsraum25, Zurich
2004
Revealing the Pinnacles, Grimm/Rosenfeld, Munich
2003
Room 64, Château Marmont, Hollywood, Los Angeles (with Matias Becker)
2002
Van de Nieuwen Dingen, Tilburg
Galerie Andreas Grimm, Munich
2000
Alpha-M gallery, Tokyo
1999
Escale, Düsseldorf
1998
Kunstmuseum Thun, Thun

GROUP EXHIBITIONS (Selected)
2020
Wände/Walls im Kubus, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart (upcoming)
The Place / Once Called Home, Breiterhof, Munich
2019
Hocus Pocus, Museo d´Arte Contemporanea Lissone, Lissone, Italy
2018
On Display III, Philara Collection,, Düsseldorf
Bove, Kunstraum, Düsseldorf
2016
Architecture Of Life, Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley
Parmi Les Floraisons Du Ciel Incertain, Frac Alsace, Sélestat, Frankreich
My Castle Is Your Home, Kunstverein Wiesbaden
2015
Au rendez-vous des amis, Fondazione Burri, Città di Castello, Italy
2014
Vom Aussenraum zum Innenraum, Kunstverein Potsdam, Potsdam
2013
Les Pleiades, Museum Les Abattoirs, Toulouse
Nuovo Bilancio, Ausstellungsraum Jung und Söhne, Wuppertal
Andratx on Paper, CCA Andratx, Mallorca
2012
Mise-en-Scène: Skulpturale Rhetorik, Kwadrat, Berlin
Die 10 Kammern der Phylogenese, Institut Rheinumschlag, Düsseldorf
Wall-Space, Galerie Jochen Hempel, Berlin
Private View IV, Galerie Andreas Grimm, Munich
2011
Abstrakt///Skulptur, Georg-Kolbe-Museum, Berlin
Auxiliary Constructions, Kunsthaus Dresden, Dresden
En Ombras, Coleçao Teixeira De Freitas, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The More Things Change, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
Merz World: Yona Friedman and Tomas Saraceno, Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich
2010
Insight-Outsight: Florian Peters-Messer Collection, Städtische Galerie Viersen, Germany
Ich Wicht, Kunstraum Potsdam, Potsdam
Ursula Schulz-Dornburg, Felix Schramm, dok25a, Düsseldorf
Neues Rheinland, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen
Break, Villa De Bank, Enschede, The Netherlands
The Destroyed Room, Whatspace, Tilburg
The Destroyed Room, The Forgotten Bar, Berlin
Weessen, The Forgotten Bar, Berlin
Felix Schramm, Schmela Bar, Düsseldorf
2009
Villa Massimo, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin
Alpha, Pilot Projekt für Kunst e.V., Düsseldorf
All in One, Galerie Kenworthy-Ball Lange+Pult, Zurich
Private view II, Galerie Andreas Grimm, Munich
2008
SKULPTUR!: Piepenbrock Skulpturenpreise 1988–2006, Nationalgalerie Berlin – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin
2007
Umbau/Modification, Neue Kunsthalle St. Gallen, St Gallen
Einstellungen, Skulpturen und Räume, Kunstverein Lübeck, Lübeck
Einblicke, Privatsammlung Piepenbrock, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin
Less Roses, Galerie Sfeir-Semler, Beirut
Fearful Objects, Kavi Gupta Gallery, New York
2006
Summer 2006, Grimm/Rosenfeld, Munich
Eigenheim, Kunstverein Göttingen, Göttingen
4, Anna Helwig Gallery, Los Angeles
2005
Schöne Aussicht, Museum Schloss Benrath, Düsseldorf
Regarding Düsseldorf, DIFA - Raum für Kunst, Düsseldorf
2004
Nachstellungen: Junge Fotographie aus Düsseldorf, Halle 6, Düsseldorf
Achterland en Achterdocht, Lokaal 01, Antwerp
Private View, Grimm/Rosenfeld, Munich
2003
Game over, Grimm/Rosenfeld, Munich
Vor der Arbeit, Kulturbahnhof Eller, Düsseldorf
Il Palazzo delle Libertá, Palazzo delle Papesse, Centro Arte Contemporanea, Siena
2002
10 German Artists, Galerie de Zaal, Delft
Schramm, Pompa, Schellberg, Clarissenstraße, Düsseldorf
Galerie Dick de Bruyn, Amsterdam
1998
Kulturbahnhof, Eller
1997
Kounellis Klasse, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Belgrade
15+15, European Capital of Culture 1997, Thessaloniki
1996
Field, Künstlerforum Bonn, Bonn

GRANTS & AWARDS
2017
Stiftung Kunstfond
2013
Lothar Fischer Preis
2010
Kunststiftung NRW
2008
Villa Massimo, Rome
Kunststiftung NRW
2006
Stiftung Kunstfond
Piepenbrock Förderpreis für Skulptur, Berlin
2005
Kunststiftung NRW
2003
Kunststiftung NRW
2000
DAAD, Tokyo

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art, San Francisco
Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley
Hort Collection, New York
Collection of Jill and Peter Krauss, New York
Collection of James Keith Brown and Eric Diefenbach, New York
Kunstsammlung des Landes NRW Kornelimünster, Aachen, Germany
LVM Collection, Münster, Germany
Bundeskunstsammlung, Berlin
Philara Collection, Düsseldorf
FPM Collection, Viersen, Germany
Frac Alsace, Seléstat, France

BIBLIOGRAPHY (Selected)
2019
Elisabeth Mangini, Jannis Kounellis and Felix Schramm, Adrian Rosenfeld Gallery (review), Artforum International, December, pp.225-226
Felix Schramm, Ace Of Space, exh. cat. Ribot Gallery, no.4, Milan
Lean-Marc Bodson, Vestiges de l´image et vice versa, (review), La Libre, May 8, pp. 24
2018
Felix Schramm, Changes, exh. cat. Kienzle Art Fondation, Berlin
2016
Architecture Of Life, Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive pp. 26, 271
Neue Düsseldorfer Kunstszene in 70 Porträts, Wienand Verlag, pp. 313-320
Felix Schramm, Duo, exh. cat. Fondazione Volume, Rome
Au rendez-vous des amis, exh. cat. Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri, S.119-122
2015
Felix Schramm, Bent, exh. cat. Ribot Gallery, no. 1, Milan
Marta Calcagno Baldini, „Felix Schramm, Ribot, Milano“ (review), Flash Art, no. 322, pp. 88
Margherita Zanoletti, „Le intersezioni materiche di Felix Schramm. Per l´esordio di Ribot“ (review), Artribune, no. 25, pp.99
2014
Angela Maria Piga, „Wall Blaster“, (review), Casa Vogue, no. 42, pp. 76 -79
Corine Girieud, Felix Schramm, You Can´t Beat Time, (review) Artline Magazine d´Art, 07/08.2014, pp. 8, 9
Addicted to walls, zeitgenössische Wandarbeiten im Ausstellungsraum, ed. Anne Vieth, Silke Schreiber Verlag, pp.281
Annette Mahro, “Sollbruchstellen des Raumes“, Artline Magazine d´Art, 03.2014, S.10
2013
Aaron Peck, Felix Schramm, Galerie Max Mayer (review), Artforum International, October, p. 312
Pièces montrèes, Frac Alsace, 30 ans de collection, exh. cat. Frac Alsace, Musées de la Ville de Strasbourg, Fondation Fernet-Branca, pp.135,146,147
2012
Intersection: Felix Schramm, exh. cat. Institut für Moderne Kunst, Nuremberg (Nuremberg: Verlag für moderne Kunst)
MozArt: Pensiero esperienze forme del contemporaneo, ed. Bruno Corà (Perugia: 3Arte – Ali & No), pp. 76–79
2011
Konsortium, 2004 – 2010, Extra Verlag, pp. 70, 73
Break, ed. Smax, exh. cat., Villa De Bank, Enschede, pp. 22, 23, 34–39, 53
Gesine Borcherdt, “Atelierbesuch bei Felix Schramm”, http://www.artnet.de/magazine/atelierbesuch-bei-felix-schramm
Abstrakt////Skulptur, ed. Marc Wellmann, exh. cat. Georg-Kolbe-Museum, Berlin, pp. 52–54
2010
2009 A–Z (From Yodeling to Quantum Physics), Palais de Tokyo, vol. 3, no. 18, p. 126
Neues Rheinland: Die postironische Generation, ed. Stefanie Kreuzer, exh. cat. Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen (Berlin: Distanz Verlag), pp. 209–214
2009
Vitamin 3-D: New Perspektives in Sculpture and Installation (London: Phaidon Press), pp. 10, 268, 269
Roma, Felix Schramm, David Zink Yi, ed. Villa Massimo, Rome
PALAIS / SPY NUMBERS, Magazine no. 9
2008
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art 2007 Annual Report, San Francisco, pp.80
Felix Schramm: Savage, Salvage, exh. cat. De Vleeshal, Middelburg SKULPTUR!: Piepenbrock Skulpturenpreise 1988-2006, exh. cat. Kulturstiftung Hartwig Piepenbrock, Nationalgalerie Berlin – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, pp.136–143, 180, 187, 188
2007
New Work: Felix Schramm, exh. cat. San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art, San Francisco
Glen Helfland, Felix Schramm, Museum of Modern Art San Francisco, (critics´picks), Artforum International, October
R.M. Vaughan, Felix Schramm in San Francisco, Canadianart
Berin Golonu, New Work: Felix Schramm, Shotgun Review
Nicolai Ourousoff, New Work: Felix Schramm, New York Times
San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art, Jul, Aug 07, exhibition guide, pp.10
Umbau/Modification, exh. cat. Neue Kunsthalle St. Gallen, St Gallen, pp. 9–17
Einblicke: Privatsammlung Piepenbrock, exh. cat. Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, pp.134, 135
Schwarzweiss-Zwei, Düsseldorf-Amsterdam ed. Max Schulze and Katrin Menne, Düsseldorf, pp. 3–9, 91–97
Was ist gute Kunst?, ed. Wolfram Völker (Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje Cantz), p. 152
2006
Felix Schramm, Soft Corrosion, exh. cat. Kulturstiftung Hartwig Piepenbrock, Berlin
Marc Spiegler, “Critic’s Pick: Felix Schramm” (review), Artnews, May, p. 184
Michael Wilson, “Felix Schramm, Grimm/Rosenfeld” (review), Artforum International, March, pp. 293, 294
2005
Ken Johnson, “Felix Schramm: Comber” (review), The New York Times, 2 December
Regarding Düsseldorf: Junge Kunst in Düsseldorf, ed. 701 gGmbH, exh. cat., DIFA - Raum für Kunst, p. 48
2004
Schöne Aussicht: 10 Kunstvorstellungen aus der Kounellis-Schule im Ostflügel von Schloss Benrath, ed. Helga Meister and Stiftung Schloss und Park Benrath, Düsseldorf, exh. cat. Museum Schloss Benrath, Düsseldorf, pp. 75 - 81
2003
Il Palazzo delle Libertà, exh. cat. Centro Arte Contemporanea, Siena, pp. 142–145
2000
Saison Art Program Newsletter (no.8), Sezon Museum of Modern Art (review), Tokyo, pp. 5-6
Seeing and Closing One´s Eyes, exh. cat. (no.101), Alpha-M gallery, Tokyo

 

Theses on Sculpture

I once called Felix Schramm’s work—still in progress on that previous occasion—a “showcase of incoherence.” This stemmed from having observed that his work, while indebted to the sculptural in terms of provenance, wasn’t prepared to accept “sculpture” as a conceptual guarantee or the material embodiment of media exclusivity. This time, I would go so far as to grasp Schramm’s entire approach in general via the terms “showcase” and “incoherence,” albeit without ever dropping the connection to “sculpture.” In fact, this specific approach seems to me to be one of the few approaches in the field of sculpture with any remaining artistically productive potential (or, dogmatically speaking, one of the few approaches possible at all in that field). Schramm doesn’t entrench himself in traditionalism (as if sculpture could just carry on eternally as an “art medium” independent of history like painting or photography) or the typical authenticism of plastic arts. Nor does he so neatly sidestep the absolutely interesting “problem medium” under situational pressure (such as by veering off into some rhetoric notoriously waved through as progressive—collage, installation, process art).

That makes me all the more for looking at Schramm’s works precisely as sculptures. Sculptures that willfully present showcases of incoherence—and in so doing, disregard the traditional standards of plastic success while refraining from any opportunistic recourse to a hip format or a more easily consumable order. If nothing else, that helps me resolve my own issue: I’d much rather look at the synergy between image, thing, and art with images than in things outfitted with the claim of being art and having to take the claim over the thing for lack of alternative. (No doubt there are more than plenty such things, just rarely interesting.)

A real complex of works would evolve out of that particular piece Schramm was working on before—since 2012, the Accumulations have constituted the center of gravity within a body of work steadily expanding in content and display scheme.

The distinctive feature of Schramm’s Accumulations is exactly what makes them literal showcases. They’re structured around vitrines, the majority of which constructed by the artist himself, sometimes found or commissioned: Containers made of glass or plexiglass operating as both display case and display. Which may be multi-tiered or grouped into different divisions, sometimes attached together additively, perhaps nested one inside the other. Schramm’s vitrines serve—functionally speaking—both storage and presentation. In doing so, they make a proper show of showing or presenting. These cases contain various things—outright heterogeneous elements in fact, and it’s not always easy to determine at first glance what the deal is with them. Some contents are evidently “planned,” “designed,” and “shaped,” e.g. miniature models of sweeping sculptural propositions of architectonic proportions such as have become a Schramm trademark since the turn of the millennium. Then some objects look like stand-alone statuettes apparently made from molds or casts of body parts with accurate human proportions. These, too, refer back to another group of Schramm’s works. Other things look “found,” in “reserve”: fragments, scraps, or plain old materials which—for whatever reason—got saved and deemed worthy of showing.

The glass cases certainly give all those diverse accumulated components a unifying formal element. Yet, scales and proportions clash inside, specimen and genre collide, as do model and product. As if that weren’t enough, exhibit and display, showpiece and mode of presentation collapse together. The Accumulations inhabit unstable semiotic terrain. Even that which looks like plastic object matter (blank material, scrap, found object) appears to have been at the very least manipulated, trimmed for a certain effect—not without evoking the argument between Arte Povera artists Jannis Kounellis and Pino Pascali over material honesty and truth to materials. The latter artist opted for an ambiguous use of material and so for the particular space then taken up by the sculpture, as in “Le Armi” (1965), a hyperrealistic series of weaponry made of cardboard, wood, and metal pieces, or his later nature reconstructions (1968). No question which side Felix Schramm would take.

For their part heterogeneous, the Accumulations ask to be discovered bit by bit, to be seen in and of themselves. The mode of presentation is equally suggestive of order, yet without underpinning any connections. More the contrary. Although visibly constructed according to a plan and artfully so, there is no privileged viewing position, no central perspective angle, and no ideal tracking shot. That would definitely explain the construction plans, and with that the structures, possibly even the point of these objects, too. Objects whose format hardly exceeds the dimensions of a small piece of furniture. And you have to treat an Accumulation like a piece of furniture—let’s take a Baroque secretary for example, or why not a collector’s vitrine. Being a sculpture, the Accumulation obviously demands to be circled, discovered successively; forces the viewer to bend or stretch; entices you to touch with a calculated opening here; withdraws there—one of the most efficient techniques of seduction. No Accumulation will ever be fully transparent, you’ll never get one fully under control. Anyway, they’ll always have multiple parallel sides that may absolutely contradict each other. And you’ll miss the best part too often, of course.

That the whole and its parts must be in some way cohesive is clear. Consistency in Schramm’s work derives from a plan of another order. This plan is founded upon incoherence, a principle which governs the single components no differently than the whole Accumulation. That includes breaks and insertions in terms of dimensions or placement of mismatched content. However, to paraphrase Helmut Draxler, basically no cohesive constellation can get by without coercion. That might be the lesson the Accumulations assign us. Beyond that, they’re inventory and repositories for different conceptual possibilities and technical states of sculpture, realized or not. The Accumulations interlock aspects of model, sculpture, and stage.

From that vantage point, it’s interesting to look back on the artist’s project as a whole. Felix Schramm’s body of work appears to be organized by an aesthetics of incoherence. Breaks, insertions, content mismatched in dimensions or order—that all characterizes his sweeping propositions as well, which are developed on-site, for the site not only in keeping with their own conceptual logic. It would be misleading to interpret them as site-specific operations or even in the sense of an intervention, even if these pieces and their partly monumental proportions do at times block the way in magnificently dysfunctional style. Interpreted from that point of view, they would have to be lacking criticality—that precisely targeted institutional-critical impulse—ultimately just pretending to challenge institutional space concretely by challenging architectonic space. Alongside the exhaustive conceptualization of art since the 1960’s, an anti-aesthetic attitude has taken hold that threatens to confuse the actual possibilities of art with its real—social or societal—effects. For Schramm, referencing the architectonic/institutional environment is hardly anything more than a production necessity, and he responds to that necessity in the spirit of a downright Baroque aesthetic: Real space shrinks to a model scenario by interplay with the wreckage sculptures confined within/breaking out. Because of their form qua size and fabrication with the technical arsenal of set construction, the dynamics get inverted with these pieces—yet, they stick within the givens of sculpture and, accordingly, stand there as theses.

It is only consistent for Schramm to currently use incoherence all the more on the “exhibition” constellation.

Hans-Jürgen Hafner

Felix Schramm
Lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany

1993–97 Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Germany
1991–93 Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze, Florence, Italy

SOLO EXHIBITIONS (Selected)
2020
Markus Lüttgen Gallery, Düsseldorf
Interferences, Fondazione Luca & Katia Tomassini
2019
Jannis Kounellis, Felix Schramm, Adrian Rosenfeld Gallery, San Francisco
Ace Of Space, Ribot Gallery, Mailand
De L´autre Côté Du Vent (with Elger Esser), Kunsthaus Lempertz, Brussels
2018
Changes, Kienzle Art Fondation, Berlin
Taking Of, Bove, Düsseldorf
2017
Crossings, Oktogon, Wuppertal
2016
Duo, Fondazione Volume, Rome
Interface, Kunstverein Heppenheim, Heppenheim, Germany
2015
Bent, Gallery Ribot, Milan
2014
4 Solos, Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel
You Cant Beat Time, Frac Alsace, Sélestat
Felix Schramm, Museum Lothar Fischer, Neumarkt, Germany
2013
Accumulation, Gallery Max Mayer, Düsseldorf
2012 
Intersection, Magazin4, Bregenz
2010
Concealed Revealed, Institut für moderne Kunst, Nuremberg
Galerie Une, Neuchâtel
ZKB Kunstpreis, Zurich
2009
Spy Numbers, Palais de Tokyo, Paris
él, Galerie Kenworthy-Ball Lange+Pult, Zurich
Heads & Holes, Galerie Thomas Flor, Düsseldorf
2008 
Savage Salvage, De Vleeshal, Middelburg
Galerie Sfeir-Semler, Hamburg
2007 
New Work: Felix Schramm, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
2006
Soft Corrosion, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin
Galerie Thomas Flor, Düsseldor
2005
Project Space, NADA Art Fair, Miami
Comber, Grimm/Rosenfeld, New York
Schramm, Konsortium, Düsseldorf
Der Bau, Ausstellungsraum25, Zurich
2004
Revealing the Pinnacles, Grimm/Rosenfeld, Munich
2003
Room 64, Château Marmont, Hollywood, Los Angeles (with Matias Becker)
2002
Van de Nieuwen Dingen, Tilburg
Galerie Andreas Grimm, Munich
2000
Alpha-M gallery, Tokyo
1999
Escale, Düsseldorf
1998
Kunstmuseum Thun, Thun

GROUP EXHIBITIONS (Selected)
2020
Wände/Walls im Kubus, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart (upcoming)
The Place / Once Called Home, Breiterhof, Munich
2019
Hocus Pocus, Museo d´Arte Contemporanea Lissone, Lissone, Italy
2018
On Display III, Philara Collection,, Düsseldorf
Bove, Kunstraum, Düsseldorf
2016
Architecture Of Life, Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley
Parmi Les Floraisons Du Ciel Incertain, Frac Alsace, Sélestat, Frankreich
My Castle Is Your Home, Kunstverein Wiesbaden
2015
Au rendez-vous des amis, Fondazione Burri, Città di Castello, Italy
2014
Vom Aussenraum zum Innenraum, Kunstverein Potsdam, Potsdam
2013
Les Pleiades, Museum Les Abattoirs, Toulouse
Nuovo Bilancio, Ausstellungsraum Jung und Söhne, Wuppertal
Andratx on Paper, CCA Andratx, Mallorca
2012
Mise-en-Scène: Skulpturale Rhetorik, Kwadrat, Berlin
Die 10 Kammern der Phylogenese, Institut Rheinumschlag, Düsseldorf
Wall-Space, Galerie Jochen Hempel, Berlin
Private View IV, Galerie Andreas Grimm, Munich
2011
Abstrakt///Skulptur, Georg-Kolbe-Museum, Berlin
Auxiliary Constructions, Kunsthaus Dresden, Dresden
En Ombras, Coleçao Teixeira De Freitas, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The More Things Change, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
Merz World: Yona Friedman and Tomas Saraceno, Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich
2010
Insight-Outsight: Florian Peters-Messer Collection, Städtische Galerie Viersen, Germany
Ich Wicht, Kunstraum Potsdam, Potsdam
Ursula Schulz-Dornburg, Felix Schramm, dok25a, Düsseldorf
Neues Rheinland, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen
Break, Villa De Bank, Enschede, The Netherlands
The Destroyed Room, Whatspace, Tilburg
The Destroyed Room, The Forgotten Bar, Berlin
Weessen, The Forgotten Bar, Berlin
Felix Schramm, Schmela Bar, Düsseldorf
2009
Villa Massimo, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin
Alpha, Pilot Projekt für Kunst e.V., Düsseldorf
All in One, Galerie Kenworthy-Ball Lange+Pult, Zurich
Private view II, Galerie Andreas Grimm, Munich
2008
SKULPTUR!: Piepenbrock Skulpturenpreise 1988–2006, Nationalgalerie Berlin – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin
2007
Umbau/Modification, Neue Kunsthalle St. Gallen, St Gallen
Einstellungen, Skulpturen und Räume, Kunstverein Lübeck, Lübeck
Einblicke, Privatsammlung Piepenbrock, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin
Less Roses, Galerie Sfeir-Semler, Beirut
Fearful Objects, Kavi Gupta Gallery, New York
2006
Summer 2006, Grimm/Rosenfeld, Munich
Eigenheim, Kunstverein Göttingen, Göttingen
4, Anna Helwig Gallery, Los Angeles
2005
Schöne Aussicht, Museum Schloss Benrath, Düsseldorf
Regarding Düsseldorf, DIFA - Raum für Kunst, Düsseldorf
2004
Nachstellungen: Junge Fotographie aus Düsseldorf, Halle 6, Düsseldorf
Achterland en Achterdocht, Lokaal 01, Antwerp
Private View, Grimm/Rosenfeld, Munich
2003
Game over, Grimm/Rosenfeld, Munich
Vor der Arbeit, Kulturbahnhof Eller, Düsseldorf
Il Palazzo delle Libertá, Palazzo delle Papesse, Centro Arte Contemporanea, Siena
2002
10 German Artists, Galerie de Zaal, Delft
Schramm, Pompa, Schellberg, Clarissenstraße, Düsseldorf
Galerie Dick de Bruyn, Amsterdam
1998
Kulturbahnhof, Eller
1997
Kounellis Klasse, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Belgrade
15+15, European Capital of Culture 1997, Thessaloniki
1996
Field, Künstlerforum Bonn, Bonn

GRANTS & AWARDS
2017
Stiftung Kunstfond
2013
Lothar Fischer Preis
2010
Kunststiftung NRW
2008
Villa Massimo, Rome
Kunststiftung NRW
2006
Stiftung Kunstfond
Piepenbrock Förderpreis für Skulptur, Berlin
2005
Kunststiftung NRW
2003
Kunststiftung NRW
2000
DAAD, Tokyo

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art, San Francisco
Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley
Hort Collection, New York
Collection of Jill and Peter Krauss, New York
Collection of James Keith Brown and Eric Diefenbach, New York
Kunstsammlung des Landes NRW Kornelimünster, Aachen, Germany
LVM Collection, Münster, Germany
Bundeskunstsammlung, Berlin
Philara Collection, Düsseldorf
FPM Collection, Viersen, Germany
Frac Alsace, Seléstat, France

BIBLIOGRAPHY (Selected)
2019
Elisabeth Mangini, Jannis Kounellis and Felix Schramm, Adrian Rosenfeld Gallery (review), Artforum International, December, pp.225-226
Felix Schramm, Ace Of Space, exh. cat. Ribot Gallery, no.4, Milan
Lean-Marc Bodson, Vestiges de l´image et vice versa, (review), La Libre, May 8, pp. 24
2018
Felix Schramm, Changes, exh. cat. Kienzle Art Fondation, Berlin
2016
Architecture Of Life, Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive pp. 26, 271
Neue Düsseldorfer Kunstszene in 70 Porträts, Wienand Verlag, pp. 313-320
Felix Schramm, Duo, exh. cat. Fondazione Volume, Rome
Au rendez-vous des amis, exh. cat. Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri, S.119-122
2015
Felix Schramm, Bent, exh. cat. Ribot Gallery, no. 1, Milan
Marta Calcagno Baldini, „Felix Schramm, Ribot, Milano“ (review), Flash Art, no. 322, pp. 88
Margherita Zanoletti, „Le intersezioni materiche di Felix Schramm. Per l´esordio di Ribot“ (review), Artribune, no. 25, pp.99
2014
Angela Maria Piga, „Wall Blaster“, (review), Casa Vogue, no. 42, pp. 76 -79
Corine Girieud, Felix Schramm, You Can´t Beat Time, (review) Artline Magazine d´Art, 07/08.2014, pp. 8, 9
Addicted to walls, zeitgenössische Wandarbeiten im Ausstellungsraum, ed. Anne Vieth, Silke Schreiber Verlag, pp.281
Annette Mahro, “Sollbruchstellen des Raumes“, Artline Magazine d´Art, 03.2014, S.10
2013
Aaron Peck, Felix Schramm, Galerie Max Mayer (review), Artforum International, October, p. 312
Pièces montrèes, Frac Alsace, 30 ans de collection, exh. cat. Frac Alsace, Musées de la Ville de Strasbourg, Fondation Fernet-Branca, pp.135,146,147
2012
Intersection: Felix Schramm, exh. cat. Institut für Moderne Kunst, Nuremberg (Nuremberg: Verlag für moderne Kunst)
MozArt: Pensiero esperienze forme del contemporaneo, ed. Bruno Corà (Perugia: 3Arte – Ali & No), pp. 76–79
2011
Konsortium, 2004 – 2010, Extra Verlag, pp. 70, 73
Break, ed. Smax, exh. cat., Villa De Bank, Enschede, pp. 22, 23, 34–39, 53
Gesine Borcherdt, “Atelierbesuch bei Felix Schramm”, http://www.artnet.de/magazine/atelierbesuch-bei-felix-schramm
Abstrakt////Skulptur, ed. Marc Wellmann, exh. cat. Georg-Kolbe-Museum, Berlin, pp. 52–54
2010
2009 A–Z (From Yodeling to Quantum Physics), Palais de Tokyo, vol. 3, no. 18, p. 126
Neues Rheinland: Die postironische Generation, ed. Stefanie Kreuzer, exh. cat. Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen (Berlin: Distanz Verlag), pp. 209–214
2009
Vitamin 3-D: New Perspektives in Sculpture and Installation (London: Phaidon Press), pp. 10, 268, 269
Roma, Felix Schramm, David Zink Yi, ed. Villa Massimo, Rome
PALAIS / SPY NUMBERS, Magazine no. 9
2008
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art 2007 Annual Report, San Francisco, pp.80
Felix Schramm: Savage, Salvage, exh. cat. De Vleeshal, Middelburg SKULPTUR!: Piepenbrock Skulpturenpreise 1988-2006, exh. cat. Kulturstiftung Hartwig Piepenbrock, Nationalgalerie Berlin – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, pp.136–143, 180, 187, 188
2007
New Work: Felix Schramm, exh. cat. San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art, San Francisco
Glen Helfland, Felix Schramm, Museum of Modern Art San Francisco, (critics´picks), Artforum International, October
R.M. Vaughan, Felix Schramm in San Francisco, Canadianart
Berin Golonu, New Work: Felix Schramm, Shotgun Review
Nicolai Ourousoff, New Work: Felix Schramm, New York Times
San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art, Jul, Aug 07, exhibition guide, pp.10
Umbau/Modification, exh. cat. Neue Kunsthalle St. Gallen, St Gallen, pp. 9–17
Einblicke: Privatsammlung Piepenbrock, exh. cat. Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, pp.134, 135
Schwarzweiss-Zwei, Düsseldorf-Amsterdam ed. Max Schulze and Katrin Menne, Düsseldorf, pp. 3–9, 91–97
Was ist gute Kunst?, ed. Wolfram Völker (Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje Cantz), p. 152
2006
Felix Schramm, Soft Corrosion, exh. cat. Kulturstiftung Hartwig Piepenbrock, Berlin
Marc Spiegler, “Critic’s Pick: Felix Schramm” (review), Artnews, May, p. 184
Michael Wilson, “Felix Schramm, Grimm/Rosenfeld” (review), Artforum International, March, pp. 293, 294
2005
Ken Johnson, “Felix Schramm: Comber” (review), The New York Times, 2 December
Regarding Düsseldorf: Junge Kunst in Düsseldorf, ed. 701 gGmbH, exh. cat., DIFA - Raum für Kunst, p. 48
2004
Schöne Aussicht: 10 Kunstvorstellungen aus der Kounellis-Schule im Ostflügel von Schloss Benrath, ed. Helga Meister and Stiftung Schloss und Park Benrath, Düsseldorf, exh. cat. Museum Schloss Benrath, Düsseldorf, pp. 75 - 81
2003
Il Palazzo delle Libertà, exh. cat. Centro Arte Contemporanea, Siena, pp. 142–145
2000
Saison Art Program Newsletter (no.8), Sezon Museum of Modern Art (review), Tokyo, pp. 5-6
Seeing and Closing One´s Eyes, exh. cat. (no.101), Alpha-M gallery, Tokyo