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The Abstract,the Figurative and it’s Interplay.

The sculptor Kurt Laurenz Metzler’s works of art can be divided into two major categories. In the large figures, form and materials are emphasized, on the other hand, there are images telling of contemporary and everyday life. This division seems to be subject to an inner logic.

The abstract actually explores the threedimensional – the feeling for depth and surface of the material – while the figurative is concentrating more on images and telling stories. However, as we shall see, this mixing and interplay of two major directions reveals another and new meaning not only as an individualistic form of expression (the artist’s own style) but also as a general concept of sculpture (his personal theory of art).

We spoke of Metzler being an exacting aes-thete in regard to space and material. Most of the sculptures are interlaced forms developing as a consequence of peculiar capreces of dissimetry. You see high sculptures with vertical trunks branching out into openings, cutouts and reliefs. The there are massive elements like cubes, spheres adjoining other irregular geometric forms. They are reminiscent of primitive objects like Totems, Dolmens and Menhires, but also objects like ornaments, vessels.

Impressive is the masterful processing of various materials, especially stone, showing the artists skilled hand, you recognize the use of various tools like the traditional chisle, the welding torch, grinding machine for cutting and shaping and to give surfaces it’s special effect (smooth, structured, irregular, angular).

This formed combination (a type of sculptural collage) and the artist’s visibly strong hand prove the abstract forms to be without accidental traces, a result of a long search for perfection. With marble he avoids the effectedness of the fine polish, typical for a certain Avantguard of the twentieth century.


In assembling and painting Metzler makes use or irony which is difficult to explain, since irony constitutes a rethorical component part of the content and is not a form of expression as is the case in abstract art.

But this is exactly the point. In reality Metzler is telling something. By his chosen material he is, in his own way, pointing out the relationship between the craft and the raw object, making visible the intermediate stages of conflict, blows, caressing and challenges.

Summing up the individual volumes conveys a feeling that the basic figure is attempting a development as if searching for a free expansion into space in accordance with it’s own visionary dream, almost turning into a realized dream.

Metlzer’s abstractism, personalized sculptures have selfsustained strong strance. But this unconcerned irony is also alive in this figurative and painted scultures, the second important line in Metlzer’s work.

Colors and various materials like metal, polyester or stone have most impressively and effectively it’s iconic meaning in this category if his works.

The differeantiated make of the material (by definition more suitable for forming than for cutting and hammering) lead inevitably and ultimately tosomething deliberately constructed, based on a project or an original design.

Moreover the colors express a specific critical and motivated attitude towards the environment. The works of art are “Gestalten” concerned with everyday life such as reading a newspaper or book, going for a walk, playing in the park or people travelling. They are stories. And yet, they also appear to be typical representatives of our time and society. The sculptures seem like icons of everyday life while their individuality is emphasized in a decorative way.

As static humanized figures they become pictures or rather images thereby achieving the absolute and total abstraction even in small details. While the sculptures are meant to look like real people from distance, one discovers, approaching, the use of color, the differentiated shape, the structure of material and it’s forming process.

This enables us to comprehend the theoretical principals, underlying Metzler’s creative activity the deliberate mix of abstract and figurative. The abstract becomes visible in form of elements of a paradigm (primary forms and archtypes) identifying the work of art with the history of the artists. The figurative appears as linking up the parts of a syntagm and transformed into individual element, archetype, primary form of a complete list of human individuals. The abstract and the figurative are like tools in the artist’s hands used intuitively. The work of art itself determines the style, not it’s category.

Metlzer’s art claims individual freedom and includes instruction for it’s interpretation, independent from the usual directions conceived by the critics.

Omar Calabrese