From November 16th, 2022 to January 14th, 2023.
Whether in public or private spaces, Herbert Mehler's works have captured the hearts of many art lovers over the past 20 years. The ANNA LAUDEL Gallery will show a selection of his works for the first time starting November 16th. The highlight of the solo show is considered to be the weatherproof sculptures covered with 24 carat pure gold. WABI-SABI - the exhibition title comes from Japanese culture, in which WABI-SABI reflects the authentic character of a thing rather than the perfection of its beauty. In this sense, Mehler has always worked very "Wabi-Sabi", finding beauty in every aspect of imperfection in nature.
Mehler and the produced uniqueness
For Herbert Mehler, it is of great importance to create everything by himself, from the idea to the finished sculpture: "To build a whole from equal modules - this approach became a design principle over the years. But "equal" exists only apparently in art as well as in nature. Just as no snowflake is like tha other one, in my sculptures there is no straight line, no slat spacing, which exactly resembles another. My intention as an artist is to produce uniqueness." This philosophy of intentional imperfection is based on a Japanese aesthetic from the 16th century, the so-called wabi-sabi. This states that in the individual expression of a sculpture is also its authenticity.
After his training as a sculptor, Mehler studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg from 1972 to 1976. In the meantime, he has accumulated a large number of works in both public and private spaces - including the 7.20-meter-high sculpture "BELLA DONNA", which stands on Würzburg's "Skulpturenufer". In 2007 he received the Culture Prize of the City of Würzburg as well as the Art Prize of the Nürnberger Nachrichten. Herbert Mehler is also represented at the major international art fairs. Together with his wife he lives and works in Eisingen, Bavaria and Kranidi, Peloponnese.
KAVEX are sculptures inspired by nature
The title of the series of works "KAVEX", which are shown on two floors together with new works, derives from the concave and convex contours of the sculptures. In an intelligently developed formal language, Mehler manages to shape materials such as steel, bronze and aluminum through fine, linear folds and symmetrical curves. The theme of the works are floral forms of nature. It can be huge fruits, seed pods and flower stems that the viewer recognizes here. In addition to the presentation of an extensive selection of sculptures, from 30 cm small to over 2 m large works, drawings and paintings are also exhibited, as well as smaller iron casting unique pieces.
Creativity meets knowledge and a load of marzipan potatoes
Mehler's comprehensive and deep understanding of the sculptor's craft, combined with his creative imagination and in-depth knowledge of the statics and material behavior of large-scale outdoor sculptures, ensures that his works are counted among the highest artistic quality. In addition to hard materiality and a solid process of creation, the sculptures have a playful, light appearance. In addition, there are the patinated surfaces, developed in his own process, which allow the color effect to alternate between yellow, orange and brown. The effect of the sculptures manages to move between the opposites of lightness and solidity, blurring the boundaries of these polarities. The initial spark for the "KAVEX" series came to Mehler during a vacation on Föhr. His wife Sonja Edle von Hoeßle, also an artist and co-founder of the "erbachshof-art-project," gave him homemade marzipan potatoes. These were wrapped in brown paper bags, which he began to fold after eating them. Mehler recognized the sculptural potential of these folds, which inspired him to create groundbreaking sketches for metal sculptures.