Matthew Marks is pleased to announce an exhibition of new sculpture by Martin Honert, the next exhibition in his gallery at 523 West Twenty-fourth Street.
This is Martin Honert's first one-person exhibition in the United States. It will feature two large sculptures inspired by the children's tale The Flying Classroom, written by Erich Kästner in 1935. This story and its characters are immediately recognizable to all Germans, and it is an integral part of German culture.
A Model Scenario of the Flying Classroom was first exhibited in the German Pavillion at the 1995 Venice Biennale. The work is composed of 12 individual, life-size, painted cast-polyester sculptures of a polar bear, an Egyptian pharaoh, Saint Peter, an airplane, a volcano, several schoolchildren, and a teacher. It illustrates the chapter of The Flying Classroom that describes a Christmas play the young protagonists have produced about their trip across the universe into the realm of the dead to save a young female classmate. Honert illustrates the climax of the play, in which the young girl is saved then removes her wig to reveal that she is actually a boy.
The second work, Test of Courage, was inspired by another chapter in The Flying Classroom, that which describes a young boy attempting a foolish jump in order to prove his bravery. Test of Courage captures the moment the boy leaps off a tall ladder with only an umbrella as a parachute. This sculpture is also made of cast polyester, but in contrast to the colorful A Model Scenario of the Flying Classroom, it is painted a monochromatic gray.
Honert was born in Bottrop, Germany, in 1953. He lives and works in Düsseldorf and teaches in Dresden. He began exhibiting his work in 1988 and, together with Katharina Fritsch and Thomas Ruff he represented Germany at the 1995 Venice Biennale. He has had one-person exhibitions at the Kunstverein, Stuttgart, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona, and the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, and he has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including shows at the Fondation Cartier, Paris, the Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, the Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, and the Saatchi Collection, London. His work was exhibited once before in New York, in "Views from Abroad—European Perspectives on American Art" at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1996.
Martin Honert will be on view at Matthew Marks Gallery, 523 West Twenty-fourth Street (between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues), through December 24, 1999. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.
For further information or photographs, please contact Andrew Leslie at (212) 243-0200.