Priska von Martin

Taming, 1963

About the object

Dancing and engaged in dynamic movement, the small-format bronze figure aggrandises space with its irregular shapes. Its individual elements are connected with each other – or do they emanate from one another? Do they relate to one another, even to the internal space they describe, withdrawn into themselves? The abstract figure is thus “tamed,” as Priska von Martin (1912–1982) herself suggests in her title for the work. It remains unclear, however, whether it is tamed by external circumstances or internal constraints. The abstract form is combined with a haptic surface, unfinished after casting, which, by virtue of its natural patina, is reminiscent of (injured) skin. This can be read as stylistic recourse to von Martin’s animal sculptures, which were predominantly made in the 1950s. Her shift towards the abstract at the beginning of the 1960s thus proves to be less a radical change than an ongoing development of her artistic practice.

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