Exh. cat. Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein
Ed. Christiane Meyer-Stoll, Cologne: Snoeck-Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, 2014.
ISBN: 978-3-86442-108-2 (German edition)
ISBN: 978-3-86442-109-9 (English edition)
In 1966, when Kuehn first exhibited the work group »Melt Pieces« at the legendary Bianchini Gallery in New York, he noted in his sketchbook: »Butter in the sun. What could be more fatal?« This brief consideration signifies one of his basic principles: the procedural aspect. Kuehn rebelled with his early work against the authority of the rigid stable form, as was represented by the then predominant Minimal Art: The ideal cuboids seem to have started to melt like ice or butter. Physical processes, often associated with external forces, transform intact geometric shapes. Kuehn experimented with different materials (tar, fiberglass, latex, metal, wood) and an incredible breadth of creative possibilities. Deformations and transformations, the basic form remaining intact, become visible and produce a narrative as well as a metaphorical moment. The main factor here is the tension of opposites – strength and weakness, rigidity and flexibility, hardness and softness, solid and fluid state collide and raise one of the basic themes of human existence: the question of boundaries and freedom. In 2000, Gary Kuehn noted that his work »lies somewhere between sex and geometry«. The book, which was created in close collaboration with the artist, gives an insight into the diverse sculptural, painterly and graphic works from five decades, with an emphasis on the 1960s. A central theme of the book and exhibition is the close link between painting and sculpture in Kuehn’s work. In addition to knowledgeable accompanying texts, it is especially the richly illustrated exhibition chronology containing interviews and artist texts that make this book indispensable.