'I have decided to observe, that is to say, to derive my experiences and views from questioning phenomena, rather than posing questions to others. That means I reject any catering service in matters of the mind'
(G. Herold, quoted in 'Georg Herold at Contemporary Fine Arts', in Contemporary Art Daily, 14 May 2009).
Georg Herold's arching and stretching anthropomorphic sculptures, both entitled Untitled from 2010 and 2011, suggest a self-aware state of tension. The crude stick-figure minimalism of the two reclining bodies contrasts with the visceral nature of their poses. There is something inherently fetishistic about these two figures, one looks like it is being dragged along the ground with its hands tied up, while the other exaggeratedly bends its back in an overtly sexualised and gendered stance. The viewer is left to consider the weird conceptual paradox they embody: the objectifying dehumanisation they point to and the very human artifice of their construction.
In the late 1970s Herold studied with Sigmar Polke and soon after became associated with a wave of radical young German artists including Albert Oehlen and Martin Kippenberger. His work reflected an anti-bourgeois rebelliousness and appropriated building materials and caviar alike as the vehicles for his artistic expression. The lack of a single unifying principle, material or interpretative, is one of the consistent aspects of the artist's practice. Herold plays with our expectations of what it is we are seeing, challenging what art is, or should be, and what the role of the artist is. Whether presenting a simple plank of wood on a wall or a pair of anthropomorphic figures, he prefers to leave the viewer to ponder his mysterious visual propositions, masterfully exemplified in the works Untitled.