In his third solo exhibition at the gallery, the Cologne sculptor shows an ensemble of concrete sculptures alongside smaller wall inserts and a site-specific hanging net structure.
The five massive concrete steles from Gereon Krebber’s latest series, Graufleisch (Grey Flesh) have hexagonal or octagonal forms. The stereometric, block-like bodies closing horizontally towards the top, are partly hollowed out – holes gape at the tops of the sculptures as if they were organically inverted. Towards the bottom, the hollow form tapers like a throat or a cave opening, and below it, an empty volume follows, which opens again like a stomach and remains visible from above. “It may seem like looking into an open throat like a dentist,” says Gereon Krebber. “The pieces look as if monumental machine screws, antique column fragments and medical rectal examinations have been sculpturally combined.”
The surface structure reinforces this ambiguous effect. Gereon Krebber cast the concrete in plastic foil. With this method, the “cast skin” of the concrete shows wrinkles and creases and the resulting texture resembles elephant skin, which increases the works’ physicality. The title Graufleisch also corresponds to this impression of aged skin. The artist has partially “shattered” the freshly cast concrete skin, especially along the upper and lower edges, piece by piece with a chisel and wooden mallet, whereby the chisel traces remain visible. This surface treatment is reminiscent of ancient ruins and erratic column fragments. The title of the exhibition Tepidarium holds another allusion: borrowed from Latin, it describes the lukewarm water in Roman thermal baths – implying the exhibition could be dealing with found, ancient stone blocks.