Andrea Pagnes


Markus Schaller Artistic Profile



The expressive code deployed by Markus Schaller, which intimately, plumbs mysterious depths and then leads back, inevitably, to being. The artistic and civil commitment of this poet and sculptor, capable of mixing sculpture and poetry with an uncommon, volcanic but pure alchemical approach  towards the question of “doing art”, can be found in his moulding the remnants of the genetic memory that each of us has. The act of artistic creation intended as purely liberating moment, and therefore such that it reveals itself to be a veritable existential necessity. Lyricism intended as creative tension in reference to reality, history, one’s own lived experience.


With this he constructs a possible, effective dialogue between himself and the other, the beneficiary of his work, to whom, in a certain sense, the artist consciously consigns himself. Even though he transversally sifts through and draws from a diverse array of cultural influences and matrices, Markus’s current work is ever characterized by a consciously defiant attitude to impose the predetermined infertile models which have lost their intrinsic value, have been deprived of their intensity and are devoid of any communicative tension whatsoever due to their prosaic and singular conformity to an ideal which, in the final analysis, is most decidedly a “non-ideal”. It is from these considerations that the efficacious way of expression of Markus Schaller determines its onslaught. His aim is to substitute barrenness with the lyrical illusion of a non-beginning, virtually “withering” and “razing” the present, retrieving that initial trace through forceful excavation of what we know to be the most inaccessible and hidden recesses of our own perception and comprehension. Markus’s art demonstrates our belonging to a reality which is not simply psychological, but at one and the same time psychic, affective and mental.


However, the self-same illusion the artist is looking for his irremediably thwarted at the outset, destroyed as it is being brought to life. This is the only reality a work of art is able to confront. Hence the material of a work of art is composed and is no longer simply a means: it is the reality the artist works and immerses himself in and, by doing this, identifies himself with. Through analyzing internal conflict and human condition, the artist turns to the real and tries to grasp those elements which are increasingly emotional if not flatly dramatic.

Although firmly concentrated, in his steel figures are deeply ingrained impression and expression, each and every molecule seems to be enriched by a sustained, constant vitality if not strength which is able to unleash almost limitless energy – a value inherent within art – at he climax of its unfolding.


Rather than a courageously ask to be inserted within the day-to-day connivance that shuns the anecdotal, Schaller’s sculptures express the endless dialogue between opposites which brings to the fore the author demiurge who is attempting to dominate and control matter, composing and decomposing it through a constant reflection that leads the observer the awareness of a possible ethical revolution able to initiate a “possible new civil and social world” that does not have to be sought elsewhere – it is here, now, where we all live, operate and exist. An “other” world that is a concrete image of a constantly-moving perfection. capable of breaking through the apparent viscosity of a pre-established, disheartening bourgeois stability, as the artist’s task is simply to unveil it, through appearance, through a process of subtraction.


Markus Schaller’s communicative urgency thus appears to move along a set of binary tracks:


By exalting the qualities ingrained within matter and used to make art by transforming matter itself into a reservoir of archetype codes from which to draw one’s own knowledge, the artist is able to extricate a specific ideological motivation – that of defining a more immediate and direct relationship with the existing such that he is able to thoroughly examine all phenomenological contradictions, as well as those which are strictly pertinent to the human being. In fact, without excluding the emotional charge which lies behind the creative act, memory alone can conserve its functional value as quality of experience; it is only by transforming the character into a language which is as essential and de-structured as possible that a “flexible” discourse can be broached. This discourse alone is able to define and trigger off an uncommon yet intensive communicative dynamism beyond historical preliminaries.



Venedig 2004

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