Artwork of the month November

Matti Braun, Lota, 2007/2010

Matti Braun

* 1968 in Berlin, Germany

Lota, 2007/2010

Cotton, paint, concrete, iron
2 wall elements, variable dimensions

Concrete sculpture, 2 parts,
each 140 × 62.5 × 13cm

Matti Braun's work Lota opens up a broad field of references and associations whose trail leads to India, to Ahmedabad, where in 1915 Mahatma Gandhi founded the Harijan Ashram, later the starting-point for his peaceful Salt March in 1930. The title Lota refers to a small, round pot made of bronze or copper – a household item that is also used for cleansing in religious ceremonies. In 1958, on a research trip to promote design in India, Charles and Ray Eames discovered this vessel and saw it as "probably the greatest, the most beautiful object" in India. An expansive spatial installation, Lota consists of two wall-sized textiles covered in abstract, ornamental painting. Opposite these stands a screen-like sculpture made of exposed concrete. The colour palette is reduced to black, white and grey. Triangle, line and rhombus form the basic modules. The rhombuses of the concrete stele refer to a second location in Ahmedabad, the Indian Institute of Management, which was built by Louis Khan in 1962, and is still one of the most important business academies in India today.

The basic module of one of the wall pieces is formed by a pointed triangle, black upwards, white downwards. Three fields of white triangles are coloured grey and – apart from the vexation they provoke – form an additional triangle. In Hinduism, the triangle is linked with the symbol Yoni1 and the goddess Durga2. The pattern on the second textile is formed from hand-drawn vertical black lines on a white background. The formal language of both textiles refers to Hindu traditions of yantras – ritual diagrams used in meditation. When one observes the wall images, a relentless shimmer emerges; the longer and more intently one immerses oneself in it, this shimmer intensifies in the perception into a three-dimensional, continuous moment of movement.

Lota leads the observer into a complex, sensuous cosmos that reflects Indian Modernism and its contemporaneity up to the present day.

Christiane Meyer-Stoll

<b>Matti Braun, Lota, 2007/2010</b>
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein highlights a work from the permanent collection each month throughout the year. Works from the collection of the Hilti Art Foundation are also included in this series on a regular basis.