Artwork of the month July

Georg Malin, Disentiser-Würfel (Andreaskreuz-Würfel), 1984–86/1988

Georg Malin

* 1926 in Mauren, Liechtenstein

Disentis Cube (St Andrew's Cross Cube), 1984–86/1988

cast 1988
Donation of the Principal Government, Vaduz

The Disentis Cube is a solid bronze cube whose sides are recessed to varying depths so as to form the diagonals of each square. By degrees, a diagonal cross becomes visible – a St Andrew's Cross. The shape is an allusion to the coat of arms of Disentis Abbey, a silver saltire on a red field. The origin of the coat of arms is a house mark of the Abbey dating back to the Middle Ages. 1 Georg Malin designed the cube sculpture for this Abbey, where he also spent his grammar school days. One of the two casts stands in the inner courtyard of the Abbey in a water-filled granite basin, its form multiplied in the natural base element. The Disentis Cube can be seen as the starting point for Malin's central group of works, his letter cubes. The piece animates the artist to explore in greater depth the evolution of writing as a basic element of cultural constitution, used to document and preserve human utterances for posterity: "For me the alphabet is the most ingenious invention of humankind, I find it simply fascinating that it is possible to record entire stories, human history with twenty-six signs."

Alongside the letter as a visible symbol of the human mind, Malin focuses his examination on the square and its three-dimensional extension, an element already found in the artist's earlier works, for example in his organic motifs. Malin's eye is not only on the clear-cut geometric form and its translation into sculpture, but also on the spiritual-symbolic quality of this formal figure.

Based on the principle of the Disentis Cube, Georg Malin has since designed a number of letter cubes. Over time, the cube has lost its "solidness", with the letter emerging from the basic geometric shape as a figure in the round.

Denise Rigaud

<b>Georg Malin, Disentiser-Würfel (Andreaskreuz-Würfel), 1984–86/1988</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.