Obi-Picasso, 2018. Metal parts, ironing board, and various tools, approx. 180 x 579 x 405 cm. Photo: © Ben Koechlin, Courtesy von Bartha and the artist

Endless Inventory: A Conversation with Florian Slotawa

Conceptual artist Florian Slotawa does not make his work from scratch. Instead, he assembles his sculptures and installations from what already exists, rearranging and recontextualizing found material with a keen sense of form and color. He began with his personal belongings—everything from pencils to clothes and furniture—and over the years, he has expanded his range to include a full inventory of other items, incorporating industrial objects, figurative and abstract sculptures (including works by Mark di Suvero and Anthony Caro), and even a Porsche into his installations. Other works remake, or translate, works by modern masters such as Picasso and Mondrian into compositions of ordinary, everyday objects. Slotawa’s keen, playful engagement with Modernism gives a new currency to formalist concerns, celebrating its aspirations while bringing them down to earth.

Robert Preece: What is the story behind Obi-Picasso (2018)? How did you go about selecting and arranging the elements?
Florian Slotawa: I developed Obi-Picasso for “Stuttgart sichten: Skulpturen der Staatsgalerie Stuttgart,” a 2018 exhibition at the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg, where I arranged a broad selection of sculptures from the collection of the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart . . .

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