Janusz Walentynowicz, I Sat on the Ground, 1990

© Janusz Walentynowicz, Courtesy Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung, Photo: Hans-Joachim Becker

29 APRIL 2010 - 27 JANUARY 2011

Frozen-in Tension

Tension and relaxation, strain and rest – the Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung in Munich dedicated this year’s exhibition to this complex of themes. Under the title Frozen-in Tension glass sculptures by significant international artists as well as works by the German photographer Jessica Backhaus were on view.

´The title of the exhibition – a technical term from the area of heat treatment – was multilayered: It addressed the subject as well as the material of the works. The sculptures made of hot liquid glass, now cold and solidified, seemed at first glance to rest in themselves. After looking at them longer or more closely, viewers observed that the state of rest, harmony, and calm turned into subtle anticipation, distraught anxiety, or an explosive emotional force.

Exhibition Venue
Karl-Theodor-Str. 27
80803 Munich


Spannung und Ruhe

Frozen-in Tension related the different positions of various artists to one another. It showed how diversely the states of tension and rest can be made tangible. The specific selection of exhibits let viewers experience the dialectic of tension and rest – regardless of the actual themes of the works.

There is no life without tension. “We look for voltage and we need it,” says the chairwoman of the Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung, Eva-Maria Fahrner-Tutsek. Physical tension such as electricity or mechanical force fields are used by everyone every day. “Mental tension, the activation of the nervous system supports us in accomplishing many tasks. The interpersonal sphere would be empty without emotional tension” explains Eva-Maria Fahrner-Tutsek. Tension activates our lives and makes them more exciting.

But tension – whether physical, physical, social or aesthetic – is tension only when another state is the antipole. Eva-Maria Fahrner-Tutsek: “Without relaxation, calm, dissolution or dissociation, there can be no tension.”

With works by:

Jessica Backhaus

Veronika Beckh

Christiane Budig

Dale Chihuly

Eliás Bohumil

Bruna Esposito

Josepha Gasch-Muche

Franz Xaver Höller

Jessica Kallage-Götze

Yoshiaki Kojiro

Stanislav Libenský & Jaroslava Brychtová

Jessica Loughlin

Yuko Matsumoto

Oda Masayo

Birgit Offner

Wilken Skurk

Essi Utriainen

Frantisek Vízner

Janusz Walentinowicz

Sunny Wang

Ann Wolff

Udo Zembok

Stanislav Libenský & Jaroslava Brychtová, Arcus I, 1990-1999

© Stanislav Libensky & Jaroslava Brychtová, Courtesy Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung, Photo: Hans-Joachim Becker

Masterpieces by
Stanislav Libenský & Jaroslava Brychtová

Two significant sculptures of cast glass by the great Czech artists Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová were the conceptual starting point of the exhibition. They gave sculpture a new dimension and are thus considered the most important artists of the twentieth century in connection with the material glass. Beginning with their works, the exhibition at the Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung showed three generations of artists: From personalities such as Tessa Clegg, Bohumil Eliás, Ales Vasicek, Janusz Walentynowichz, and Ann Wolff to the middle generation – represented by such artists as Josepha Gasch-Muche, Katherine Coleman, and Udo Zembokk – to the works of younger artists. The latter included Jessica Loughlin, Masayo Oda, Wilken Skurk and students with their new, very promising approaches. The exhibition showed new discoveries in the glass scene as well as individual installations by Bruna Esposito from Italy and Sunny Wang from Hong Kong.

Jessica Backhaus, Morning, 2007

© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022

Photographs like Still Lifes:
Works by Jessica Backhaus

The photographs by Jessica Backhaus showed the theme treated in a different medium and thus enter into a surprising dialogue with the glass sculptures. The poetic and sometimes melancholy photographs by Backhaus radiated tension and restfulness in their own way.

Jessica Backhaus, then just moved to Berlin, lived and worked for a long time in Paris and New York. In her works, the German artist deals with transience, but also with the dreams and hopes of people. Backhaus’ works are often reminiscent of still lifes. Randomly found, everyday things tell their story without seeming staged. Exhibitions of her work have been on view at the National Portrait Gallery in London and the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, among others. The artist has published numerous photo books. The exhibition Frozen-in Tension featured photographs from the series What Still Remains and One Day in November.