L 65/93, 1993
Acrylic glass, acrylic foil, fluorescent lamp, forex, wood
71,5 x 71,5 x 16,5 cm
Photo: Gerhard Sauer
Were one to gauge the developments in constructive-concrete art by the scope that the employed materials allow for devising new forms, Werner Bauer from Völklingen would certainly have to be regarded as one of the most ingenious representatives of his branch. Since the late 1960s he has experimented with constructivist elements and structures that go far beyond what is generally understood by the terms sculpture or picture. More than that, he also has a way of employing even the most outlandish materials for his work. Beginning with the rather homely example of wood, over the years Werner Bauer has above all discovered industrially manufactured materials, such as Plexiglas or silicon, and foils made of PVC and acrylic.
This last choice derives from the highly original idea of lending immaterial and formless light a perfectly material and configurable form. The same idea is at the back of the work L 65/93 from 1993. It consists of a square form, fifteen centimetres deep, containing an artificial light source. The latter is invisible to the beholder, for only the light it emits penetrates the upper surface of the construction through a series of discrete slits. The slits not only give the object as a whole a geometrical pattern, they also act as lugs for a large number of transparent foils, whose loop shapes create an impressive ornamentation.
This ornamentation develops like sound waves from out of the centre of the picture – in ever-decreasing, overlapping arcs – thus giving the surface of the square a vibrating quality. While initially this vibration may originate from the unconventional form, its actual intensity comes from the work's equally exceptional materiality: Bauer not only lends form to the immaterial light by means of these “light-catcher foils”, as previously alluded to, but also uses them to obtain differing levels of brightness. In this way the artist modulates the light, as it were, while the light for its part modulates the work. In this way Werner Bauer seems to have opened up new dimensions for constructive-concrete art.