Heinz Gappmayr in situ8 April 2021
Heinz Gappmayr(1925-2010) is the main representative of visual poetry in German-speaking countries. Since the late 1960s he made language the material of his work. Signs, words, numbers and basic geometric shapes are presented visually by him in order to examine the categorical possibilities of language. Gappmayr uses language to depict ideas and concepts that cannot be represented graphically due to their abstract nature. In his work on concrete poetry, the artist points out that concepts are ideas and can therefore encompass an infinite number of possible objects and ideas.
These considerations led to the text images, which occupy a special position in Gappmayr's oeuvre. In these works he tries to depict concepts that are not depictable, but are the basis of all empirical knowledge. The two a priori terms »time« and »space« play a central role in Heinz Gappmayr's work.
Since 1979 Gappmayr has also created spatial text installations. Compared to other contemporary artists who work with language in spatial contexts – such as Lawrence Weiner or Robert Barry – for Gappmayr, real space with all its peculiarities is not just the framework for an enlarged text. The space, with all its features, also constitutes the work of art. The text evocatively refers to the environment in order to make the reality of language and the physical world visible through the contrast.
Publications about Heinz Gappmayr