What ties matter together?
Ludwig Stalla’s work is guided by a strong connection to his surrounding environment, this current moment, which is categorised as an extreme social and ecological challenge. Stalla works with a diverse range of materials, including dust and metal powders to create textural works of matter assembled. It is this notion of assembly that is crucial to the artist’s work. For, his work centres around matter as a phenomenon of diverse perspectives, from subject to object. Much of the material is sourced from industrial contexts, each element holding its own history as a repository of memory and yet, what ties matter together? How do industrial processes alter our relationship with matter? Stalla’s works take on a porous complexity, transforming the matter of their creation to bridge connections across timescales – industrial and geological– to now. His works use a variety of process-based techniques to elaborate and expose anthropocentrism, focussing on the use of materials and the unearthing of the image objects themselves.
A raging quietness, like the white noise after an explosion.
There is a raging quietness to Stalla’s works, like white noise after an explosion. In fact, it is far from quiet. The industrial object does not sit quietly in its organic setting. The cloud of dust ominous and sprawling. These are recurring features in Stalla’s works as he observes elements in the process of unpredictable interactions, all influencing each other. His works are a materialisation of the idea that the world is made of assemblages of vibrant and alive matter, in which humans are inextricably enmeshed.
The perception of those living in recognition of the Anthropocene, question the human ability to connect with nature in the same way as their forbearers. Perhaps this is not the right question to be asking. Indeed, Stalla poses a different one, articulated by Jane Bennet in her work Vibrant Matter: "How would political responses to public problems change were we to take seriously the vitality of (nonhuman) bodies? (...) Why advocate the vitality of matter? Because my hunch is that the image of dead or thoroughly instrumentalized matter feeds human hubris and our earth-destroying fantasies of conquest and consumption. There is an ecological character in assuming the vitality of matter." And so, Stalla works to draw out the web of connections between phenomena, exploring material and somatic realities beyond theoretical articulation and academic description. With this, he creates spellbinding works of immense subtlety and poignance, that on closer inspection reveal a renewed and substantial engagement with matter. His works embody a world of entanglements where industrial processes collide with the Earth, making the canvas a place where multiple, reverberating encounters happen, across geological scales and between lifeforms. Stalla draws his audience in to this primary shift in awareness, one that engages us all.
Text by Constance Chester
Push and Pull 4, 2018.
Biography Ludwig Stalla
born 1989 in Munich, Germany
since 2017 Fine Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich, Germany / Painting and Graphics, Class Prof. Gregor Hildebrandt
2019 Visiting studies at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts, Prof. Anselm Reyle
Signale, IAM Arts, Munich, Germany
Der River, Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei, Leipzig, Germany
Denkraum, BMW Foundation, Munich, Germany
L‘artiste devant sa toile, Kunstverein, Marburg, Germany
Grzegorzkis Seven, Kunstverein Heppenheim, Heppenheim, Germany
Push and Pull, Substanzdesign, Munich, Germany
Wir schwimmen alle im gleichen Wasser, Pasinger Fabrik, Munich, Germany
Works by Ludwig Stalla
UV print, quartz, aluminum and acrylic on canvas / 100 x 80 cm / 39.4 x 31.5 in / €1,700
UV print, quartz, aluminum and acrylic on canvas / 175 x 140 cm / 68.9 x 55.1 in / €3,250
Push and Pull 4
Dust and acrylic binder on canvas / 180 x 140 cm / 70.9 x 55.1 in / €3,050
Iron oxide and acrylic on canvas / 50 x 40 cm / 19.7 x 15.7 in / €1,000
Spray paint on parachute silk / 50 x 40 cm / 19.7 x 15.7 in / €1,000
Dust and acrylic on canvas / 75 x 60 cm / 29.5 x 23.6 in / €1,500