There is no doubt that Peter Langenhahn is a craftsman: he carves his own boat, forges his own knife. But there’s more. While doing so, he questions Western society’s consumption culture, which shifts his practice into the field of art. His work is an illustration of how craftsmanship and art complement each other.
TO GET IN TOUCH
Considering the fact that we are living in a society where everything is available, where crafty or technical skills are not required anymore – would we still be able to construct things ourselves? Would we be able to forge a knife for our basic needs or to build a small home to provide shelter? These are the questions Peter Langenhahn was asking himself while examining the current nature that lies at the heart of Western society: Nowadays anything’s available, nothing more is valued, everything seems to have become a commodity.
It was back in 2015 when Langenhahn started to put his thoughts into practice. He built a bow, a boat, a small floating shell. His creative process is a way to get in touch with himself, with his own body carving the wood, with the surrounding nature, or even with precious memories as the title My Father Was A Sailor might suggest.
Peter Langenhahn working on Kontemplationsschale.
PAST AND PRESENT
«At the beginning of every process there is a feeling», Peter Langenhahn said when asked about his artistic practice. «A feeling I want to visualise – for myself, but also for others.» During the construction process the feeling becomes less abstract, more specific, might change into a rational analysis of the materials that could be used. And of course, doubts and uncertainties might come up. But that’s part of the game: for Langenhahn each problem offers its according solution.
On one hand Peter Langenhahn’s constructions are a remembrance of the past: what history taught us and made possible. On the other hand they are the solid manifestation of present-day life: the carvings and traces left after each use, after floating on the river on a warm summer’s day.
Text by Giulia Bernardi
Detailed installation view.
At the beginning of every process there is a feeling. A feeling I want to visualise – for myself, but also for others.
Biography Peter Langenhahn
born 1984 in Neuruppin, Germany
2016-2021 Fine Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich, Germany / Painting and Graphics, Class Prof. Gregor Hildebrandt
2013 Assistent of Hubertus Hamm, Munich, Germany
2011 Communication Design, Augsburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany
Supermarkt Frische Lieferung, Group Show, Rewe Premium Munich, Germany
Blick zurück nach vorn, Galerie Klüser, Munich, Germany
Der River, Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei, Leipzig, Germany
RAUS, Künstlervereinigung Dachau, Germany
Wir schwimmen alle im gleichen Wasser, Pasinger Fabrik, Munich, Germany
Billboard, Student Art Collective, Akademiegalerie, Munich, Germany
Permanent Exhibition, ADAC Südbayern, Munich, Germany
Pinakothek der Moderne, PIN Auktion, Munich, Germany
Galerie Jordanow, Munich, Germany (SOLO)
Aaber Award, Munich, Germany
Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik, Greifswald, Germany (SOLO)
ADC, Art Directors Club, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Ostrale‘11, international festival of contemporary arts, Dresden, Germany
2020 Münchner Stadtmuseum, Munich, Germany
Works by Peter Langenhahn
Rye sourdough / 35 x 15 x 15 cm / 13.8 x 5.9 x 5.9 in / €610
Wood, upholstery nails, vegetable tanned leather, olive oil, fat / 60 x 40 x 30 cm / 23.6 x 15.7 x 11.8 in / €1,300
Ist der Schuh recht, vergisst man den Fuß
Vegetable tanned leather, nylon twine, beeswax, plaster / 20.5 x 30 x 10.5 cm / 8.1 x 11.8 x 4.1 in / €900
Hazelnut wood, beeswax, leather, flax / 25 x 2 x 0.5 cm / 9.8 x 0.8 x 0.2 in / €350
Fellmütze (Fur cap)
Lambskin, marmot fur, leather, nylon, wood / 30 x 20 x 20 cm / 11.8 x 7.9 x 7.9 in / €2,900
Mein Vater war ein Seemann (My father used to be a sailor)
Birch plywood, GRP, CFRP, fir wood / 460 x 80 x 40 cm / 181.1 x 31.5 x 15.7 in / €8,500
Kontemplationsschale (Contemplation shell)
Birch plywood, GRP, foam, half linen / 220 x 220 x 120 cm / 86.6 x 86.6 x 47.2 in / €12,500
Ash wood, lacquer / 150 x 15 x 3 cm / 59.1 x 5.9 x 1.2 in / €1,300
Forged steel, oil / 25 x 4 x 0.5 cm / 9.8 x 1.6 x 0.2 in / €650
Amphibienwohnwagen (Amphibian caravan)
Plywood, glue, mattress, linen, oil / 320 x 170 x 130 cm / 126.0 x 66.9 x 51.2 in / €17,800