Sculptures by Stefan Brüggemann, Hans Josephsohn, Thomas J Price and Pipilotti Rist and Martin Creed are on view in Menorca.
The outdoor sculpture trail at Hauser & Wirth Menorca features works situated alongside the gallery buildings and across the northern part of the island, embedded in the natural landscape of Illa del Rei.
Standing in the midst of Piet Oudolf’s perennial garden is an untitled brass figure by Hans Josephsohn, one of the most important 20th-century Swiss sculptors. Orphaned and displaced by the Second World War, Josephsohn’s work tries to comprehend the core of a person outside of the collective, with a remarkable body of work devoted to an exploration of the figure. Distinguished by their level of abstraction and powerful physical presence, the works are rich in detail to reveal human features. Josephsohn was concerned with the balance of mass and volume and constructed the sculptures as rudimentary models in plaster, shaped by the process of addition and removal and then cast in brass.
Inside the sandstone water tower by the gallery’s main entrance is a neon work by Stefan Brüggemann, depicting the most frequently spoken and typed word on the planet: OK. Depending on the context, it can signify approval, acknowledgment or indifference, and denote acceptability or mediocrity. The neon bluntly exemplifies this range in its irony and nihilism, asking the viewer to consider these possibilities and take up a position. Brüggemann’s text pieces function as provisional observations that must be completed by an audience’s engagement, then impressing themselves as thoughts into the spectator’s consciousness.
The installation ‘Hiplights (or Enlighted Hips)’ (2011) by Pipilotti Rist is strung across the central patio in the Menorca gallery like an enormous celebratory washing line. The remarkable outdoor light work is created from dozens of pairs of underpants and LED lamps and was first conceived for the Hayward Gallery. A pioneer of spatial video art, Rist’s work broaches playful explorations of domesticity, the human body and shame.
At the end of the wild olive tree forest by Cantina is ‘Reaching Out,’ a 2.7-meter bronze sculpture by London-based artist Thomas J Price. Depicting a young woman holding a mobile phone in both hands, the work continues Price’s exploration into technological mediation and intertwined experiences of isolation and human connection within contemporary society. Price subverts stereotypical representations of figures we value in society and traditional power structures through the careful construction and presentation of his fictional characters. Amalgamated from multiple sources, his monumental works are developed through a hybrid approach of traditional sculpting and intuitive digital technology.
Down by the water is a site-specific work by Turner Prize winner Martin Creed, ‘Work No. 3667 WATER’ (2022). The neon is a monument to water: water which is needed for life and of which people are mostly made; water which is fun and dangerous; water which is life-giving and life-threatening. Creed, known for work that is distilled into essential elements or actions, has said ‘it’s good if it feels like a complete no-brainer, so obvious that it is stupid - so as to try to get around the head and into the heart’.