Artists

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SANDBICHLER, Peter

Born in Kufstein/Tyrol in 1964, lives and works in Vienna

 

Sandbichler attended the School of Wood and Stone Sculpture in Innsbruck and studied painting at the Art Students League in New York under Martin Knox for one year in 1983. In 1984–1986 he studied sculpture at Vienna University of Applied Art under Wander Bertoni. He studied at Vienna Academy of Fine Arts under Bruno Gironcoli in 1986–1991, followed in 1993–1994 by post-graduate studies at the Institute for New Media under Peter Weibel.

 

The artist works with a variety of formats, materials and techniques, integrating a wide range of possibilities. His work thus includes a broad spectrum ranging from minimalist light installation to space-embracing modular architecture in public space. The objet trouvé also plays a key role in Peter Sandbichler’s art, as demonstrated by his sculptures made from vacuum cleaners, cutlery, lockers or hospital beds. These found objects are joined together according to a very specific pattern and knit together to create a new object in its own right. The concept of sculpture is central to his oeuvre, a concept that he is constantly redefining and reinterpreting. The starting-point is the aspect of his sculptures as works in the classical sense, that may metamorphose depending on context and transform as a result of new environments or circumstances.

 

He featured at the Venice Biennale in 1995 with his concept of penetrating virtual and real space and, one year later, in New York City with the adapted knot.project. In 2007 the artist installed the Floating Maze at the Festival der Regionen Elisabethsee, a raft labyrinth inviting visitors to get involved themselves. In 2009 MUMOK invited the artist to make two sculptures for the OUT SITE series.

 

Peter Sandbichler installed his Tiger Stealth project in public space in front of the Museumsquartier complex. The stranded stealth boat is an allusion to the guerrilla group Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, who claim to own one of these boats, that are invisible on radar. Tiger Stealth is based on Sei bereit Tiger from 2006. In this project the artist explores the subject of camouflage, focusing on the associated machinery of war. His boat is practically indistinguishable from the pattern on the ground, rendering it almost invisible in this setting. But the artist also points out that the interesting design and aesthetic can mask the deadly function of a stealth weapon. The stealth boat has been sited in the Austrian Sculpture Park since 2010.

 

His sculpture unbowed and unafraid also deals with a sensitive political issue. A portrait of Sri Lankan journalist, human rights activist and regime critic Lasantha Wickrematunge is projected onto a tower. During the day, the portrait appears as a grid of shapes from up close and can only be viewed in its entirety from a certain distance; at night, light transforms the picture into a negative of the portraitee. Like many of the artist’s other works, this is a conglomerate of image and sculpture, with the emphasis on two- and three-dimensionality.

 

Peter Sandbichler sees it as the artist’s task to visualise socially relevant and socially critical issues and problems and to use art as a kind of “tool of society” with which to expose evils. Sandbichler’s works have been on show, among other places, at Ars Electronica in Linz in 1993, at the Pascal Van Höcke Gallery in Paris in 2007, and at the Austrian Galerie Belvedere in Vienna the same year.

 

Sculpture details: Tiger Stealth, 2009

 

 

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