Wolfgang Buchner

Salztisch und Schneekasten (Salt Table and Snow Box)

Opening: 2010

For two decades, Wolfgang Buchner has been exploring the theme of snow and salt in a work with complex ramifications. Rotsalz im Herbstberg (Red Salt in an Autumn Mountain) was the title of a retrospective at the Neue Galerie Graz in 2009. Buchner titled his art project in the foyer and staircase of the youth hostel in Altaussee, Salzberg, which incorporates historic miners' houses into the overall complex, Salztisch und Schneekasten (Salt Table and Snow Box).

As always, the artist looks at the objects of his work from a variety of perspectives. Again, the result is Buchner's typical combination of the pictorial, the scientific and the poetic; a convincing symbiosis of aesthetic experience and information transfer, a fusion of elaborately researched facts and imaginative inventions.

The object Salztisch (Salt Table) combines three things under its glass cover: a model of a mine, a block of red salt and a so-called Füderl (small load). The latter, salt dried and pressed into a salt hat, was still the primary form in which the "white gold" was transported at the beginning of the twentieth century. Buchner's Füderl presents itself as an abstract sculpture in the shape of a truncated cone, whose geometric dimensions reflect the crystal structure of sodium chloride (the chemical name for common salt). Six Schneekästen (Snow Boxes) embedded in the walls of the staircase document the diversity of crystals of falling snow. A total of 216 different shapes have been placed on top of each other on transparent foils. Complex works of art by all means in the spirit of Ernst Haeckel's art forms of nature, in which "the beauty of falling snow, the atmospheric conditions as well as the history of the study of snow" (Buchner) can be found.

The project Salztisch und Schneekasten (Salt Table and Snow Box) aims, as already indicated, consciously and extremely intelligently at a double effect: the generation of visual art from (natural) historical data and the unobtrusive didactic mediation of precisely these data and facts. "Applied" art in the best sense and with an unmistakable signature.

Text: Walter Titz, in: Fenz, Kraus, Kulterer (eds.), Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Steiermark. Projekte 2009, Springer Verlag, Wien, 2011, S. 220ff. Translation by KiöR.


Art in Public Space

Marienplatz 1/1
8020 Graz, Österreich
T +43-316/8017-9265



Salzwelten Altaussee, 8992 Altaussee
47°39'07.7"N 13°44'18.0"E