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At first glance, Andreas Blank’s desk appears to be like any ordinary desk. On top, some para- phernalia are neatly displayed; a half-full cup, a box and a documentation folder. The desk could be found in any artist’s studio or any workspace for that matter. However, upon closer inspec- tion, each element (including the trestle table itself) has been meticulously hand carved from a variety of precious stones, sourced from quarries from all over the world. In this way, the work relates to the history of stone carving within art history and sculpture, where materials such as marble, alabaster and limestone were traditionally used to sculpt objects of political or religious significance.

Blank, however, plays tricks with our expectations and perceptions. By treating mundane objects in a similar traditional and precise manner, he provides the everyday with a monumental status. For example the crumpled A4 white sheet of paper, in a black frame, that modestly occupies a spot on one of the exhibition walls. Upon closer inspection it is actually carved from white marble (the paper) and black alabaster (the frame). From a distance, this work could be viewed as a pun on modernist nihilism, but up close, reveals a material sensibility that goes beyond a simple juxtaposition of abstraction and reality.

(by Laurie Cluitmans)

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