Hubert Kostner

02.07 –

Hubert Kostner lives and works in Kastelruth (Castelrotto). Since completing his studies in sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and his first appearances on the art scene at the end of the 1990s, he has been working on transforming and recoding everyday objects and perceptions by means of context shifting. Within the scope of art relationships he has made it possible to achieve a change of perspective and thereby extended the scope for interpretation.

For this purpose, he often introduces non-artistic materials and everyday consumer objects directly from his cultural environment. This might be a ski coating material, a climbing rope or even a wooden stick that he has picked up somewhere. Hubert Kostner’s current exhibition is dedicated to the distinction and the potential for conflict between “natural” and “artificial”, between what simply exists without human involvement and what man has created. These are not the same. He uses the inequality symbol, “≠“, “not the same as”, as the title for his twenty-first solo exhibition, which is his fifth at the Alessandro Casciaro Art Gallery. Here, in two main rooms set up for installations, Hubert Kostner juxtaposes everyday materials: the “natural” beeswax with the “artificial” plastic of drinks bottles. In the context of art these become “wax pictures” and “plastic sculptures”. If beeswax represents nature in its purity, then plastic has become one of the biggest environmental killers, and all the more so because, when used for packaging, it delays the natural decomposition process of organic materials but is not itself degradable. Both wax and plastic are easily moulded when exposed to heat. Here, the sculptor who works by carving his raw materials becomes a plastic artist, shaping  his creations, reclaiming the aesthetic qualities from both forms, the “artificial” and the “natural”. Kostner lets the material itself act. Although the process of forming is guided by the artist, it is not entirely controllable. Wax loses its bloom when it hardens, while the colour range of the standard 1.5 litre bottles, from orange-green to blue-white, loses its sharpness. All the works on display were created between 2017 and 2020 and through them Hubert Kostner consistently pursues his concept of a critical but never moralising examination of the reality of our lives with the aid of the sculptural strategy of “deformation”.

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