Ohne Titel (Wülfrath Wo)
The Van Abbemuseum Collection consists of over 2800 artworks. We publish texts and images on an ongoing basis, but this record is currently in the process of being documented.
Four metal consoles attached to the wall approximately one metre above the floor, at equal distances from each other, each have a shelf holding a rectangular column covered in linoleum. On these there are four similar columns lying horizontally, parallel to the wall. They protrude, meet together exactly and in this way bridge the openings between the vertical columns. Behind this construction there is a metal frame on the wall which contains a glass plate and a black plate behind it. A little way to the right of this there is a vertical neon light that is attached to the wall. Even further to the right there is a black perspex plate engraved with the text 'Wülfrath Wo'.
This work is closely related to other works by Mucha: 'Ohne titel (Oberhausen)' and 'Vechta'. All three contain lit neon lights and all three have a reflective area (mirror glass, or a reflecting glass plate). All three refer to German place names. Vechta with the title, and the other two because the place names are also included in the work. There are other similarities between 'Oberhausen' and 'Wulfrath Wo'. They both incorporate linoleum columns and both consist of four bases bearing a horizontal element. Initially Mucha presented the three works as an installation. However, after the exhibition they were sold separately. To Mucha’s delight the Van Abbemuseum brought them together again and they are now exhibited side by side.
In the early 1980s Mucha collected together objects which were meant to be used to present artworks, such as plinths, display cases and lighting. He combined these “anonymous” materials with captions referring to German stations. With his objects, Mucha wanted to create places which are neutral in the same way that a station or a railway carriage is neutral. The reflecting surfaces correspond to the windows in a railway carriage; they reflect the public space, the viewer and any other people who happen to be present. The constructions of standing columns bearing a horizontal element can be associated with railway bridges. A station is a place to stop, where you stay for a while, while you are traveling onto somewhere else. Waiting and traveling are times of being temporarily away from home, moments inviting reflection. With his objects, Mucha tries to evoke comparable feelings. Like a number of other artists who became well known in the 1980s (also see: Vercruysse, Klingelhöller and Schütte), Mucha raised questions in his work about the place and meaning of art in our times. Is there still a place for art? Does it still have any significance? Mucha’s answer is his call to reflect on this.
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