Erik Göngrich, installation view, unfinished Donald Judd concrete building, January 2009

Erik Göngrich

Erik Göngrich is a Berlin-based artist who works with sculpture, drawing, photography, and other media. His interest is architecture and design—in a word, form, the stuff people make, how they make it, and why. His point of view is a street-level one, his eye that of the interested visitor, the pedestrian, the flâneur. Göngrich travels often, and his work is built out of interactions with new places. Walking, biking, letting his eye rove in districts high and low, Göngrich creates work in response to his daily visual experience.

In his two-part exhibition at the close of his residency, Göngrich exhibited sculpture made in Marfa from locally accessed cardboard. The title of the show was Non-site-specific, and visitors to the exhibitions were free to discover resemblances between the sculptures and various local landmarks and eyesores they see every day. In addition, Non-site-specific was a traveling show, albeit one where the travel took place only within Marfa. At the Locker Plant on opening night, Göngrich’s cardboard works filled the room, accompanied by an installation of preparatory drawings. The next day the sculptures migrated to one of Donald Judd’s unfinished concrete building at Chinati. The venue change had a dramatic effect on Göngrich’s troupe of cardboard players: whereas at the Locker Plant they appeared sturdy enough—durable, corporeal—in the windswept space of the concrete building they seemed jumpy and excitable. Even anchored to ceiling and floor, the sculptures skittered and careened in the wind.

Erik Göngrich was born in Kirchheimbolanden, Germany in 1966. He has a Masters degree in art from the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin and a degree in Interior Architecture from the Fachhochschule Rosenheim. During his school years he worked and interned in the firms of architects Herzog & de Meuron and Peter Eisenman and in the studio of artist Rachel Whiteread. He has lived for long periods in various parts of the world, including Los Angeles, Istanbul, and Brazil, and exhibited widely, in both solo and group shows, in Berlin, Munich, Tirania, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, Boston, Los Angeles, and many other cities. Göngrich lives in Berlin and travels often.