- John-Paul Stonard
(b Jena, East Germany, July 26, 1947).
German sculptor and conceptual artist. After a period studying art in Halle, East Germany, he made an unsuccessful attempt to escape to the West. He was imprisoned, but released to the West after eight months. He then studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich (1974–6) and at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Hamburg (1977–83), where he met Martin Kippenberger and Albert Oehlen and studied with Sigmar Polke, under whose influence he began developing his satirical, social-critical practice. His work is characterized by loose, improvisatory constructions using quotidian materials. Throughout the 1980s his work became less directly acerbic and more concerned with questions of meaning, engaging with recent traditions of art practice. In the Bow (bricks on linen, 2.4×1.4×2.5 m, 1998; San Francisco, CA, B. R. Meyer priv. col.) is a ‘painting’ made with bricks, set end-first in a diagonal column in linen, the weight sagging the stretched material at the bottom. The transformation of Minimalist rigour with formal awkwardness points to Herold’s key occupation with instability, informed by his metaphorical interpretation of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. Rather than transform these in an oracular manner, as in the work of Joseph Beuys, he often cancels out any higher reading with irreverent humour. ...