Stephan Huber

Stephan Huber | Germany | "Gran Paradiso II" | 1998 | 220 cm x 450 cm x 700 cm | Hard plaster and neon lamps

The monumentality of mountains, their beauty and grandeur are the focal point of the sculpture work of Stephan Huber (b. 1952). His work is based on three principles derived from Surrealism: releasing the object from its context, shifting the scale and exchanging the materials. For the spatial installation “Gran Paradiso II” the artist recreated three mountains of the Alpine region: Civetta, Weißhorn and Mont Blanc, to a scale of 1:4,000 in plaster. According to Huber, as individual objects hewn out of nature and reduced in size, the plaster mountains represent flawless, ideal sculptures: “In the mountains, the forms of nature and of art superimpose to create an ideal synthesis.” The solitary, snow–white objects open up towards a fragile meshwork of blue neon tubes with which Huber reproduced the course of the Alpine rivers Rhone, Rhine and Po; the massive mountain sculptures and the transparent light relief of the streams unite to form a poetic, multidimensional panorama. “Gran Paradiso II” is one work out of a group that represents the Alpine region as an ideal paradise. This work, originally purchased by the Montblanc Cultural Foundation, was transferred to the Gallery of Contemporary Art of the Hamburger Kunsthalle in 2000.