___ If one folds a sheet of paper, one witnesses in a simple way an astonishing process: something that was just a two-dimensional surface manages to transform, with lightning speed and little effort, into something that penetrates the three-dimensional space by means of raising, shifting, turning inside out, or turning over. Whether this happens with concentrated precision, as in Japanese origami, or in the usually little-considered gesture of crumpling paper, the fold results in a spatializing of a planar surface and thus in a simultaneous alteration of form.
___ Wolfram Ullrich is interested in precisely this: How can forms or planar surfaces be altered so that they reach into space, themselves become spatial, establishing a new relationship between the work of art and its surroundings? This is what he tests, whether by means of the cut, the split, or the fold.
___ Here too it is the case that Wolfram Ullrich does not fold paper; he folds metal. Although this formulation needs to be corrected: the result of his works may be a fold, but the process that creates it is not comparable to origami. If one wanted to fold metal like a sheet of paper, the strength of the material, however thin, would lead instead to a bend. Wolfram Ullrich experimented with that and never arrived at a satisfactory result. Indeed the artist wants the hard edge, the fold, and for that he has to work in a different way, one that takes up practices he has already employed. He cuts an initial basic plane into one or more parts and welds them together again at an angle rather than on the same plane. Hence two planes meet, and the resulting split between them is turned into a hard edge by filling or welding. An initially planar form is transformed by multiple interventions into a spatial one that is positioned on the wall in such a way that it projects forward, no longer lying flat on it but rather producing airspaces. Suddenly, there is a front and behind and at the same time a conflict between the initially ideal form and the now complicated spatial construction. In order to achieve a coherent result, skilled cutting is required. The position of the separation must be carefully considered. If Wolfram Ullrich cuts, for example, a parallelogram into different pieces and joins them back together, the resulting image must give the impression of a parallelogram in its spatiality. Truly a challenge!


Text: Dr. Theres Rohde